How To Write Great Achievements In Your Resume (with Examples)

December 02, 2021

Accomplishments

Over 80% of the applicants to a job advertisement will meet all the requirements of the role, but less than 10% will actually be called in for an interview

How can you get into that 10%? 

By writing Achievements in your Resume!

There’s no better way to stand out from the crowd and make your CV shine than by showing off your accomplishments.

In this blog post, we’ll cover what an achievement is, why you should include them, and how to write achievements into your CV. We’ve also got a few examples for your reference!

What is an Achievement?

An achievement is a short-term accomplishment that you attain at work that goes above and beyond your usual activities.

It could be finishing a particularly difficult project, bringing in new business, or improving a process at work.

Achievements are tasks that:

  • Bring value to your company or shows off your skills
  • Provide a clear picture of you in action at work
  • Are NOT part of going day-to-day business

A good achievement makes you look like a passionate candidate with a unique set of skills. When a hiring manager, recruiter, or employer reads your CV and sees an achievement, they will think:

“Oh hey, I can see this candidate doing the same thing at MY company.

Why Should I Write Achievements in my CV?

The goal of every resume or CV you send in is to secure a job interview.

Unfortunately for you, everyone else has the same goal. It’s also likely they’ll be perfectly qualified for the job.

Employers aren’t looking for average; the difference between a resume that gets passed over and one that gets shortlisted is a candidate who seems exceptional. So how do you make your Resume shine?

The best way to do that is to include achievements in your CV. Listing achievements will:

  1. Make you a more credible candidate. A good achievement will help employers realise that you aren’t just good at your job, you’re great! They’re a chance to show off your abilities clearly.
  2. Make you sound unique. Lots of people have your job description, but nobody else has your achievements! A unique achievement makes you stick in an employer or hiring manager’s mind.
  3. Show concrete examples of you at work. It’s one thing to tell an employer what you do, it’s another to show them how you do it. Achievements give readers a clear idea of you at work. It helps them picture you working for them in turn!

How to Write Achievements in a Resume

Write Achievements under a separate heading within each work experience listed on your resume.

This differentiates your standout traits from regular job descriptions.

Employers can see your accomplishments at a glance and identify how you’ve gone above and beyond your usual role.

Your application becomes more memorable as a result!

Every achievement should follow what we call the “3M Formula”. They need to have:

  • Merits: What value your achievement brought to the company
  • Metrics: How the success of your achievement was measured
  • Method: How you were responsible for the achievement

How Writing Great Achievements Improve Your Application: An Example

For example, Tim is a candidate looking to get into a senior role in Sales. He had a particularly good year in his current position and decides to list it as an achievement, but it looks like this:

Grew sales within the department in 2021 while serving as Associate Sales Manager.

What’s wrong with the above line?

Well, it doesn’t tell us much, if anything, about what Tim is like as a job candidate.

Now, if Tim added merits, metrics, and methods to his achievement, it might look something like this:

Achieved sales growth of 35% YOY; created new sales collateral and installed clear reminders to contact clients during buying process to ensure follow through and closure of purchase of investment instruments.

Suddenly, we see that Tim is an incredibly effective, organised leader who knows how to conduct thorough client follow-ups to close deals!

These details are crucial to describing your achievements and showing how they bring value to a potential employer. A short and simple way to remember it is this formula: 

“Secured [X] as measured by [Y] by doing [Z].”

Types of Achievements to Include in a CV

There are all sorts of different experiences and accomplishments that would look good as a CV achievement, but it’s important to match your achievements to the job you’re applying for.

Keep your resume short and sharp, so don’t pad it with unnecessary achievements.

Here are some examples of Types of Achievements that might inspire you:

Type 1: Making The Firm More Money

Instead of writing this:

  • Grew sales within the department in 2021 while serving as Associate Sales Manager

Why not write this?

Achieved sales growth of 35% YOY; created new sales collateral and installed clear reminders to contact clients during buying process to ensure follow through and closure of purchase of investment instruments

Type 2: Saving The Firm Money

Instead of writing this:

  • Negotiated new contracts with vendors and saved money for the firm

Why not write this?

Saved over 12 million USD annually by negotiating long term supply contracts with vendors; liaised closely with legal team to ensure inclusion of exit clauses for firm in the event of demand drop

Type 3: Increasing Productivity

Instead of writing this:

  • Automated a balance sheet data entry process

Why not write this?

Created automated balance sheet that pulls data from multiple locations; new automated process saves over 16 man hours weekly

Type 4: Solving A Critical Problem

Instead of writing this:

  • Server failed multiple times during traffic spikes, so I optimised the page’s code and implemented some load-reducing measures to improve uptimes

Why not write this?

Instrumental in resolution of server failures from high traffic spikes; minified page code and purchased content distribution network to reduce load on home servers. New changes resulted in page uptimes of 99.99%

Type 5: Leading A Large Project

Instead of writing this:

  • Managed a systems merger after acquiring a bottling plant to save on costs

Why not write this?

Played key role in managing merging of systems post acquisition of bottling plant; mapped out processes at new factory, identified redundancies as well as synergies. Led change management and achieved annual costs savings of 20% per unit from economies of scale

Conclusion

Hopefully these guidelines and examples give you a basic idea of how to write achievements in your resume.

Still unsure where to start? Consider checking out our free resume analysis service and paid resume-writing packages!

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