achievements

How (and why) to add achievements to your engineering CV

One of the best ways to impress a recruiter and grab their attention in this industry is to add your achievements to your engineering CV.

But it can be tricky to know what exactly constitutes an achievement and how to decide which are CV-worthy and which aren’t.

Not to mention that you want to seamlessly include these throughout your application as naturally as possible.

Below, we’ll look at the importance of showcasing your achievements on your engineering CV, where to put them and how best to demonstrate your value.

Why are achievements so important for your CV?

Your CV is your chance to sell yourself to potential employers. And what better way to do this then by showing them how you can add real value to their business?

Sharing your achievements is the perfect way to prove that you’ve made an impact in the past. Plus, it shows your potential for doing so in future roles.

Look at the example below to see the instant impact that adding a hard fact and/or figure can make:

  • ‘Designed and implemented an automated test system.’

Vs.

  • ‘I designed an automated test system, which helped to cut qualification procedures by 36%, saving the business time and money’.

Simple listing your skills and responsibilities is OK. But, by displaying the results of your efforts, your CV will make far more of an impact. Especially to employers who’re looking for people who go above and beyond in their role.

How can you demonstrate your achievements?

The best way to demonstrate an achievement is by quantifying your results; or by presenting some sort of measurable action that allows the employer to better understand the impact of your work. This means you should include relevant hard facts, figures and percentages that help to show how valuable you are.

Start by stating the action or duty you undertook that lead to your result. For example, ‘Created and submitted tenders for 200 contracts’.

Then, add the result that was achieved through those efforts. For example, ‘Created and submitted tenders for 200 contracts, resulting in a win-rate of 85%’.

What could be classed as a CV-worthy achievement?

What constitutes a CV-worthy achievement will, of course, vary depending on the industry you work in. But for engineering roles, there are several ways you can show your value.

Your accomplishments might include:

  • Saving your employer time, money or resources
  • Increasing profits
  • Raising quality
  • Improving processes
  • Identifying problems and solutions
  • Securing clients or projects
  • Managing large budgets, teams or projects
  • Receiving exemplary feedback on a project
  • Winning an award

To help you understand further, here are some examples of achievements you could tailor to include on your engineering CV:

  • Consistently completed projects under budget, saving the business over £20,000 in 12 months
  • Implemented a new project management system, allowing me to successfully oversee a team of 50 workers, both remote and in-house
  • Highlighted technical faults and corrected them; potentially saving over £10k in project costs and resources
  • Successfully lead 15 projects with budgets totaling over £20m
  • Negotiated prices with suppliers, achieving a 15% reduction in spend and a saving of around £1m per year

Do remember, of course, that honesty is always the best policy. It’s tempting to exaggerate on results or make up figures out of thin air. But ultimately, your claims can be vetted; and CV lies always have a way of coming back to haunt you!

How can you incorporate achievements throughout your CV?

Peppering results and achievements throughout your CV can help to keep the recruiter captivated.

The best place to include your top achievement is in your personal profile. You might also choose to have a dedicated achievements section in your CV; particularly if you’ve got lots to share. This should ideally come after your ‘core skills’ section and you should format it in short and snappy bullet points.

Then, be sure to litter your achievements throughout your work experience section. Start by outlining the job title, company and dates of employment; before providing a punchy list of your duties and responsibilities. At the end of each role, add a ‘key achievements’ section and list one to three of your standout results or accomplishments.

You could also add any awards or outstanding degree grades in your education section.

It’s time to showcase your achievements

Your achievements are one of the most effective ways to sell yourself on your engineering CV and help you to stand out from the crowd.

Remember to quantify these where you can by sharing facts or figures – and don’t be shy! If you’ve done something truly valuable, make sure the employer reads about it on your CV.

About the author: Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and Fast Company.

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