By: Sobhan Mohmand, Editorial manager Last updated: 28 Oct 2018
Writing your personal achievements on your CV is a great way to make your CV stand out from the crowd. Your achievements or accomplishments are a testimony of your skills, abilities, commitment and high performance.
Many job seekers, unfortunately, simply list down their previous job’s duties and responsibilities while failing to mention what they have actually achieved or accomplished in that role. They confuse movement (i.e. actions) with results (i.e. accomplishments). There is a big difference between the two.
Similarly, they also fail to mention all their personal accomplishments in their studies or extracurricular activities.
Let’s get started!
Achievement: Any activity, action or task that is accomplished or attained successfully through effort and skill.
Achievements can be roughly divided into two main categories:
They do not include:
Your personal attainments tell the prospective employers a lot about you.
There is a well-known saying which states:
“If you want to predict someone’s future, look at their past.”
An employer will look at your achievements on your CV and say to themselves, “Look, here is an individual who has achieved such-and-such goals for their previous employer; I bet they are more than capable to do the same for us!”
You are more likely to be invited for an interview if your CV is focused on your achievements, rather than on your duties or responsibilities.
According to an interesting research conducted by the authors of “Brilliant CV: What employers want to see & how to say it”, the applicants with achievement-focused CVs are three times more likely to be shortlisted for an interview compared to candidates with duties-focused CVs!
It is amazing how many times we have heard people say:
“But I haven’t really achieved anything…”
This is not true.
Everyone has achieved some things in their lives.
Personal accomplishments do not have to necessarily be significant to be included in your CV. Any accomplishments that portray you in a positive light is worthy of being included on your CV.
Personal accomplishments can be many things, including:
There are two popular formats in which applicants write their achievements:
1. Include it in a separate “Achievements section”
This is the most common way of presenting your attainments on your CV. There are many benefits of doing this, including; it stands out due to its prominent position, it acts as a quick list of your personal selling points, it encourages the prospective employer to read your CV in more detail.
We recommend following this format.
2. Include it across different parts of the CV.
In this format, applicants will mention their educational accomplishments in the education section, their professional accomplishments in the employment section, etc. This makes it easier for the employer to easily identify the area in which this achievement is relevant (e.g. education, employment, etc.)
You should now figure out your achievements in life, education and employment. Try to think back on some important moments of your life and find instances which made you proud and happy about your performance.
When listing down your attainments, bear in mind the following:
You should now have a list of key achievements.
TIP: If some of your achievements are irrelevant to the job you’re applying for you should simply omit them. Do not fill up valuable space from your CV with unrelated or unimportant information.
You should only include up to 3 accomplishments in the achievements section. If you include any more it will take up valuable space and look cluttered. You can include any additional examples as part of the other sections of your CV.
When prioritising, ask yourself the following question:
TIP: Use a variety of personal accomplishments as that will make you look like an all-rounded person. For example, do not include three examples from employment alone but also include personal, life and academic achievements.
The following are the guidelines for writing your attainments in your CV:
Writing accomplishments on your CV is a great way to make your CV stand out from a pile of other CVs. Your CV achievements give the prospective employer an instance glance of your unique selling points, encouraging them to spend more time considering your application and potentially inviting you to a job interview.