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Make it Engaging: Writing Your Accomplishments as Stories

Make it Engaging: Writing Your Accomplishments as Stories

Author: Essential Skills

Teach students to write their accomplishments as stories

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Research shows that storytelling is one of the most effective methods for communicating information. People are much more likely to remember and be influenced by stories than by statistics. You can use this to your advantage with your accomplishment statements. Watch the following two videos to learn how to write your accomplishments as stories and how to analyze your stories as skills.

Watch this video to learn about the importance of stories.

Watch this video to learn how to write your accomplishments as stories.

Your accomplishment stories should also tie to relevant skills that are desired by employers. You can review job postings to identify these desired skills. Relevant accomplishment stories will help provide evidence that you can do what you say you can do, and should include four parts: challenge, action, result, and details. These are further explained in the chart below.

Challenge Problem to overcome, goal to reach, or requirement to fulfill
Action Specific actions you took to resolve the challenge, solve the problem, or meet the requirement
Result Benefit or outcome in specific and measurable terms to an organization, employer, team, school, or customer
Details Clarifying details are integrated throughout to provide context (consider answering how many, how much, how long, or how often)


      In this lesson's Touchstone, you will write your own accomplishment stories. Use the guidelines below as you complete this assignment. 

      1. Pick 5 of the accomplishments you’ve brainstormed and write out the details of the story using the CARD format in the workspace.

      2. Identify the skills desired by employers that you demonstrated in the accomplishment story. You may use the 10 employability skills, or you may identify other relevant skills, such as being detail-oriented, negotiation, and work ethic.

      3. Give each accomplishment story a short title by which to remember it.


      1. Use verbs from this Action Verb List.

      2. Try to keep the challenge to one or two sentences.

      3. Start each of your actions with a verb pertaining to the result.

      4. Think about how your actions benefited your employer, your organization, or your client.

      5. Use the following example as a guide:

      Accomplishment Story Title: Improved Order Fulfillment

      Challenge: situation, problem, requirement Customer satisfaction ratings were down due to delay in fulfillment of orders
      Actions: specific actions you took to resolve the challenge Reviewed team processes and gathered recommendations for improvement. Made recommendations to management to increase efficiency
      Result: the benefit created in specific and measurable terms Order fulfillment was reduced by 25%
      Relevant skills Problem solving, verbal communication, initiative, persuasion/negotiation, leadership

      Here are the 10 SEI employability skills as a reference: