CV writing: think achievement and outcomes

CV Writers

CV writing: think achievement and outcomes

“It’s not what you do, it’s how well you do it”. It may be a cliché, but like most clichés, there is a strong ring of truth to it. This point is particularly pertinent in writing a CV. It still amazes me how many job seekers copy and paste their job description straight into a CV. Sometimes they even leave in the ‘the applicant will…’. It won’t surprise you that copied and pasted job descriptions do not impress employers.

Why you shouldn’t copy and paste a job description

Even though you may have carried out several roles with a similar title, the actual experience is usually very different for each employment. This will not be reflected in a job description. A job description is a generic statement of the responsibilities of a role. It has to be. In a large corporation there may be many more than one person doing exactly the same role. Of course, all of these individual experiences will be very different. And so, it is with your CV.  It has to convey your own personal experience within each employment.

Be specific and paint pictures

Some job seekers make general statements alluding to their successes. However, it is difficult to visualise and therefore remember generic statements. You need to paint pictures with your words so the reader can literally see your achievements in their mind and understand how you made an impact. Achievements need to be specific and measurable.  For example, “reduced monthly close period from 7 to 6 days through standardising processes” demonstrates a specific and measurable outcome.

Include facts and figures

“But it is difficult to quantify my achievements” is something we often hear. Yet a finance professional is surely better placed than most people to understand that most achievements can be derived to a numerical form. Many activities at work are related to either improving sales, lessening the time spent doing something or reducing costs. Providing numbers adds a real sense of concreteness to your CV and demonstrates being ‘results focused’ without the need to say it.  

Demonstrate the difference you make

By showing, through measurable examples, the difference you have made at work you are inferring the potential you bring to a new employer. There is no more powerful message than this in a CV. If you want to give confidence to the reader of your ability to do a great job, then including achievements is the single greatest asset to your CV.

This article is written by Neville Rose, Director of CV Writers.

CV Writers are the official CV partner to ACCA Careers.

In addition to a CV writing service they can help with LinkedIn profiles, cover letters and interview coaching. You can get things started with a Free CV Review.

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