Show achievements, not job descriptions

This video is 9 minutes long. It explains the difference between achievements and job descriptions, why you should focus on achievements, and how to write them.

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Transcript:

Hello, my name is Matt Krause, and I am the CV Doctor in Istanbul, Turkey.

Today’s lesson is called, “Show Achievements, Not Job Descriptions”.

A good CV doesn’t describe your JOBS. It describes your ACHIEVEMENTS.

A job description sounds average. It’s what anyone would do.

Your achievements, however, are special. They are worth something. They are valuable. They tell the reader what specific and unique things you did to help the company.

I thought I had a pretty good CV. But when I applied this rule to it, I found so many things that could be improved. Today, I’ll show you three examples…

Here’s the first…

This one’s under the first job, “Communications Coach”…

Look at the first sentence…

“Provided training in business communications and presentation skills.”

Now THAT’S a job description. Sure, to many people, it’s a valuable service. But it’s still a job description. It tells you what I did, not what I accomplished, not WHY it was valuable to my clients.

So here’s how we turn it into an accomplishment…

Try this sentence…

“Improved clients’ business communication skills by showing them how to anticipate the needs of their audience, focus their thinking, and squeeze better results from their existing English levels.”

What’s the difference? Well, the new version focuses on WHY clients came to me. Not what did I do, but what benefit did the clients get?

Alright, let’s look at the second example…

Look at this one, under “Eddie Bauer”…

“Used store trend analysis and field feedback to develop monthly sales plans for 550 retail and outlet stores.”

That’s a job description, too. It tells you what I did. It doesn’t tell you how I made it better, or how I invented something new, or how I benefitted the company. So let’s find something better to say…

Well, one thing I did was, I improved the forecasting process, so it would give better results. That’s a good start, it’s an achievement.

However, the forecasts were better, but so what? Who cares?

Well, when the forecasts got better, the sales managers spent less time in the office adjusting the forecasts, and more time in the stores helping customers. That’s the benefit.

So let’s change it to…

“Improved store-level sales forecasting for 550 retail locations, so sales managers could spend less time in the office adjusting forecasts, and more time on the floor with customers.”

So you see, we started with “I did forecasting”, and we changed that to “I improved the forecasting”, and then we made it even better, saying, “I improved the forecasting, so the sales managers could make more money for the company”.

Okay, let’s do one more example, the third example…

Let’s do this one, under Progressive International, under “Purchasing Supervisor”, bullet point #3…

“As member of implementation team installing a new ERP system, managed the transition for merchandising and purchasing departments. Designed new processes and trained department staff for the new system. Worked extensively with programmers throughout the transition to the new system.”

That’s a long one, and there are many improvements we could make to it. However, let’s start with one thing…

Take this sentence…

“Designed new processes and trained department staff for the new system.”

That’s a job description. It tells you what I did. It DOESN’T tell you what I achieved. It DOESN’T tell you how I helped the company.

So how can we make it better?

Try this sentence…

“Designed better processes that leveraged strengths of the new system, and taught department staff how to follow them.”

Alright, let’s look at that now. How is that an achievement, not a job description?

Well, first of all, it tells the reader they were better processes. Not just new processes, better processes.

And second, it tells the reader I was taking advantage of the strengths of the new system. I was exploring the system, to find new ways it could help us, and then I was making sure we used those new ways.

Okay, sounds good. That’s three examples, that’s it for today…

Remember, the goal of this lesson was: Stop filling your CV with boring, average job descriptions. Instead, fill your CV with exciting, interesting, valuable achievements that were worth MONEY and made the company a better place.

Also, remember that your CV can ALWAYS be improved. You can ALWAYS apply these lessons. They will never get old. Improve your CV, and then improve it again, and then improve it again, and then improve it again.

Thank you for watching, good luck to you, and remember, I am always here to help. Take care.