Achievements are a crucial part of any successful CV. They speak volumes about a candidate’s potential and can set the best ones apart from everyone else.

Writing your achievements into a CV without sounding arrogant is not easy. You must appear modest and not boastful, after all no one likes a show off.

The problem is that in a highly competitive jobs market, to be successful, candidates really need to market themselves to the max. The only way to do this is to shout about their accomplishments, awards, and triumphs.

On this page you’ll get clear cut advice on how to blow your own trumpet without blowing your chances. Learn about the different types of achievements, the best ones to include and get prewritten examples you can use.

By: Iejaz Uddin – 20 May 2024


Page overview

  • What are achievements?
  • Types of achievements
  • Benefits of including achievements in your CV
  • How to write about your achievements
  • Achievement examples for a CV


What are achievements?

Accomplishments are things you’ve achieved through your career, both personally or professionally and which can be mentioned in your CV. They are activities you did which have had a positive impact on your employers operations.

Typically, they refer to;

  • Things that you designed, created, built, initiated, or sold.
  • Benefits that you have brought to your company, colleagues, customers, or stakeholders.


They are different from normal workplace duties and responsibilities that come under the job description. Instead, they are examples of how an employee has added value, contributed, and delivered positive results to existing setups.

A person must have used their superior ability or extra effort to accomplish them in the face of difficult circumstances.


Types of achievements

The two main types of achievements are personal and professional. No matter which ones you include, always try to keep them relevant to the job you are applying for.


Personal achievements

These are mostly used to highlight an applicant’s ability to do the job at hand by solving problems, thinking critically, and overcoming challenges. They are usually recognized through an employee winning an award or getting some sort of recognition for their performance, commitment, or actions.


  • Learnt a new language.
  • Organised a fundraising event to raise money for charity.
  • Won a competition or award.
  • Achieved high grades in academic studies.


Professional achievements

Usually refer to workplace performance related achievements such as completing something on time and within budget, or exceeding targets. They can be any action or task that is successfully completed through effort and skill.


  • Saving a company time through the more efficient use of resources.
  • Increased company revenues through more sales, reduced waste and facilitated growth.


Benefits of including achievements in your CV

They will show that you are not only goal orientated and motivated but are also able to deliver results. The other immediate advantage of including accomplishments in your CV is that they will immediately put you apart from other candidates who have none.

In addition to this, potential employers will see that you are a proven high achiever and will hope that you can deliver the same level of performance to their operations.

Showing that you can achieve things and not just carry out your duties, is a great way to prove your value as a potential employee.

Written properly they can get a recruiter to want to know more about you, and how you can make a difference.


Job seekers missing out

Many jobseekers only talk about their and day-to-day tasks and miss out on taking full advantage of their career achievements.

There are three main reasons for this:

  • The first is that they are so focused on explaining their daily duties that they totally forget about including their achievements.
  • The second reason is that they do not know how to identify the successes they’ve attained at work. They’re not sure of the difference between their normal duties and achievements.
  • The third reason is that they do not know how to write about them.


How to write about your achievements

Most people are brought up to downplay their successes, and so find it difficult to explain them. Below are some tips on how to overcome this problem.


First identify your achievements

Sit down and think about all the things you’ve done in the past that assisted your employers. Keep a works diary and every time you are commended by your superiors or hit a target, note it down. Ask yourself:

  • When did I get a promotion, award, or special recognition?
  • Did I see and resolve a problem that others missed?
  • Have I ever created a new system that improved things?


Keep them relevant to the job role

Prioritise those achievements that are related to the vacancy. Focus on those that are quantifiable and which can be proven with statistics. Recruiters always take notice of claims you can substantiate with numbers. Don’t just list your achievements, instead show through impressive figures how your actions contributed to your employer’s success.



How to write achievements on a CV



Below are the 3 stages of describing your achievements


1. Give a timeframe

By adding a timeframe to your achievements you can also highlight your ability to prioritize tasks and work under pressure to deadlines


2. Explain the scale of the achievements

Quantify the measurable impact and reach of your work through numbers, data and figures that show the real depth of your results.


3. Results achieved

Clearly describe through percentages the positive outcome of your efforts. Explain in detail how you solved a problem, overcame a challenge, or improved a process. Be specific about the role you played so that there is no ambiguity about your contribution.


More tips on how to explain your achievements


Action verbs

Start each sentence with action verbs, such as delivered, succeeded, accomplished, saved and increased etc.


Keep your achievements updated

Your achievements are a rolling process with potential new ones being added in every job role. Keep your CV up to date by scanning your recent activities to find the most recent ones.


Don’t just copy the job description

Remember hiring managers know the duties your role entails, because they’re the ones who write it. To really get noticed and ahead of the competition you’ve got to mention your professional achievements.


Where to put achievements on your CV

You have three options to include them.

The first one is to create an achievements list that sits under the job title of each role. This is the ideal format for career professionals.

Secondly, you could create a specific standalone achievements section that sits at the top of your CV, right beneath your personal summary.

The third way is to have a combination of both the above.


Laying out the dedicated achievements section

Under your personal summary, have a subheading titled ‘Achievements’. Then use short concise bullet pointed sentences to describe them.


Adding achievements to you work history

List between 3 to 5 achievements below each of your job descriptions. Use bullet points and short sentences to make them stand out.



How to add achievements to your CV


Achievement examples for a CV



School leavers, graduates and people with little work experience should focus on their education and qualifications. With no career history to boast about, they’re advised to mention their:

  • Hight grades
  • Academic awards
  • Winning competitions
  • Positions of authority such as prefect or sports team captain
  • Volunteering



  • Developed a new filing system that reduced paperwork duplication by 15% and was adopted by 2 other departments.
  • Streamlined administrative processes that reduced the photocopying bill by £400.


Customer service

  • Improved customer retention and satisfaction levels by 30% according to a survey carried out.
  • Reduced the average call handling time by 20% without reducing service standards.


Project management

  • Led a team that completed a project 25% under the original budget.
  • Commended by senior managers for delivering 5 major projects at minimum cost, whilst maintaining high standards.
  • Successfully managed and implemented an IT infrastructure project for a construction company, 15% under the original budget.



  • Managed a team of 15 staff and led them to complete a major project 2 months ahead of schedule.
  • Created and then introduced an employee feedback system that resulted in increase of staff job satisfaction by 20%.



  • Promoted a new service that exceeded sales forecasts by 25% through effective online campaigns.
  • Increased social media followers by over 35% through developing engaging content aimed at targeted audience.


Time management

  • Created and implemented an online system that reduced client waiting time by over 30%.
  • Eliminated procrastination by introducing a new step by step guide decision making.