“The problem is that most people focus on their failures rather than their successes. But the truth is that most people have more successes than failures”
In my last career blog I spoke about identifying your added value and recognising your transferable skills and how these skills are what make you marketable, providing you with an advantage over your competition. I also made a mention to the fact that they are essential to your career success and will ease your transition into a new role.
Then, having identified your transferable skills it’s important for you to speak about them confidently and to provide real life examples to support them, in other words what have you achieved to date?
Achievements are your success stories, the times when you have gone beyond the expectations of your role. Achievements provide you with an opportunity to stand out from your competition within the content of your CV and/or within an interview situation or performance review.
At this point I would like to reveal that you are not alone should you find it a struggle to recognise your achievements, in particular for those who work in operational roles rather than a role that generates income. But don’t despair, EVERYONE has achievements and the easiest way is to think back to where you added value which either generated and/or saved the company money and/or time. Perhaps you raised your companies profile, improved client relations or prevented a reputational risk.
How can you impress the reader of your CV by including your achievements? Think of yourself as a product, what are your features and benefits? Features that are used well can become achievements, for example….
- Prince2 Project Manager
- 15 years Global Operational experience
- Manager for a team of 8
- Replaced a manual payments process by implementing an automated system on time and within budget. Increased volumes by 100% and reduced cost by £X amount over a period of 1 year.
- Reduced operating costs by £X by off-shoring support functions to Singapore over a 6 month period.
- Improved efficiencies and morale within an underperforming team resulting in reduced outstanding items by X. In addition mentored 2 direct reports who have since achieved internal promotions.
- Contain a number, the bigger the better as it needs to be significant in order to make it memorable.
- Highlight the method of tools used for success i.e. how did you do it?
- No more than 2 lines for each achievement, as mentioned above you do not want to tell the whole story, keep if brief enticing the reader to want to know more.
- Include between 5-7 achievements ideally within the past 2 years.
When adding achievements to the content of your CV you do not need to tell the whole story but instead include key points to quickly grab the reader’s attention. Include a range of achievements to enable the reader of your CV to identify your transferable skills, the added value that you can bring to the role.
During an interview situation or performance review then you will be expected to talk about your achievements in greater detail and I will speak about this in my next Career Blog.
In the meantime think of yourself as a product…what are the benefits of buying you?
“Employers hire individuals whose features and achievements will benefit the organisation”
“Holding the hands of the Job Seeker”