By the time we reach employment age, we’ve all notched up an achievement or two of varying degrees. While your fellow candidate might have been the under-18 European Chess Champion at the age of just 12, you can be comfortable in the knowledge that you came third in a field of five at your primary school egg and spoon race. But while the chess achievements of your compatriot are certainly worth mentioning in the ‘personal interests’ section of their CV, the glory of your bronze medal is probably best shared with only your closest family and friends.
So, just what sort of achievement is worth mentioning on a CV or job application? You don’t want to look like a show-off, but equally, it’s important that you mention achievements that prospective employers will view in a positive light. Here are a few examples to help.
What results have you achieved?
Recruiters and hiring managers love to see facts and figures that can be easily verified, which is why achievements based around results are so effective. They can be used to validate the skills and experience you have mentioned on your CV and give prospective employers a better idea of the impact you could make in your new role.
- Educational results: If you have achieved a first-class degree, won awards for your educational achievements or excelled in certain subjects, it’s certainly something you should include on your CV. You should also be prepared to provide the documentation to back it up.
- Managerial results: What impact have you had on the teams you have managed in the past? If you have boosted productivity, then make sure you explain how you achieved it and what impact you had. Remember, figures are essential, so be prepared to verify your claims by providing a relevant reference.
- Business development results: The world of sales is all about results, so this is one area where it should be easy to demonstrate your achievements. For example, you could include statements such as ‘I was the top seller in a team of five in 2018’ or ‘I secured 10 new clients on long-term contracts over a 6-month period’.
What progress have you made in your career?
Another area well worth showing off about is the career progression you’ve made to date. If you have risen through the ranks quickly, it shows hiring managers that other employers have identified the potential and attributes you have that can drive a business forward.
- Project success: What projects have you been in charge of or heavily involved in that have been an unrivalled success? Include the outcome of the project and the feedback you received from senior managers or clients.
- Role improvement: When have you gone above and beyond to learn new skills, take on additional responsibility or expand your knowledge of the business? Taking a proactive approach to your development shows prospective employers that you are a self-starter and want to help the business achieve its goals.
What personal achievements have you accomplished?
Recruiters and hiring managers also want to see evidence that you are a well-rounded individual who is capable of working as part of a team towards a common goal. Including a personal achievement on your CV that you are particularly proud of is a great way to do this.
- Charitable achievements: Having a social and environmental conscience is more important than ever before. If you have worked with local community groups, spent time volunteering or completed a challenge to raise money for a charity, make sure you mention it.
- Personal awards: Rewards you have received for sporting successes or at school or university will also paint more of a complete picture of you as a person. For example, if you were the head boy at school or ran your university’s student union, it’s certainly worth including; however, don’t waste too much time on it.
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