It’s amazing how many people can’t describe their achievements in order to maximize its impact. Whether its in a resume or in a job interview, your ability to describe your achievements is a critical factor for success.
So many people underplay their achievements! Question is, do YOU?
Are you submitting your resume for that job you want, or even need? Or perhaps you’re preparing for an interview?
When you finally get the opportunity to talk about what you have achieved, it’s an opportunity you won’t want to waste. I’ve pulled together 7 keys to guide you on describing your achievements for maximum impact.
1. Clarify Your Involvement in the Achievement: Use powerful words that describe your contribution. For example, ‘created’, ‘reorganized’ or ‘established’. Passive statements like ‘did’, ‘performed’ or ‘was involved in’ don’t indicate your level of involvement – they’re worthless, so don’t use them.
2. Describe a Start, Middle and End: mention the starting conditions, such as ‘poor performance’, ‘high costs’, ‘unpalatable risk’, and follow with a statement on what you made happen (the project, change initiative, etc), and cap it off with the result – was the desired outcome achieved?
3. Quantify the Achievement: use numbers and hard measures where you can. For example, say ‘saved $50,000’ rather than ‘saved operating costs’. The more specific you are, the greater the value of your statement of achievement. In almost all cases, a percentage value has a higher-impact than an absolute number. In some cases, what might look like a minor achievement, when quantified, it could be a major achievement as perceived by others.
4. Don’t Forget Over-Achievement!: If you set out to save $50,000, but instead saved $60,000, then make sure this is known. So many people forget to do this.
5. Indicate Your Personal Award: Some achievements warrant special reward, so mention them. If you were promoted, or awarded a bonus, then add it into your statement of achievement.
6. Include details of challenging circumstances: If the achievement was tough due to business events or conditions, then make sure you say what they were. It’s important to describe any challenges you faced. For example, if there were many layoffs in your organization whilst you were tasked with improving team morale, then make these conditions clear.
7. State the Effect of the Achievement, 360-degree style: Describe the achievement not just from your own perspective; also describe what it meant for your colleagues, subordinates, management and customers (where appropriate.) Don’t forget to quantify the effect for each of these groups of people too.