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Written by Paul DruryPaul Drury

How to write accomplishments for your CV

8 min read
How to write accomplishments for your CV
Artwork by:Katya Simacheva
While a CV should be a factual account of the highs of your career, there is a lot more to describing your accomplishments than just outlining what you did.

When applying for a job, it's important to help employers effectively envision you succeeding in the role. To do this, try to relate your past accomplishments to the new position whenever possible. Essentially, make it clear why you would excel in the job by connecting the dots for the hiring manager and showing them exactly why you're the best fit for the job. 

In this guide, we’ll explore how to construct an impressive accomplishment, where to list the achievement in the CV and effective accomplishment examples. Let’s begin!

List of accomplishments for a CV 

When you are choosing accomplishments for a CV, it is important to consider the sorts of tasks that you will be asked to perform with your future employer. 

Here is a list of accomplishments for a CV that you can use as an inspiration or direct basis for your CV:  
  • Increased sales or profit margins
  • Financial cost savings / improved bottom line
  • Improved productivity in terms of time spent
  • Solutions that you found to unsolved problems
  • Innovations or ideas that have led to a step-change
  • Processes improved and procedures developed
  • Awards that you have won (with a reason why)
  • Promotion to a different role in the company Impact on the development of those around you
  • Offer outstanding service to customers or clients In all of these situations

How to list accomplishments in your CV

A CV accomplishment structure typically consists of three parts: 

  • Action verb to demonstrate my skill Specific task that I completed.
  • Quantifiable outcome for my company.
  • One of the hallmarks of a great cover letter is a sprinkling of relevant and ideally fairly original action verbs.

Starting an accomplishment statement with a verb that outlines the skill that you have used is a great way to focus the attention of the reader. Take some time to consider what your greatest strengths are and appropriate action verbs that can help amplify your accomplishments. 

The task part of the accomplishment focuses on what you actually did. Try to be as specific as possible to give the detail of exactly what led to the eventual result. If it is a team effort, be sure to highlight what your part is, otherwise it is easily misconstrued at interview. An accomplishment would feel empty without an accompanying outcome. You might have created some new process, but unless you state how the process changed things for the better, the reader can equally assume that the impact may have been less than impressive. It is also critical that you are able to quantify the outcome. Use numbers, facts and figures where possible!

Expert tip

If you’re unsure how to write or measure your accomplishments, don’t fear! In our experience, there are three key ways to quantify the outcome of an accomplishment: timeframe, scale and range. The timeframe of the accomplishment allows employers to understand when the accomplishment took place. A 3% cost saving over a year is impressive, but over a six-year period it is definitely less so.

If you don’t mention the timescale, employers will have to make assumptions, so if the timescale is praise-worthy, don’t forget to include it! The scale of the accomplishment can also offer a sense of perspective. You might have generated $1.2M of business last year, but that achievement is so much more impressive if you mention that this was 70% of total sales (in a sales team of fifteen). When you consider that employers differ significantly in terms of turnover and size, you have to give a sense of scale to highlight the achievement. 

Where to list accomplishments in a CV 

There are two places that potential employers would expect applicants to enthuse about their accomplishments: in the work experience section and in the CV summary.

Work experience section 

Most CVs will contain a work experience section with 5-7 lines of text for each role, depending on the length of career. You can either include the accomplishment in the body of the text or as a bullet-pointed list. In this list, highlight your major achievements and use quantifiable metrics, wherever possible, to illustrate your professional impact.

Professional summary

Your professional summary can be a great place to share your professional strengths, skills and accomplishments with employers. Since the professional summary is right at the top of the document, including accomplishments in your professional summary can be a great way to start off on the right note with employers. 

This section is essentially a snapshot of your professional life, and it should briefly demonstrate the unique value you have to offer to a potential position. A well-crafted professional summary not only showcases your skills, but it also conveys your ability to deliver results. When done correctly, the professional summary can have a powerful impact on your likelihood of getting a call-back from potential employers!

Expert tip

Some applicants like to include awards on their CV, and if awards are particularly important for your industry, this can be a power move. However, if listing awards isn’t common for your industry, it is probably best to include awards in the work experience section next to the relevant role. 

CV Accomplishment Examples 

To help you get started, check out our samples and examples of CV accomplishments from different industries: 

Finance examples

Financial consultant example: Created a commodity price dashboard that led to 22% in cost savings for the company. Handled tax reporting for more than 50 clients, saving them money via returns and other methods, as well as streamlining the process to be quick and efficient. Advised over 100 clients over 3 years on ways to maximise savings and choose the best investment. 

Transport and logistics CV accomplishments 

Logistics coordinator: Developed and implemented an inventory management system for 12 warehouses, over 3000 sq. feet of space each. Handled deliveries of fast-spoiling goods during rush hour in downtown Dublin, with over 40 deliveries per day.

Social work 

Nanny: Handled childcare, household chores and minor educational tasks for 15 families over 8 years. Helped complete domestic tasks, including preparing meals, transporting children to school and sports games and ensuring common spaces were clean and organised. 

Expert tip

Curious about the best way to structure your accomplishments? Try listing them as bullet points! Using bullet points can be a great way to convey information. While your professional profile section and cover letter allows you the space to expand upon your professional story, short and sharp accomplishments listed in bullet point form can also help paint a great picture of your professional potential. 

Key Takeaways

We make successful, job-winning CVs simple. Say goodbye to spending hours rewriting your CV. Highlighting your accomplishments doesn’t have to be frustrating. To create a powerful CV that effectively zooms in on your skills, talents and accomplishments, focus on the following:  

  • Structure your accomplishments with three parts: an action verb, task and outcome
  • Quantify your achievements by using timeframe, scale and range
  • You can incorporate accomplishments in your professional summary and work experience sections
  • Make sure that the accomplishments you include are standout examples of excellence in your industry sector

Don’t be afraid to share your shine with employers and take your CV to the next level. The world is yours!

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