Writing about your achievements in your cv

One of the most challenging things is how to describe achievements in your CV. Lets face it, we aren’t often encouraged to talk about how great we are. Still, you are going to need to have confidence in yourself throughout the job search process. If you are going to achieve success . If you want the employer to believe in you, you have to give them a reason to. It starts with letting them know how capable you are. You achieve this by describing your achievements in your CV.

Where to begin

Before putting together a CV consider what it is you are looking to tell the employer about yourself. Or rather, consider what it is they are looking for you to tell them about yourself. There is a big difference, and it matters so do your research . Your job description will guide you as to what they want to see. Consider each point in turn and how you could demonstrate your abilities in this area through what you‘ve experienced and achieved.

It is important to have the right perspective on what you have achieved. I have coached many talented people through the process who were uncomfortable viewing their achievements. This is no time for false modesty! See the value in what you have done, and show it! Any role you have performed has added value by helping to save time, or make money for your organisation. If it wasn’t you wouldn’t have had a job. Look for the achievement behind every duty you have performed.

How can I write about what I have achieved?

Employers want to know what you achieved. It is important to make the distinction between responsibilities and achievements. Responsibilities are duties you were assigned. Writing about them does little for you. What will set you apart is being able to quantify your achievements. This indicates you are someone who can add value and get results, exactly what employers are looking for.

If you worked on a project, what did you do, what did you achieve and what was the positive impact? One candidate I remember struggled with this concept because he had worked on a IT helpdesk first line and his work was not project based. However he was working for one of the UK’s largest outsourced IT providers supporting Sun Products all over the world! As I said, every role you have performed has added value. Think about the bigger picture of what you have achieved.

Now the achievements in your CV shouldn’t look like empty boasts. You need credibility, and that means you need to be able to back up what you say. So, you’re a brilliant, project manager? Prove it!

The STAR technique is a well known and widely used tool that will help you with this. Use it to identify specific examples to describe your achievements. Once you’ve done that, be sure to focus on the results, the positive outcomes you achieved.

For more on the star technique- click here

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