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Career achievements

Highlight your achievements for each job, and expertise specific to the job for which you are applying. Details to include are the name and location of the organisation/s you have worked for, job title, level (if appropriate), dates in position and achievements and duties.

This section is the most important section of your resume, so ensure you:
  • present your relevant experience for maximum impact
  • exclude old, casual or insignificant jobs unless they are relevant
  • do not oversimplify responsibilities and accomplishments
  • use clear and positive language
  • avoid ambiguity, and
  • use action words.

What are achievements?
Examples of achievements may include:
  • achieved more with the same resources
  • achieved the same results with fewer resources
  • improved operations or made things easier and better
  • resolved a critical problem or situation with little or no increase in resources or time
  • undertook something for the first time, such as a new computer function, and
  • surpassed accepted standards for quality; and or quantity of performance.
If you are applying for a position outside of your current area, identify your transferable skills. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in explaining a technical issue in your work history, but then forget to identify what skills you were demonstrating in that example and how it relates to the position for which you are applying. Transferable skills can be:
  • communication
  • interpersonal
  • negotiation
  • project management
  • technology
  • management
  • supervisory
  • problem-solving

How do I present my career achievements?
There are two main ways that you can present your career and achievements:
  • chronological (time-based), or
  • functional (skills/industry-based).
Either way is suitable, depending on how your skills and experience match the position requirements; however the chronological format is widely preferred.

Chronological format
This format is organised around the dates you held your positions. Your current or most recent position will usually be of most interest to the recruiter and therefore be shown first. Always list positions in reverse chronological order (that is, most current first).

Functional format
This format is organised around skills and knowledge rather than positions held, and emphasises your abilities and achievements. This style can be useful where you:
  • have worked for a large number of employers
  • have worked in a number of different fields or careers
  • have had a career break, or
  • are not currently in work.

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