How to Write Achievements in a CV? [+ Examples]

Achievements in CV
Created by CakeResume

When writing a CV, many candidates are lost and unsure about how to impress the recruiter. 

If that’s your case, consider listing achievements in your curriculum vitae.

Listing achievements in a CV helps the recruiter understand how well you can do the job, rather than the responsibilities you’re expected to fulfill.

Let’s see some examples of achievements in a CV:

X:  I am responsible for social media (FB, Instagram, and Tik Tok) marketing material planning.

O: Increased fan base by 25% and reached 2M international audience on social media (FB, Instagram, and Tik Tok) by designing cross-platform campaigns.

Clearly, an achievement-based CV with convincing details will catch the recruiter’s eyes. 

Want to win a dream interview? 

Let’s walk you through how to write achievements in a CV.

What Are Achievements in a CV?

First, achievements are not what you’re expected to do. If you are a waiter, making tables and taking orders are not achievements.

Achievements in a CV are impressive highlights that demonstrate your outstanding skills or capability. Key achievements prove that a person surpasses the average quality and aims at being better than required.  

Here are the types of achievements that can be included in a CV:

💡 Personal achievements

Personal achievements in a CV might include experience like completing a full marathon or having been to more than 25 countries. 

There are debates on whether a professional CV should include personal achievements. 

The best strategy is to think from the recruiter’s perspective. Personal achievements like those can be eye-catching if you are applying for roles in the entertainment or sports industry. 

However, you should try to include only the relevant personal achievements in your CV to spark the hiring manager’s interest.

💡 Professional achievements

Professional achievements are career highlights that can represent your job skills. It is the most common type of achievement in a CV that applicants list. 

Key professional achievements in a CV are extraordinary performances that prove a candidate fulfills the duty and make additional contributions to the company and the client.

Examples of professional achievements to put in a CV:

  • Work-related awards received (e.g., Best Customer Service of the Year)
  • Industry or competition awards (e.g., Red Dot Design Award)
  • Special promotions you got in your job
  • Money saved for the company (with the amount or percentage specified)
  • Revenue or sales you increased (with the amount or percentage specified)
  • Time saved for a project or procedure (with the amount or percentage specified)
  • Media exposure or coverage earned for the company
  • Efficient procedures or systems you developed, streamlined, or optimized
  • Problems you identified or analyzed
  • Successful solutions you have suggested, deployed, and implemented
  • Additional professional training or certifications you completed

💡 Academic achievements

It’s crucial to provide distinguished academic achievements in the CV for students or recent graduates if they have limited to no professional experience. 

The benefits of listing academic achievements, such as a high GPA, Latin honors, Dean’s lists, or publications in a CV, are that they show a candidate’s potential and characteristics, such as hard-working, that are valued. 

Other unique academic CV accomplishments, such as joining a foreign university lab research or helping organize an academic conference, are also ideal experiences that add value to your CV.

💡 Sports achievements

Participation in sports is a great way to display key soft skills for a future career on a CV. It demonstrates teamwork skills, perseverance, self-motivation, and more. 

Where to List Achievements in a CV

To outperform other applicants, you need to know where to list your achievements in a CV.

There are four sections in a CV to write about different kinds of achievements.

1. CV summary 

A CV summary is a short passage with 3-5 sentences that describes your professional profile. For job applicants, it’s also a key section to incorporate their best career performance into.

Pros:

A CV summary is like a hook. Adding accomplishments in the CV summary invites the recruiter to learn more about you and read on to other sections.

Cons:

    If your accomplishments in the CV profile are written in an uninviting manner, the recruiters might drop your CV immediately.

Example of including achievements in a CV summary:

Versatile cyber security project manager with 5+ years of experience organizing projects for diverse clients. Seeking to join Camellia to help provide high-class service and raise profit. At Turbo, cut average project time by 15% and saved $5k per project by improving communication and implementing effective risk management solutions.

2. Work experience section

For recruiters, the work experience section is the most important part of a CV. 

They expect to review your work history and accomplishments to determine whether or not they should invite you to an interview. 

As a result, this is the best section in a CV to include all your exceptional achievements.

Example of including achievements in the work experience section:

Software Engineer | PlayStation

  • Implemented server features 15% earlier than the estimated delivery.
  • Documented key technical areas for presentation with a team of 20+ engineers.
  • Trained 8 interns to develop 7 migration plans for micro-service components.

Pros:

The work experience section is the section recruiters care about most. Junior level applicants or more experienced ones can simply list accomplishments in this section of your CV.

Cons:

To position yourself as a strong applicant, you must list CV accomplishments related to the job posting. Hiring managers will easily dismiss irrelevant accomplishments.

3. Education section

The education section in a CV is another highlight for recent graduates or students looking for an entry-level job or an internship.

Academic achievements in a CV will immediately add value to a candidate, especially when hiring managers are looking for freshers with high potential and dedication.

Pros:

Including achievements in the education section in a CV is favorable for freshers and students.

Cons:

Emphasizing GPA or other achievements in a CV works best for students and recent graduates but is less helpful for job candidates who have 3+ years of experience.

Example of including achievements in the education section:

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
B.S. in Information
2020

  • GPA 3.9, Dean’s List 2018, 2019.
  • Exchange program at Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, GPA 4.0.
  • Organized activities to o promote inclusiveness in data science and managed the second largest student club in the school of management (50+ members).

4. Awards & achievements section

Recruiters from different industries look for different accomplishments in a CV. For example, design awards are definitely a huge plus for the design industry. 

If you have several industry-related awards that do not fit in the work experience section, consider adding the accomplishments in an additional “Awards” section in the CV.

Pros:

Creating a specific section for your awards is eye-catching and will make you look like a professional.

Cons:

It might take up extra space in your CV.

Example of including achievements in the awards & achievements section:

Awards & Achievements

  • Won 6 “Sites of the Day” by Awards
  • Core77 Service Design winner 2019
  • 67th TDC Communication Design Competition

How to List Achievements in a CV

Now you know where to put accomplishments in a CV. 

Here comes the ultimate question: How do you describe previous work experience in a CV to prove that you have impressive achievements? 

There are many ways to put your effort into words. Nevertheless, which is most appealing and persuasive for the hiring managers?

Here’s the formula to describe your accomplishments in a CV and make them shine..

✨ Measurements

It’s great that you’ve done a lot for your work. Yet, when describing your work, adding understandable context to the hiring manager is important.

Measurements are tools to help us calculate things and be more specific. 

Here are several questions to help you measure your accomplishments in your CV: 

  • How many people are involved?
  • How much money is involved?
  • How often do you perform a certain task?
  • Did you exceed any expectations? If so, by how much?

✨ Duration

When writing about your achievements, it’s best to add the duration of the project alongside measurements. How long does it last? Specify the duration, whether it’s a year, a month, or a week.

✨ Quantifiable results

Finally, after you provide background knowledge of your achievements, don’t forget to add the final results. 

Results, similar to the measured background of your work, should be quantifiable. 

Don’t hesitate to spend some time calculating percentages or the amount of financial impact you make in your CV achievements.

CV Achievement Examples

Achievements to put on a CV for teenagers:

  • Managed food catering and table set up for a $10k fundraiser party.
  • Commended by the manager for being detail-focused and attentive.

CV Achievements in a CV for freshers:

  • Developed a habit-tracking app with 10k downloads on App Store with Swift.
  • Organized marketing campaigns for an anti-drug club that reached 50k people.

Achievements in a CV for students: 

  • Assisted the organization of a 1-week SIGCHI international conference with 800+ attendants. 

HR achievements in a CV:

  • Ogranized training events for 15 new employees and received 98% positive feedback.

Nurse CV achievements:

  • Monitored and documented 20 patients daily to assist doctors with diagnosis.

Customer service achievements in a CV:

  • Awarded "customer service representative of the quarter" based on customer satisfaction, speed, and sales performance.

Key achievements in retail:

  • Exceeded sales goal by more than 20% in Q1-Q3.
  • Reduced search time from 6 mins to 2 mins by introducing inventory reorganization systems.

Software developer achievements in a CV:

  • Reduced monthly cost by $300 by streamlining online chat service with social marketing accounts.
  • Developed business dashboard to provide real-time monitor platforms for inventory and procurement.

Accountant achievements in a CV:

  • Designed customized accounting procedures to reduce paperwork by 15%.
  • Trained new accounting staff to abide by rigorous document regulations.

Sales manager CV achievements:

  • Increased sales by 6% each quarter after implementing an efficient sales strategy.

Key achievements in a CV for project managers:

  • Streamlined project cycle and unified document format to reduce average stage development time by 10%.

Sports achievements in a CV:

  • Maintained a rigorous 3.5 hr training from 5.00 am daily.
  • Assisted members with communication and conflict resolutions during stressful national league games.

UX/UI Designer achievements in a CV:

  • Established logical surveys and conducted 6 insightful interviews to create a clear persona.

Administrative Assistant achievements in a CV:

  • Saved $2,500 expenditures in office supplies by renegotiating with the current supplier.
  • Reorganized email reply schedule to reduce time by 35%, from 14 hours per week to 9 hours.

Tips on How to Write Achievements in a CV

Surely, describing your achievements in a CV can be a pain in the neck. You might encounter problems like:

  • Not knowing the result of the work you do
  • Not sure about what counts as achievements in a CV
  • Not sure if the hiring manager would be interested in your accomplishments
  • Not sure how to put your achievements in the CV to make it attractive

Here are some tips to help you write about accomplishments on your CV:

✅ Reach out to previous clients or employers for details.

Oftentimes, we don’t have access to financial details or back-end data that we can use to back up our achievements in the CV. If you’re wondering about the numbers or outcome of your work, asking your manager or previous clients may be a good idea. 

The employer and clients, in most cases, are willing to share the result unless classified data is involved. Asking for KPI information or numerical documents is acceptable. 

Of course, you should explain your purpose politely and add that it’s solely for job searching purposes and writing about your accomplishments in your CV, and these materials would not be leaked or utilized with malicious intention.

✅ Utilize adjectives or adverbs. 

When writing accomplishments in the CV, word choices matter. Adding powerful adjectives or adverbs like “significant” or “accurately” will make your accomplishments look influential. 

✅ Differentiate achievements from responsibilities.

After finishing your achievements in your CV, read it again. How does this description portray you? 

Ideally, your accomplishments in the CV are elements that reflect your goal-oriented and problem-solving working skills. 

If the descriptions are merely information about what you’re asked to do, you should rewrite them.

✅ Always use quantifiable results.

Numbers really pop. 

Arabic numbers are not only easier to interpret and calculate, but they are also visually distinguishable from letters. Whenever it’s possible, use numbers to write about your accomplishments and work results in the CV. 

Moreover, it shows that you value the result of your work and are willing to dedicate more to achieving your goal.

✅ Highlight key accomplishments and be ready to talk about them in an interview.

Suppose that there are more than 5 accomplishments you’d like to add to each job in your CV. In this case, you can choose to highlight one or two of your best performances for the recruiter in the CV like this:

Key performance: Cut production cost by 35% and $10k annual expenditure by establishing a positive rapport with suppliers and utilizing negotiation skills.

Since it’s your key achievement in the CV, you are likely to be asked about it in the interview. Make sure you can present the details of the achievement coherently.

🔑 Key Takeaways: 

  • Collect and calculate the results of your past work.
  • List your accomplishments in the CV work experience section.
  • Use metrics and quantifiable results to make achievements more specific.
  • Make your achievement as relevant to the job posting ad as possible.
  • Add accomplishments in your CV profile to catch the hiring manager’s attention.

With CakeResume, you can easily create a CV online and download your CV’s PDF format for free. Land your dream job and create your CV online (free download) now!

--- Originally written by Wu Chao Min ---

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