Achievements : You should view your CV as a piece of marketing literature. In fact, a very important piece of marketing literature. Your CV is very likely your one and only chance to secure an interview. That should focus the mind a little. It could be worth potentially thousands of pounds in terms of a step up the career ladder or, perhaps even more importantly, your passport to a more rewarding and satisfying long term career.
Your CV needs to work hard for you
It is vitally important that your CV works as hard as it can to market your expertise. Including relevant skills and key words is one thing, but what really makes the difference to an employer is evidence. That evidence should be substantiated examples of relevant achievements. If you can include facts and figures to support, then so much the better. Recruiters love achievements supported by hard data.
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Your CV is not a job description
Too many job seekers only include information on their duties and responsibilities. Some simply copy and paste job descriptions. This can come across as lazy and is definitely not the kind of message you want to be giving a potential employer. it means the information is generic and could apply to anyone doing that job. You need to demonstrate the difference you have made in your work.
Be active and descriptive
Most job descriptions are hypothetical. They have to be as they are generic guides to the tasks required for a particular role. In a large company there may be a great many people doing this same job. Your CV is different. It needs to demonstrate specific instances and examples of accomplishments that show you performing well in your role. So ground your CV in real life examples so the reader can visualise and picture clearly the great work you have done.
Include facts and figures
We often hear ‘…but it is difficult to quantify my achievements’. However, with a little deeper thinking you find most achievements can be deduced to a number in some form. These could be meeting key performance indicators, reducing time taken for a task, cutting costs or driving sales. Employers love numbers because they are black and white, irrefutable evidence of your success. They demonstrate being ‘results orientated’ and ‘outcomes focused’ without the need to say it.
Show the difference you make
Achievements show the difference you have made in your work and by inference the difference you will make to a new employer. Substantiated accomplishments give the employer confidence in calling you to interview. And that, of course, is the primary purpose of your CV. To make that decision for inviting you to interview as easy as possible.
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