We’ve all done things. We’ve also all achieved things. Sometimes the two are the same. Sometimes, critically, they are not.
Understanding this distinction is a must for people in a resumé writing or recruitment phase.
An obvious example is university. Successfully completing a degree is absolutely an achievement. It requires a basic standard of discipline, application and time management.
In the context of applying for a job in which a degree is required, it isn’t an achievement. It’s something you’ve done. When the entire field of candidates has the same thing, it makes it functionally meaningless in distinguishing yourself.
Being the CEO of a company is something you have done. Arresting a decline in profit and employee satisfaction, and turning that into 12% company growth year on year, is something you’ve achieved.
Connecting with the recruiter or prospective employer on the other end of a resumé is about providing a narrative snapshot of who you are and what you’ve achieved, not what you’ve done.
Articulate your achievements.