Over the last 20+ years I ‘ve looked at thousands of CVs from accountants.
One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is how many are full of responsibilities.
Yet only a minority include achievements.
There may several reasons for this:
- People are out of date when it comes to CV writing
- People don’t take the time to identify achievements.
- People are reluctant to blow their own trumpet.
- People don’t want to show off.
- And many more….
In the early stages of your career the responsibility focused CV might have served you well.
As you progress it becomes harder to secure interviews.
Your achievements are what catches the eye and makes you stand out.
The good news is identifying and including achievements isn’t actually that difficult.
The big mistake I see people making over and over again is making an assumption that achievements need to be massive.
It’s over 40 years since I started out on my accounting career.
I’ve had a handful of really big achievements.
Equally I’ve had many small but significant achievements.
So what might include in your achievements in each job?
Where have you improved something?
It could be a process improvement.
It could be automating a routine task.
It could be improving relationships with stakeholders.
It could be improving a team.
You might have increased sales or done an a piece of analysis that increased sales.
You might have increased cash.
You might have increased throughput or activity.
You might have increased employee satisfaction scores.
It might have been costs.
It might have been waste.
It might have been processing time.
You may have supported a business case that secured new funding.
Perhaps you supported a new budget holder as they got to grips with their responsibility for financial management.
The key to coming up with your career achievements is to take time to look back and recall those times when you made a real contribution that made a difference to your team, function or even entire organisation.
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