How to Create an Achievement based CV?

Updated: Oct 19

Highlighting achievements is what differentiates the top candidates from the rest. Most job-seekers only mention their responsibilities and day-to-day tasks. But that’s not what’s going to make your CV stand out.


The hiring manager knows EXACTLY what responsibilities you have for your profession. After all, they are the ones that prepare job descriptions. Instead, to really get ahead of the competition, you should talk about your achievements or accomplishments.


This way, your resume is focused on how you stand out and not on what your job title is.


This article will cover:

  1. How to list achievements on your resume (and get the job)

  2. Where to mention your achievements

  3. Examples of Achievement based on your job role.


Achievements & Accomplishments on Your Resume

Well, compare these 2 entries:


Correct - Hit and exceeded department KPIs by 20% for 5 months in a row.

Incorrect - Increased the number of sales.


See the difference?


The first shows how, exactly, you stand out from the rest. You managed to hit KPIs (which is good) AND exceed them (even better) for 5 months in a row (amazing!).


The second example, on the other hand, does not say anything at all. It is pretty obvious that work in sales.


Huge difference, right?


Where Do I List my Achievements?


Listing accomplishments in the work experience section is the most common way to go.

Achievement based CV
Achievement based CV


You should also include achievements in your resume headline. A resume headline is a short summary of your career that goes on top of your resume and provides an introduction to the rest of your resume:

Achievement on Resume Summary
Achievement on Resume Summary

Here's what your average resume headline looks like:


“Experienced project manager with 5+ years of work experience seeking a position at Company X. Previous experience includes working at Company Y, developing software for clients such as Client A and Client B.”


This summary example is OK at best. All it says is that you’ve worked as a project manager for 5+ years in 2 companies.


Now, here’s what happens if we add an achievement or two...


“Experienced project manager with 5+ years of work experience seeking a position at Company X. Managed cross-department teams of 15+ people. Successfully managed the development of several software projects, including Project A and Project B.”


How to List Achievements (the Right Way)

Compare these 2 examples:


Significantly improved sales

Vs

Improved product sales by 12%, which led to a 20% increase in annual revenue.


The first is OK, but it is not nearly detailed enough. What’s “significant?” You could have improved sales by selling ONE extra product, or you could have lifted company revenue by 10%. The HR manager has no way of knowing which one it was! So, when possible, each of your achievements should include:


1) Timeframe

  • Over what timeframe did you work on the task? E.g. “Increased customer satisfaction rate within 3 months of employment at Company X”

  • How many times a week did you work on this task? E.g. “Talked to 50+ customers on a daily basis”

2) Scale

  • How many people did you manage/work with? E.g. “Managed a team of 5 software engineers to develop software solutions for clients.” or “Worked with a team of 6 to create award-winning ad campaigns for Company X.”

  • How big was the budget? E.g. “Successfully carried out X marketing campaign, going under the designated budget of Y USD.”

  • How many clients/customers did you work with? E.g. “Managed marketing campaigns of 5+ SaaS clients in the fin-tech and hr-tech industries.”

3. Results

  • When possible, you should also include the results that followed your achievements. E.g. “Delivered a 1.8x ROI on total ad spend of AED 22,000”.


What If I Do Not Have the Data?

This is a very common question among job-seekers. Unless you were actively keeping track of your results at your job, you probably don’t know how much impact, exactly, did your work have.


The solution here is pretty straightforward. Just reach out to your previous employer and ask for the data. They should be more than happy to send it over (at least most employers).


Below are sample Job based achievement examples


If you are in Sales and Business Development

  • Cold-called 20+ potential clients on a daily basis, with a closing rate of 10% to 20%.

  • Hit and exceeded sales KPIs by 30% for the months of October, November, and December in 2019

  • Managed 3 software projects end-to-end. Defined growth strategy, hired software and marketing team, and set goals and expectations.

  • Established new key partnerships with Company X and Company Y, resulting in a 20% increase in annual revenue.

If you are in Accounting and Finance

  • Managed an annual budget of $400,000 for a period of 7 years.

  • Worked with a team of 3 accountants, creating financial reports for all company activities composed of 8 departments.

  • Helped Company X stay within the budget for the past 3 years in a row

If you are in Marketing and Advertising

  • Fully managed Company X’s SEO. Created and published 10+ articles and built 40+ links on a monthly basis.

  • Revamped the copy for the Company X website, increasing conversions by 20%.

  • Led Facebook ad lead generation campaigns, driving 20+ leads for the sales team on a monthly basis, at a $2.7 CPC and $9 CPA.

If you are in IT

  • Improved error documentation systems, resulting in increased workplace efficiency and reduced yearly labor costs of $2,000.

  • Led and managed a team of six in developing new financial management software.

  • Developed company procedures and guidelines for data analysis and security that increased efficiency by 30% in the first six months after implementation.

If you are in Engineering

  • Increased performance of the engineering team during a critical Q4 by 15%, to successfully meet end-of-year KPIs.

  • Took 8 active building projects from research to development to completion in under 2 years.

If you are in Office Administration

  • Reached out to and made deals with new office supply providers, cutting annual supply costs by 20%.

  • Hired, trained, and managed 15+ cleaning and maintenance staff.

  • Assisted onboarding 14 employees during my time at Company X

  • Worked directly with the senior management, scheduling their meetings, flights, and other appointments on a daily basis


It is recommended to keep track of your results and achievements in your next job. Keep an updated resume and keep adding your achievements.


You will thank me for it later!




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