The 6 best achievements to show on your CV



To gain an interview you have to write a great CV. Whilst every employer has their own opinion on what makes a top class CV, it can be agreed throughout the recruitment industry that each application requires two main ingredients:

  • A list of the relevant skills, qualifications and experience
  • An indication of past performances and a list of results/achievements

Every job seeker aims to cover the first part of this important strategy, but most fail to provide any kind of evidence that they are a capable worker. Anyone can claim to have a whole range of skills, but how is the employer able to identify to what level that person can function within the workplace?

The answer is surprisingly simple – include achievements on your CV and demonstrate your worth.

Here are the 6 best achievements to show on your CV.

Cost cutting

Finding a solution to cut down costs can save the company a lot of money. Even the smallest of margins can make a big difference, so if you have an example to share on your CV – go for it!

What makes this achievement stand out is the fact that you are likely not receiving any additional salary, bonus or commission for your cost saving idea. So you are demonstrating your ability to think about the bigger picture and put the company first. This is a very attractive trait and one which will push you closer to an interview.

As with all of the examples to follow, you should provide the numbers to back up your claims. Without this you could just be making it up, and the employer will naturally find it hard to believe. The hiring manager has seen it all and knows what to expect when reading through the many applications. The more numbers and stats you can provide, the more credible your application.

Problem solving

Solving problems and putting out fires is generally a part of most jobs, so when providing an example on your CV you should focus upon something which was clearly a bad situation at the time. If you provide examples of general issues that you would be expected to deal with on a daily basis, you are going to leave the hiring manager scratching their head.

As with all of our examples you need to focus on just a few that you feel are the most relevant. Problem solving could be a large part of your career, and so it’s important to only provide examples which are going to demonstrate your high skills in this area. For instance, if you worked in the hospitality industry you would likely have examples of angry customers or something going really wrong which affected the customer’s experience. Make sure you detail the problem, how you solved it, and the positive affect this had on the outcome – how happy the customer was.

Time saving

Implementing a change which saves a lot of time is another great way to demonstrate how you see the bigger picture. Again, use an example which had a huge positive affect on the customer, the company, or even both.

Saving time could result in an increase in turnover or a better customer experience. These are two great examples, but don’t forget to include any relevant numbers to back up your claims. You should also avoid anything which only really benefited you, and certainly not something which had a negative affect on someone else.

Team working

An achievement doesn’t just focus upon you, and there could be lots of examples you can provide showing how you achieved success as part of a team. Writing a CV isn’t always about trying to show how you are the hero in every scenario, and careers which require a team effort will always benefit greatly from a selfless team player.

If you are going to be working as part of a team then consider providing examples that show the success of a team. Try not to focus on yourself and instead explain how it was the efforts of everybody which got the job done. These types of examples are a great way of showing the employer that you respect the efforts of the team and how important it is that everybody works well together to achieve a common goal.

Be careful not to provide too many examples as you still do want to impress with your own individual achievements. But one or two will tick the ‘team working’ box and help instil confidence in your ability to integrate into any team.

Generated revenue/sales

Some careers rely heavily on employees to sell and generate revenue. Applying for another sales job would require you to provide evidence that you achieve great results. You could do this by detailing your targets and how you hit or exceeded them. Don’t forget to provide the actual numbers so the employer can believe how great you are.

There are also lots of other fields which help to promote the company and generate more revenue, like advertising, marketing, SEO and web design to name but a few. So you are not just limited to assuming that generating revenue or extra sales is always down to the salesperson, and there are lot of things that you could have been involved with behind the scenes that directly affected the cash flow.

Providing the stats on this one is extremely important because you can’t just say you made more money. But you can say that you increased revenue by 11% for the second half of 2018 due to a successful advertising campaign that you spearheaded – detailing what the campaign was and how it was successful.

Awards, accolades, achievements

Individual awards and accolades look great on a CV. Anything from an internal award like employee of the month, or an external award like regional sales winner will demonstrate your abilities.

We would recommend that you consider having a whole section on your CV dedicated to the individual things you’ve achieved over the years so you can make it clear that you are worth your weight in gold.

Remember to choose examples which are outside of your usual daily duties. An employer would only want to see outstanding achievements and exceptional results. If your expectations are much lower than the employers, you are probably not going to get many interviews. They want to see an application that shows you clearly aim high and get fantastic results.

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