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

September 16, 2023

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.

When you list achievements, you don’t want to include your day to day activities, or talk about your personality traits either. Try to stick to your key achievements that your future employer would appreciate when you join their team.

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!

Though, not everyone knows how to add an achievements section to their resume. And actually, there’s a way you can incorporate achievements into your CV pretty easily.

How To Include Achievements in Your Resume

It’s a good idea to 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!

The 3M Formula

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

By doing this, you can make your resume stand out from the rest with some concise achievements showing that you’re a seasoned professional.

5 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:

1. Making The Firm More Money

Instead of writing this:

  • Grew sales within the department in 2022 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

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

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

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%

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

How to Improve Your Application with Achievements: Examples

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 2022 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].”

Key Achievement At Work Examples (Industry Based)

Cybersecurity (IT)

You can list any significant achievements in a simplified, bullet point list.

Significant Achievements
  • Conceptualized a 3-year Information Security strategic roadmap and ongoing action plans within 12 months for APAC subsidiaries, setting up and delivering ITIL best practices and governance.
  • Raised the overall Information Security maturity level/capability rating (CMMI) for 12 APAC subsidiaries to Level 3 (Defined) from Level 2 (Repeatable) within one (1) year.
  • Developed and implemented a new 3rd-party due diligence system and assessment framework for ~50 local entities/vendors.

Alternatively, you can dive deeper into specifics with a separate section based on your role:

Project: IT Infrastructure Enhancement (Project Lead)

  • Led diverse team and US counterparts, consolidating ICS systems and launched new IT server rack & power system.
  • Improved industrial system uptime relay at 99.9% by installing new failover site and overhauling centralized backup management system (Symantec Netbackup) preparing for disaster recovery and managed power redundancy.

Project: IT System Lifecycle Upgrade & Intrusion Detection System (IDS) Implementation (Project Lead, IT)

  • Drove system project scoping and review cadence on IT network infrastructure design to address functional requirements.
  • Spearheaded PCN IT system migration to new servers based on corporate ICS system security requirements; performed test cases (SAT, UAT), security source code review and documented IT configuration for go-live implementation.
  • Delivered integration project for IDS and IT environment within committed time, budget plan and defined specifications; partnered with vendor to configure IDS and perform sensitivity tuning.

Software Engineer (IT)

Here you can give a helicopter view by quantifying your achievements. It also shows a scale of your current responsibilities.

Significant Highlights

  • Completed end-to-end Phase 1 development lifecycle of proprietary trading system in 9 months, used by >100K end-users.
  • Spearheaded legacy system reconfiguration project, slashing transaction time by 20% and increased maximum transaction volume by 10% for Citibank.

You can also talk about your contributions and awards. When possible, mention the approaches you took on to achieve them.

Significant Highlights
  • Secured time savings and risk control of ~70% by building and implementing automation processes after identifying potential bottleneck and streaming opportunities.
  • Completed end-to-end Phase 1 development lifecycle of proprietary trading system in 9 months, used by >100K end-users.
  • Promoted to Senior Software Engineer in 3 years.
  • Reduced transaction time by 20% and increased maximum transaction volume by 10% by redesigning bank’s overall legacy system and implementing 4 new features.
  • Awarded Department Best Software Engineer award for 2Q 2011.

Banking Director (Finance)

Another way is by listing your achievements under your work experience as highlighted below.

May 2011 – Feb 2014
  • Single-handedly set up private banking operations desk targeting Middle East and Europe; responsible for acquisition and servicing of ultra high net worth clients
  • Leveraged on UBS’ wide network to acquire UHNW clients; tailor tax, legal, credit and investment solutions for complex offshore trusts
  • Provided mentorship to junior relationship managers; groomed and advised young executives on best practice and strategies to acquire clients and boost share of wallet
Significant Achievements
  • Successfully grew share of wallet to over 150 million USD; achieved growth of 50% over 2 years
  • Played key role in stabilising operations in Singapore; identified underperforming and unprofitable accounts and ensured removal

Finance Manager

When possible, mention the approaches you took and how it impacted your previous companies.

Significant Achievements
  • Played key role in improving accounting process during monthly dosing; streamlined process enabled quicker processing of accounts and improved productivity resulting in reduction in monthly closing from 3 days to 1 day.
  • Presided over due diligence on key acquisition target; audited financial statements and performed deep analysis into customer base, geographies, acquisition, and retention rates. CFO utilized findings as part of M&A business plan for board of directors and shareholders, resulting in successful M&A deal valued at >USD20M.
  • Single-handedly identified fundamental accounting structural flaw resulting in cost avoidance of USD 10M; led change in Excel toolkits and Hyperion mapping resulting in stronger controls and improved accounting practices.

Digital Marketer

Instead of writing your day to day responsibilities under your work experiences, you can list your achievements.

LAZADA, Singapore
  • Drove PPC marketing (SG + MY) for Lazada’s consumer electronics products (4’000+ SKUs) with monthly budget in excess of MYR 300’000.
  • Lead team of 4 executives overseeing MYR 12 million annual PPC budget across 6 SE-Asian Countries; conceptualise and execute paid campaigns to drive sales.
  • Rolled out 12 new PPC strategies resulting in 33% lift in clicks and 81% rise in PPC attributed revenue with no increases in budget.

Social Media Manager

Mention specific campaigns you led that drove increase in sales to prove success.

Remember to always use the 3M Formula! The more data you show, the better.

Significant Highlights
  • Teamed up with 28 Singapore bloggers & Instagram accounts to launch influencer campaign using the hashtag #UniquelyUniqloSG. Hashtag was trending on Twitter Singapore for 72 hours with more than 4’000 posts. Stores saw additional 8% increase in revenue within 7-day period from launch of campaign.
  • Instrumental in increasing foot traffic and revenue of 25 Uniqlo stores in Singapore by 15% for 2 consecutive years. Successfully developed strategies improving marketing-to-sales ratio from 35% to 5%.
  • Significantly increased Facebook likes of Uniqlo Singapore page by 244% and Twitter followers by 18% within 6 months. Captured new followers by posting engaging and witty commentary online.
  • Enhanced client relationships by closely monitoring brand engagement with customers’ enquiries, questions, and feedback.


Hopefully these guidelines and examples give you a basic idea of how to write achievements in your resume. You can add work related awards, and recent graduates may want to mention their academic achievements here.

Still unsure where to start? Consider checking out our free resume analysis service and paid resume-writing packages! We specialise in helping you to stand out from most job seekers that submit the same resume – with our help, you can make sure that you get through to the interview stage.

Harry Suresh
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