How to write Achievements in your CV

How to write Achievements in your CV

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How to write Achievements in your CV Daniel Mutuku

When writing your CV you need to cover your basic job responsibilities but without just mentioning the routine. Keep your duty summaries concise and try to concentrate on the results that came out of your everyday work. So, highlight your achievements, not your duties.

Achievements VS Responsibilities

From the way most CVs are worded, candidates come across as “doer,” as opposed to “achiever.” Too many of the job responsibilities are task-based and not results-based. This means that they tell what you did, instead of what you achieved. This is a common mistake for non-professional CV writers. To be effective and create excitement, a great CV helps the hiring executive picture you delivering similar achievements at his or her company.

What are Achievements?

Achievements are things you did that had a lasting impact for your company or client. It is a result that you personally bring about while fulfilling a particular role. Typically they are things that you created, built, designed, sold or initiated. It is not the same as responsibilities that come under a job description, as these remain fixed no matter who is employed in the post. An achievement is unique to your experience and tells the employer that you can deliver. So, keep your duty summaries concise, and focus instead on unique accomplishments.

Many people are uncertain how to express their achievements vs. responsibilities. This is because many responsibilities can often seem to be achievements and most achievements can appear to be responsibilities. To avoid any confusion, you must focus on determining which of the experiences that you have gained through the workforce can be classified as achievements and which ones can be classified as responsibilities.

Structure of an Achievement

An achievement consists of three components:

  1. Using a particular skill.
  2. Carrying out a particular activity.
  3. Getting a measurable / quantifiable result / benefit.

The “What? / So What?” Formula

Successfully writing the achievements section of your CV is perhaps the most difficult part of your CV. The simplest means of doing this is to employ the ‘What?/So What?’ formula, a two-step process that asks:

  • What did I do?
  • So what? What was the quantifiable result?

Rather than stating that ‘you were responsible for a team of 10 people’, you could instead say that you ‘planned, arranged and hosted a team building away day, which resulted in improved communications within the office.


What did I do? So what?   Made a complicated inventory program for my company. Saved the company time and money. Wrote a complex inventory application, saving time and money.
What did I do? So what?   Implemented a new accounting system. Implemented a new accounting system for multiple locations reducing time for customer inquiries
What did I do? So what? Implemented a new client service program. Developed and implemented client service program, which expanded small-to-medium client base 35%

Examples of Achievement Statements

  • Developed a new employee orientation program that 100% of the company locations adopted.
  • Responded to over 85 customer calls daily and solved 90% of their concerns.
  • Served customers in a positive way, receiving two customer service awards in the past year.
  • Assisted credit manager in account collection by phone and mail, increasing accounts receivables by 20%.
  • Created a multi-media campaign that increased enrollment by 700 students in eight years.

List of achievements

  • Re-organized something to make it work better
  • Identified a problem and solved it
  • Come up with a new idea that improved things
  • Developed or implemented new procedures or systems
  • Worked on special projects
  • Received awards
  • Been complimented by your supervisor or co-workers
  • Increased revenue or sales for the company
  • Saved money for the company
  • Saved time for the company
  • Contributed to good customer service

Do you have any challenges writing a professional CV that communicates your value to the employers? Feel free to contact me. If you found this article helpful, share it.

MUST READ:Work with NGOs Starting Salary- Ksh 200k

Daniel Mutuku

Daniel Mutuku,

Personal and Professional Development Coach at Careerpoint Solutions

Email: daniel@careerpoint.co.ke

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