What should you list as an “Achievement” on your CV?

So you’ve heard (or been told) that you need to list some of your Achievements (i.e. Career Achievements) on your CV … the only problem is that you are unsure where you should start or what you might include under this heading.

Before you begin writing anything, you need to remember the following.

In my mind, an Achievement has 3 characteristics. They are:
* Time bounded
* Specific
* Quantifiable

For a Qualified Accountant, an Achievement can be anything that you have undertaken/completed that has;

  • INCREASED – Results through people, Gross/Net Profit, Yields/Margins, Sales/Revenues, Staff Productivity, Speed of producing Financial Reports through Systems Improvement etc etc…

and/or that has

  • DECREASED – Losses, Expenses, Overheads, Staff numbers (without affecting the business), Working Capital Tied-Up etc etc


To give you some examples of what I believe a Career Achievement could look like, I have set-out 2 below.

Working-Capital: In the first 3 months of 2019, I was involved in reviewing all our suppliers and conducting a ‘value for-money’ audit on each of them. As a result of this audit, we reduced our primary suppliers by 40% (from 10 to 6) and achieved an immediate annualised cost saving of 7% (i.e. €80,000).

System Implementation: For the 6 months to December 2019, I was responsible for leading a Project Team of 3 (i.e. 2 Finance & 1 IT ) to implement a new Financial Reporting Module across the organisation. Based on the success of the Project, we went ‘live’ with the Module in November 2019 and it has resulted in a consistent reduction of 33% in the month-end reporting process since December 2019. 

Given the competition for Jobs in the post Covid-19 economy,  I believe that if you can detail 2 or more Achievements from your more recent position(s) on your CV, which are directly relevant for the position you are applying for, then you are propelling yourself to the top of the potential short-list of candidates which will be selected for interview for a particular vacancy.


Blog, Career Advice, CV Advice, Featured, News