The New Year brings with it new beginnings and a possible desire for change. When updating your CV or looking for a new job, are you able to articulate all the skills and work experience you’ve managed to acquire?
Arno Wakfer, our guest blogger, provides valuable insights and tips on the art of learning how to articulate your career achievements, arming you with the tools to highlight your successes.
When you highlight your skills and competencies it is also useful to list all of your achievements in your career. Highlighting could be done either via a formal interview, your LinkedIn profile or your CV or Resume.
Your accomplishments are what recruiters and especially prospective employers are interested to know about you;
It tells them;
- What value can you bring to their organization ?
- Do you use your own initiative in problem solving ?
- What were the results of our efforts ?
The Process and Method
One method I came across is the CAR method; this method is useful in formulating your achievements as it results in an “Accomplishment statement”.
The principles of the CAR method is;
C = Challenges
- Think about a time when you were faced with a problem or challenge at work.
A = Actions
- For each challenge list the action(s) you took in addressing the problem.
R = Results
- For each action list the outcome in other words the results.
Combine the Action and Result into a statement.
Some examples I have used in my own career are as follows:
- Challenge: Could not determine if our programmes were profitable or not.
Action: I design and implemented a system that allowed both revenues and costs to be allocated to specific programmes to track margins on all programmes.
Result: Profitability could be tracked.
Accomplishment statement: Designed and implemented a programme margin system so that it was easier to detect the profitability and losses on each programme.
2. Challenge: Incomplete management accounts.
Action: Redesigned the format and layout of the management accounts to ensure better reporting to key stake holders.
Result: Accurate and more meaningful reporting.
Accomplishment statement: Redesigned the management accounts that resulted in improved reporting to key stakeholders.
3. Challenge: Management not aware of their actual spend against approved budgets.
Action: Designed and implemented a system whereby departmental managers could track their own actual versus budgeted spend as a self-service reporting tool .
Result: Better management of budgets by departmental heads, less reliance on Finance for actual versus budgeted spend reports, improved cost awareness.
Accomplishment statement: I designed and implemented a budget maintenance system that allowed managers to keep track of their costs resulting in fewer over spending against their budgets.
4. Challenge: Accounting systems and controls where not optimized.
Action: I conducted a systems audit to determine which areas can be automated and which additional controls can be implemented to cater for efficiencies.
Result: Audit detected areas for improvement that resulted in additional staff training, process automation and systems developments.
Accomplishment statement: I conducted a systems audit on the accounting system that resulted in improved controls, user and systems efficiencies.
People look for accomplishments – so highlight them with a clear and effective message. It differentiates you from the next person.
Arno is a Chartered Accountant, with 11 years experience, skilled in the sectors of Business education, IT, Manufacturing, Office automation, Sports and Leisure, Logistics and Distribution. He specializes in improving systems, processes, reporting and controls resulting in improved profits, cash flow and business value. Arno is Passionate about business and changing it for the better.
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