How achievements separate you from the rest
Job seekers, if you ever wonder what to say when you are asked why you should be hired, you aren’t separating yourself from the crowd. Without being able to do that, you’ll never get hired, or only land positions that require ordinary people. You want the vacancies that require exceptional skills in some form or another.
In other words, what is special about you. Before you say: “Nothing!”, I promise you that every single one of us has something special about them that entitles them to brag a little. And if there’s nothing special about how you do your job, you probably aren’t very good at it and may consider a career change.
Help employers make up their mind
If you went shopping, you’d look at products that fit the general description of what you want. Then, you’d look closer and see which of them is the best one, depending on factors you know and then factors you didn’t know, but are introduced to. For example, two different pairs of jeans may be similar in every way until the shop assistant tells you one of them is made in Germany and the other in Thailand. Or that one of them is made in a factory that has no carbon emissions. Suddenly, you have a reason to choose one over the other.
Exactly this principle is used by salespeople all over the world, getting you to make decisions without knowing it. And exactly this principle is why you need to include your achievements on your CV, whatever they are. Ideally, they are going to be work-related and specific to each position you have worked in, or a selection thereof.
Achievements are the key
In all my years of recruiting, I must have come across CVs that contained achievements less than 1% of the time. That’s less than 1 CV in a hundred. It always baffled me, because when I interviewed the candidate, I’d ask what they did better than most or what their boss praised them for, and there was always an answer. I’d include that in their updated CV that I presented to the client companies and voila! – they got an interview. I even had a company tell me they’d seen the individual’s CV before and didn’t realise he was so amazing (he was!).
Some people say they don’t know how to sell themselves in an interview and I understand what they mean and how they feel. But let your CV do the talking upfront so that it’s easier for you to bring up your selling points at the interview itself.
Achievements are usually the following, but you may be able to think of others (please mention them in a comment below).
- Where you made money or saved money
- Where you saved or gained time
- A certain part of the work that you know exceptionally well
- Something your boss commended you for or you received an award for
- A special skill you have (even outside of your job)
- Something you know or have picked up that others won’t have
Where to mention your achievements
When you build your CV, add the achievements just under the description of what you did in each of your positions. Don’t pack your CV with achievements, try to mention the main ones that are relevant to the position you are applying for.
Achievements are the most important thing that is most often left out. Don’t be just another applicant – show the company you are applying for that you are special and worth consideration. Often, it’s these small tweaks at the start that lead to an interview, a second interview, an offer and finally a new job.