Know how to highlight your achievements on the CV
By Selipha Kihagi
Getting selected for an interview to a job you applied for is not always easy. Employers and recruiters will have to sift through a ton of CVs before they can decide on the best candidates to invite for the interview. This is why you must ensure that your CV is marketable enough to get you to the interview stage.
While having a professional CV that is well formatted is the first step towards getting the interview, highlighting your achievements in the CV is even more important. Recruiters and employers are always looking to hire someone who can deliver and including achievements will help confirm that. But how do you ensure that recruiters or hiring managers are able to spot your achievements in only the few seconds they spend with your CV?
How to highlight achievements on your CV
Before you even start to write your achievements, you need to understand what they are. Most people confuse awards for achievements and even put in their duties in place of achievements. Your achievements are anything you did in your previous or current job that made a positive impact on the company or client.
It is anything you helped create, initiate, improve or design for the benefit of the company and that is not part of your responsibilities. Can you think of any achievements?
Well, here is how to highlight your achievements on the CV;
1. Include your achievements below the duties & responsibilities for each position
In any position a company is looking to fill, employers and recruiters will always give your experience priority over other factors when considering your application. This then means that the work experience section in your CV is most important.
So, to make sure you impress the person scrutinizing your CV, list the achievements below your main duties for each position held. The achievements you list should be minimal (at most 3) and recent; not what you did 5 years ago.
2. Your achievements look impressive with numbers and figures
Employers always have a way of measuring the productivity of their employees regardless of the profession. It could be increasing sales in percentages, reducing costs in figures, bringing in more clients in numbers and increasing efficiency. Whatever your profession is, there is usually a way to quantify results and that is what recruiters want to see under your achievements.
For example; “I helped develop and implement a customer service program that significantly reduced the number of unhappy customers in one month” or “I created an online marketing campaign that helped increase sales by 35%”
3. Achievements on your CV should be in bullet form
Most people make the mistake of listing their responsibilities in paragraph form and thereby their achievements also in a paragraph. No employer is going to read through the paragraph to try and make out your experience. Your duties and achievements should always be listed in bullets.
Also, like earlier mentioned, your achievements should be just below the duties for each position. You also don’t want to seem like you are bragging so focus on the most important achievements, the rest you can talk about during the interview.
Everyone has achievements to show for. Just because you do not work in the sales department where you can say you increased sales doesn’t mean you do not have achievements. Improving customer satisfaction, growing numbers of social media followers, having no defects in your duties as a technician or even improving office efficiency as an administrative assistant are also counted as achievements.
So stop underestimating your achievements and get that job you really want.
Got a question on how to highlight achievements on your CV? Let us know below.