Achievement based CV: A quick way to getting shortlisted

By: Kelin Zvomuya | Posted On: 2021-07-08 02:09:54 | Updated On: 2021-11-28 05:11:17 | Views: 1963

The #1 secret to making any employer want to hire you is to list professional achievements and accomplishments on your resume. Simply because you were in charge of something spectacular in a previous job does not guarantee you excelled at it. Therefore, to help a future employer understand your potential, an achievement-focused CV focuses on the outcomes you achieved rather than the responsibilities you did.


Many job applicants leave out professional accomplishments since they write their CVs only based on the job description. Ironically, the employer already knows what you did base on your job title. So how about adding your achievement, awards, accomplishments and show how well you performed on the previous job. This will put you way ahead of the rest of the applicant pool.

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What is Shortlisting?

Shortlisting is the process made by recruiters to select individuals from an application pool who best fit the requirements necessary and preferred criteria and would be forwarded to the next stage of the hiring process, which is generally an interview. Shortlisting is used to find the applicants who best satisfy the selection criteria and are most likely to perform the job tasks.


What are Achievements?

Achievement: Any activity, action, or task effectively completed or obtained by effort and skill.

There are two primary categories of Achievements:

  1. Personal achievements: include receiving awards, winning contests, receiving excellent marks in school, volunteering, and participating in athletic activities.


  1. Professional achievements: saved the firm time and money, improved performance, promoted the development, met and surpassed job objectives.


Why Should You Use an Achievement-based CV?

Assume that you are in charge of interviewing candidates for a position in your own company. There are 30 CVs in front of you, each with identical qualifications, several relevant prior employment, and suitable work experience placements.



How do you decide whom you want to interview?

Creating a CV that focuses on actual abilities rather than duties can make your CV stand out and enhance one's chances of getting an interview.

Consider the following two scenarios:

  • 'I was in charge of the file system at the firm.'
  • 'By streamlining the company's file system, I was able to save $7,000 in temporary labour expenditures.'

Which one do you think you'd prefer? An achievement-based CV demonstrates your prior success and assures an interviewer that you will work hard to attain your goals.


What Should Be Included in Your Achievements?

Your accomplishments are the things you did that had a beneficial influence on your employer's operations. The abilities and information you'd need to execute your day-to-day tasks aren't considered.


Quantifiable accomplishments are the most impactful, therefore use figures or percentages wherever feasible. If you don't know the precise amount, it's OK to estimate as long as you mention that you're doing so. It's critical to be sure that what you're stating is truthful and can be verified if an interviewer asks for a reference from a previous job.


You can still incorporate teamwork if you accomplished some of your best accomplishments as part of a group. 'Member of a high-performing team that received the regional support award last year,' for example. Highlighting team accomplishments shows that you can work well with others, but it doesn't necessarily show how you contributed to the team's success.


To make the most of your influence, make sure to give precise facts about the role you performed. Please don't leave it up to the individual reading your CV to figure out what you contributed. Thus, keep them short but comprehensive enough to show the problem or difficulty you addressed, how you solved it and the tangible effects of your efforts.


The Benefits of Including your Achievements on your CV

  1. Past Performance is an Indicator of Future Performance

Your accomplishments reveal a lot about you to potential employers.

"If you want to predict someone's future, look to their past," says a well-known adage. According to Behavioural Consistency theory, people tend to behave in a manner that matches their past behaviours. Therefore if you want to predict someones' performance on the job, better observe the past performances.


When an employer sees your successes on your CV, they will say to themselves, "Here's a person who has accomplished great things in the past; they are certainly capable of doing even greater things for us in the future."


  1. Employers Prefer Candidates with Accomplishment-based CVs

If your CV focuses on your accomplishments rather than your duties or responsibilities, you are more likely to get contacted for a job interview.

Applicants with achievement-focused CVs were three times more likely to be shortlisted for job interviews than those with duties-focused CVs, according to research performed by the authors of "Brilliant CV: What employers want to see & how to say it."


Employers Prefer Candidates with Accomplishment-based Cvs

Obtained from:


You can Include the Following Achievements on your CV:

  • Financial gain- Most firms, especially those in the private sector, rely on revenue to survive. Anything you can put on your CV to demonstrate your contribution to an increase in business revenue will be remarkable.
  • Financial savings- Spending has an impact on an employer's bottom line, so demonstrating that you've saved costs in any manner can help you establish your worth.
  • Time savings- Time is a valuable resource for any company, therefore mentioning instances when you saved time can help your CV stand out.
  • Growth- Highlight each time you contributed to increasing market share, customer lists, revenues, or any other key measure in your CV.
  • Customer goals- If you can provide examples of how you've assisted customers/clients in achieving their objectives, you'll have a strong foundation for future success.
  • Targets- Achieving and exceeding targets established by prior employers is a great way to demonstrate that you go above and beyond.

You may add more achievements to this list depending on your sector or industry.



Achievements are an essential element of every effective CV.

A strong applicant should demonstrate how their activities influence their employer and contribute to their success in addition to listing their duties. Add impressive accomplishments to your CV's job descriptions to show recruiters how much of an effect you have and that you're not just there to fill time.

If feasible, quantify your accomplishments using compelling facts and statistics to ensure that employers understand the value you will offer to them.

Remember: The best predictor of future performance is past performance.

Kelin Zvomuya
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