Why having accomplishments in your CV matters
This blog will help you understand why having accomplishments in your CV makes it more readable.
It was 2pm on a warm March afternoon when I met Bill. After 8 months without a job, a scenario was developing - how much longer would he be able to stay in Perth without an income? He’d applied to over 70 jobs he was sure he’d be interviewed for.
He hadn’t heard back from 80% of them. He felt the Australian employment market had let him down.
Bill is sadly part of the reality currently facing thousands of Western Australians without work. The promise of jobs versus unnecessary red tape is staler than a month-old sandwich.
How much longer can Western Australia hide its real unemployment figures? Like looking through the lens of a kaleidoscope when someone’s coated the eye piece with ink, our Government and politicians hope we’ll remain blissfully unaware.
One thing that struck me about Bill was his resilience. He continued to apply for jobs, hoping he’d land lucky. The thing was, something was missing from Bill's CV - it didn’t show any accomplishments.
His resume was like most people’s. Was this the reason Bill wasn’t hearing back?
Why is it we underplay our accomplishments in life? It’s possible we’re told early in life, it’s not good to boast. We think modesty serves us well. Except, when it comes to job applications, employers automatically look for value in someone. And one of the easiest ways to spot this is in accomplishments written in CVs.
What are accomplishments?
Let’s unearth a common misbelief - accomplishments aren't responsibilities. They're measurable results showing how you’ve contributed to an employer. These results normally take the form of saving time or saving / making money, but they can also highlight how you’ve improved something.
Let’s take a look at two examples:
• A designer may demonstrate the quality of their work as follows, “worked with the engineering team to record zero defects and deliver the electrical framework 4 weeks ahead of schedule.”
• A sales engineer could show how they contributed to their company’s revenue: “introduced a new bottleneck elimination concept to a client, which increased revenue by $800k over 6 months.”
Accomplishments aren’t hard to write and add to your resume. Like Bill, you have to understand how to think of some first.
Think of your proudest moments at work
Can you think of a time when you overcame a challenge at work? Can you remember what actions you took and what the result was? If not, here are some questions to help you. Write down whatever comes into your head:
1. When did you last receive recognition or praise from your manager or work colleagues?
2. What was the problem you took on and what action did you take that deserved this recognition or praise?
3. What was the result from the action you took? (Did you receive a commendation, an award or a promotion?)
4. Why did you feel proud by achieving this result?
5. If you left your current employer tomorrow, what would your manager or work colleagues say about you when you’ve gone? (Other people can recognise your value quicker than you - ask them.)
Once you’ve written down your proudest moments, start adding accomplishments into your CV.
You might think accomplishments are brash statements. Employers view accomplishments as indicators for future performance. Your resume will stand out if you can highlight them..
Bill finds a way
Bill didn’t find it easy to move past his modesty. 4 weeks after he added some accomplishments into his CV, he started getting called in for some interviews.
What did he talk about in his interviews? The accomplishments the employer wants to hear more about.
Accomplishments do matter. Here's a guide on how you can add them to your CV today.
Looking for further help?