The general reluctance to 'sing your own praises' is often a stumbling block when it comes to writing a CV. Selling ourselves on paper doesn’t come easily to many of us, but if you master the art your career trajectory will inevitably travel on an upward curve.
It is quite conceivable that your CV has a ten-second window in which to catch the eye of a potential employer. In such a timeframe will a HR professional or hiring manager be drawn more by a list of your daily job duties or evidence of your efforts achieving positive results? The latter option will win on every occasion and that is why your key achievements need to be identified and included in your CV.
Knowing what your key achievements are will boost your self-confidence and provide you with powerful selling points in an interview situation. So how do you identify your key achievements if they don't immediately spring to mind?
Your key achievements do not have to be mind-blowing or worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize, they do not have to be achieved on your own and highlighting your role in a successful team is perfectly acceptable. Everyone has life experience and there is nothing wrong with referring to accomplishments from your personal life, this is particularly relevant for those lacking work experience. Your key achievements can be big or small, very impressive or rather simple. Generally speaking a key achievement is anything that includes at least one of the following four outcomes. You:
- Enjoyed doing it
- Did it well
- Gained satisfaction from it
- Were proud of it
Many key achievements involve an element of problem solving, while others will simply refer to recognition from colleagues, managers, customers, family or friends. Any example you choose to use should contain a positive result, as this clarifies what you actually achieved, and be factual (i.e. it can potentially be verified by someone else).
In our next post we will list some examples of key achievements. Stay tuned!!