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How to Write your CV – Focus on Accomplishments and Not Just job Duties

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I wrote this post in one of my other career blog – Ajirablog.com but I have decided to re-publish it here too so that you can learn more on how your CV should be in order to attract the recruiters.
Employers are looking for people who can add value to their organisations by ensuring that their presence can contribute to the company’s achievements.

The question is, how do they determine the value you can bring to the company? Its easy your CV’s give them a clear picture of what you can do for them.

That’s why most companies are looking for someone with prior experience from other firms. That’s why most of the job advertisements state that they need someone with experience of at least three years or even more years of experience.

What they are looking is someone with experience and has managed to accomplish something from his previous experience and can bring value to the company if hired.

How to show Value on your CV

It’s obvious that you should learn how to describe your accomplishments on your CV and not just showing your previous position

If you’re like most people, you have a CV that includes something like this:

·    Hired as Regional Sales Manager (RSM) - at SKOL BREWERY Ltd
·    Responsible for a budget of Tshs 132 million
·    Managed staff of 20 people in our Kigali offices

If you have noticed, this person details may be grander, or his career may be at an earlier stage, but lots and lots of people have this style of information presentation on their CV.

Can you spot the problem? 

These CV bullet points simply EXPLAIN what you did.
They don’t tell your future boss how GOOD you are at doing the job.
It’s obvious that, if you’ve got a job, where you work in an office, in 2014, three things happened:

– You were hired for that job
– You had some monetary resources to manage
– You had people working for or with you

Therefore, you haven’t told your future EMPLOYER anything that they didn’t already know with those three bullet points. You haven’t told them what value you have if they decide to hire you.

So here are two simple tips for you. 

First, read your CV very carefully and out loud, putting the phrase "You should give me a bonus this year BECAUSE…" in front of each line on those three bullets.

And if it doesn’t make sense that somebody would give you a bonus, or increase your Salary, because of that line… that means you should delete it and write a different sentence that makes sense.

For example

Entering into your Employer’s office and telling him/her "You should give me a bonus this year because you hired me to be Regional Sales Manager (RSM) – at SKOL BREWERY Ltd” trust me it wouldn’t get you very far.


You don’t really deserve a year-end bonus just for getting hired. (Does not apply if you’re an English football player being signed to play for Manchester United or Chelsea Fc)

Rather, the things you do that deserve a bonus describe your accomplishments and not your job Duties or position.

  •     You increased sales.
  •     You decreased expenses.
  •     You improved the time it takes to do the tasks.
  •     You increased the efficacy of the process or product.
  •     You made your company better somehow.
  •     You didn’t just show up… you did something good for the company.

This brings us to the second tip

Count the number of (Tshs) signs and (%) signs on your CV. And now double them.

That is, rewrite your CV and include twice as many Tshs and Percentage (%)as were on your original CV. (And the minimum you should have, if you’ve been in the workforce for over a decade, is twenty.)

Tshs signs and percentage signs are indicators of achievements that you can quantify.
Quantifiable achievements are more persuasive than qualitative achievements for most CV's.

So rather than just increasing sales, decreasing expenses, or improving task times, you manage to...

  • Increased sales by 27% in my region through the effective use of strategic selling.
  • Decreased costs by 11% in my division without impacting productivity.
  • Generated Tshs 18 million in new Route sales by reaching more outlets and untouched markets.
  • Reduced Route sales Vehicle costs by 53%, and served Diesel cost by 22% through redesigning route trends.
  • Saved Tshs 6 million in recruiting and legal costs by in sourcing.


When you read these bullet points with "You should give me a bonus this year BECAUSE…” they all make sense. And that’s because they provide a quantifiable achievement that made the company better because you were there.

And demonstrating to your future boss the types of achievements that he/she can expect from you, in numbers that he/she can understand, is the best way for him/her to come to the conclusion that you’re the right person for the job.

And that’s how you make your CV so much more effective.

Accomplishments are the things that show you can add value to the organisation.

It’s great if you can list accomplishments, but in the absence of that, put numbers on all your bullets to give a sense of scope of your job.

Let’s say you’re a Receptionist;

How many people did you serve? How big was the office? “Receptionist” is not as telling as “Receptionist for 100-person office.”

Show how much mail did you have to handle? How many packages went in and out? How many phone calls did you receive per day? “Handled 200+ pieces of inbound mail each day and between 80-120 phone calls” gives an idea of how busy you were.

It gives a sense of scale. It’s a lot more impressive to give the details that show that you had a lot of responsibility and got a lot of things done in the day-to-day.

One more thing about numbers: Numbers attract the eye of the reader.

And that is quite an achievement!  Have a 50% more fantastic week in the job searching this week.

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About Jobsinrwanda Blog

Jobsinrwanda Blog - is a Job search advice blog from recruiting experts. Learn how to write a cover Letter, Resume and how to answer common interview question.
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