We see this all the time. On resumes, in essays. Brave Supplicants say that they “Successfully accomplished yada yada yada.” Or last week, we saw a new but identical twist: the person “Effectively achieved whatsihoozits.”
If your GMAT studies are not already too stale, you will recall that “successfully” and “effectively” are both adverbs. These are words that modify verbs. They are intended to add new meaning to the action of the sentence.
But in this case, they don’t.
Because think about it, Brave Supplicant… Would you be telling the adcom about your whatsihoozit if you had not achieved it “successfully”?!?
The words ‘achieve’ and ‘accomplish’ already are complete. They don’t need more modification to tell us that you actually did, in fact, achieve or accomplish the whatever-it-is.
(We’re not a fan of adverbs in general, as we mentioned in this post about trimming essays down, but that’s more a stylistic bit of advice than any rule, so we’ll just leave it at that.)
If you see such words on your resume, cut them, NOW. They also add noise to your essay but it’s perhaps less of a grievous sin in that context (it still makes us cringe when we see it). Rather than using adverbs to impart meaning, find ways to demonstrate your success. Give us numbers. What was the impact of your fabulous achievement? Who did it help? What were the benefits? How much money did it save the company, or what was the increase in revenues? Who got really happy because of your fine and noble deed? THOSE are the details that add pop and pizzazz and clarity to an essay or resume. THOSE are what will win you the game.
Ditch the “successfully”, and EssaySnark will thoroughly be impressed.