How to create a CV: Part Three: Responsibilities and Achievements

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This is the most difficult part of your CV to write because your sections on education and the list of previous jobs needed to focus on correct factual information.

By contrast when talking about your responsibilities and achievements you need to be more creative (and I don’t mean lying!). You need to tailor this section to each job you apply for.

This is your opportunity to really sell yourself. Think of your CV as a way to market your own skills, experience and knowledge. The best way to sell yourself is to use positive action verbs and no negatives (see the examples below).

Think about Responsibilities:

This is most relevant if you are applying for a job similar to one your already have. However, you can still use this section to your advantage if you are going into a completely new career. Sell your transferable skills instead.

This is where you can go into more detail about your most recent job. The purpose of this section is to show how your current experience makes you the ideal candidate for the job for which you are applying.

It is important that these responsibilities are not vague and general; you must be specific about particular things you have done. List your most recent and most senior responsibilities first, but only list the ones that are directly relevant to the job for which you are applying.

Think about Achievements:

These should match your ‘responsibilities’. It shows that you were able to improve practically and personally the business or working life of the company or institution you worked at previously.

These comments should not be vague and general but specifically focused. If you raised revenue, mention amounts of money. Be explicit about timeframes if you completed a project on time.

Do not be modest or undersell yourself. If you are unsure how to do this, discuss your experience with colleagues, or friends or relatives. They might be able to give you some perspective on what you have achieved.

And now match up the two sections on ‘responsibilities’ and ‘achievements’ and write about them for your CV.

Preparation is the key to writing this section. You need to include information on both responsibilities and achievements or your CV will feel weak.

Have a look at this example, taken from 

This statement doesn’t feel convincing because it has no information about achievements to back up the claims made:
“Evaluated backup procedures and disaster recovery procedures. Implemented corrections to procedures to ensure recovery.”

This example is similar but much more convincing because it has concrete, quantifiable achievements:

“Provided effective backup and disaster recovery. Produced 147 recoveries for 112 clients (internal and external), consistently retrieving more than 90 percent of lost data, with 100 percent record of recovery within two hours.”

Your aim with this section is to show that you are a successful employee who has done similar work in the past. You want to make the hiring committee think that you can achieve the same levels of success for them.

How to create a CV: Part One: Personal Statement

How to create a CV: Part Two: Education and Work Experience

How to Create a CV part 4: Additional Information and References

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