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How to list achievements on your CV: The power of numbers

Written by Andrew Arkley

 

A CV is the best way to showcase your talents and skills – but how can you make yours stand out from the crowd? The secret is in knowing how to list achievements on your CV.

 

To give yourself the best chance of securing your dream role, your CV needs to not only say you are good at your job, but to show you are as well. Using facts and figures to quantify your successes adds real credibility.

 

Read on to find out how to prove your value by highlighting achievements on your CV.

 

What does success look like?

Before you start to think about how to list achievements on your CV, you’ll need to consider what success may look like to your potential employer. What achievements would they find most useful for their business?

 

Depending on your industry, some examples of success may be:

 

-Negotiating better deals from a supplier

-Increasing press coverage

-Attracting new clients to the business

-Improving customer satisfaction rates

-Increasing efficiency through time-saving processes

-Training new staff members

 

Once that’s established, it becomes a lot easier to include numbers in your CV. 

 

For example, rather than simply writing ‘I have increased hits to the website’, you can add ‘I have increased hits to the website by 25 per cent in the last quarter’. 

 

It can also help to quantify this even further by putting these achievements into context: ‘Hits to the website have increased by 25 per cent, from 30,000 in the last quarter to 37,500 in the current quarter.’  

 

Time is of the essence 

When you initially start listing achievements on your CV you might think there’s little opportunity to include figures, but there are plenty of ways to quantify your work – including using time periods.  

 

Where possible, explain how much work you do in a certain time period – writing that you run the team’s social media accounts explains what you do, but saying ‘I run the team’s social media accounts, sending out and scheduling around 50 messages per day’ sounds a lot more impressive. 

 

It’s also worth thinking about whether you have done anything in your role that saves the company precious hours. Simple things like creating templates for standard email responses are great time savers, so it’s worth including them in your CV. Even it’s not possible to work out exact figures, stating that what you’ve done saves each employee at least two hours a week shows the work you do makes a real impact and will stand out to a potential new boss.  

 

Structuring your CV

Order is always important when it comes to a CV and most people are already aware that the most recent role should typically come first. 

 

However, when it comes to listing your achievements for each job, make sure you get the most impressive figures as high up as possible. Just because your most successful project in your current role was three years ago doesn’t mean it should be buried towards the bottom of the list – you want the figures to stand out and grab the reader’s attention as soon as possible.

 

Be specific

Another good way to get numbers into your CV is by thinking about specific projects rather than your job as a whole. For example, instead of just saying you write press releases, include a particular example that you can quantify: 

 

‘As part of a month-long campaign to increase ticket sales, I wrote ten press releases which generated 40 articles in regional and national media publications’. 

 

In addition, don’t just say you have management responsibilities and lead a team of people. For all the new employer knows this could be two people or two hundred, so help them out by giving them as much information as possible. 

 

Similarly, explaining that you’ve worked on a successful project or manage budgets is great – but don’t stop there. If possible, include the amount the project was worth or how much money you were in charge of – both will add credibility to your CV. 

 

Don’t be afraid to boast

Many people feel too self-conscious to really show off all they’ve achieved on their CV. But your CV is your best chance to showcase your successes so don’t be shy!

 

If you’ve exceeded your targets for the year – or even in a specific project – then say so and give the figures to prove it. 

 

Similarly, if you’ve worked on any campaigns that have finished ahead of schedule, it’s worth including those statistics as well. Showing you are a quick, reliable worker will certainly impress whoever is reading your CV, so don’t leave this information out! 

 

Money money money 

Even if you don’t work in sales, what you do will most likely be making – or saving - your company money in some way, and this is something any future boss will be interested in. 

 

For example, if your role is to resolve customer complaints, you may not automatically think about the money you have generated. However, by resolving 100 complaints you may have retained 100 customers – all of whom are giving money to the business. 

 

How to list achievements on your CV: A summary 

A CV that includes numbers to quantify your skills may take time and effort, but it will certainly help you grab that dream role. 

 

By giving strong examples, thinking outside the box and listing your achievements in a sensible order, you’ll be in with a great chance of getting to the next stage of the application process. 

 

For more advice on how to list achievements on your CV, don’t hesitate to contact us - we'd be happy to help. 

 

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