Many people find it difficult to talk about their own achievements. This can result in issues when applying for jobs. In this exclusive article we outline why you need to shout about your achievements when applying for jobs and how you can do this.
What is an achievement?
An achievement generally consists of three components:
- Using a particular skill
- Carrying out a particular activity
- Getting a measurable quantifiable result/benefit
An accountant may write an achievement as follows:
- Applied advanced knowledge of financial planning to produce detailed annual budgets identifying cost savings of 30% per annum.
Alternatively, a footballer might state his/her achievement as:
- Utilised my speed to run past defenders in order to put crosses into the penalty area for the striker to score. Achieved the highest number of goal assists in the league (20) helping the team to score more goals than other team (100).
What are your key achievements?
It may be useful at this stage to take a few minutes to think about your key achievements. Try writing a list of all your key achievements, remembering to include non-work based achievements (education, volunteering etc.) as well as work based achievements.
Why are achievements important?
Achievements are vital to success of your application. When you apply for jobs you need to remember that employers want to know:
- What skills you have
- How you can use those skills
- What benefits you could bring to their organisation
If you just write down a list of activities without outlining the results/benefits then the employer may not realise the many benefits you can bring to their organisation. The failure to communicate the results/benefits or your actions is one of the biggest reasons why applications are unsuccessful.
Tips on how to write about your achievements
1. Be precise and dynamic
Instead of writing “I” choose a precise and dynamic verb that shows exactly what you did. For example:
2. Quantify results
Always try to quantify key achievements (% change, Kwacha -/+, goals scored) in addition to providing information on the activities you performed. Remember that you should try to include key achievements that are relevant to the role you are applying.
3. Shout about your skills
If you are too modest and/or lack confidence when talking about your own achievements try asking for help from others. What do they see as your key skills and achievements?
If you do not articulate your achievements the employer will not know the many benefits you could bring to their organisation. You should also remember that other applicants will be talking about their key achievements and the benefits they can bring to the role. Therefore in order to compete with other applicants you must find a way to talk about your key achievements when applying for jobs.
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