How to highlight relevant achievements in your CV

If you're going to use a 'Relevant Achievements' section, it's important that you've optimised it to take full advantage of it. It can complement your 'Relevant Skills' section by providing an opportunity to demonstrate some of the skills you've mentioned, in addition to enriching your CV with relevant keywords, if you've phrased them effectively.

Similarly to the 'Relevant Skills' section, this is can help you really sell your suitability to the job, overcome the Applicant Tracking System (ATS), and entice a human reader to take interest in your CV.

Deciding what's relevant

Also similarly to 'Relevant Skills' section, the job description is your most valuable resource for identifying relevant keywords that the ATS and recruiters will be looking for. These typically tend to be focussed on technical skills for technical jobs, but may also look for soft skills related to management experience for senior management positions, such as mentoring. Only include achievements that demonstrate your relevant skills and ability to add value to the job and company you are applying for.

Things to look out for:

  • Times¬† you went above and beyond the requirements of your previous job;
  • Any awards that demonstrate your commitment or technical skills;
  • Times where you used initiative to save your previous company time or money;
  • Specific software skills;
  • Specific machinery skills;
  • Specific qualifications;
  • Any keywords in the 'requirements' section.
  • Any keywords in the 'desirable skills' section.

Applicant Tracking System considerations

For this section, we've taken some of the most relevant tips from our article on how to make your CV ATS-friendly:

  • Make it keyword-rich;
  • Don't use tables or text boxes;
  • Don't use fancy icons or bullets;
  • Expand acronyms, but also include them in brackets;
  • Consider the spelling differences between American English and English, e.g. 'geo-modeling' or 'geo-modelling'.

Formatting Tips

Relevant achievements should be concise and kept to one or two lines. Try to write them as 'skills based achievements', and include some keywords in each phrase.

Remember, you are trying to grab attention, not put readers off with big chunks of text. Leave some of the detail for you to elaborate on in the interviews!


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