#2: How to showcase your internship as an achievement

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By now we have seen many CVs – good and bad ones – and by far the most distinguishing factor between our HIPOs and the rest of our students is how the former state their previous internship experience: they make it sound they accomplished something rather than just describing what they did on a daily basis.

Accomplishment statements are the best way to showcase the amazing things you’ve done at your past jobs, plus show employers what you can do for them. So why do the majority of CVs still look like job descriptions? Because it is not an easy thing to do.

Relax (again): we are here to help – now print your CV, grab a pen and check out our step-by-step guide on how to formulate your bullet points.

1.) Understand the Difference

A duty describes what you did and an accomplishment describes how well you did it. For example, “planned events” would be considered a job duty, whereas “raised €1,000 by selling out tickets to a 50-person charity event” is an accomplishment.

Why is this so important? You want to tell the person reading your CV something he/she doesn’t already know. Generally, recruiters will know the duties associated with your job titles. It’s common knowledge that, for example, an Executive Assistant will answer phones, manage files, and provide customer service. So, putting those statements as bullets on your CV only uses up valuable space. On the other hand, by including accomplishments, you paint a picture of your abilities—one that will sell yourself.

So now that you understand the difference, how do you apply this?

2.) Make a List

Start by writing up a list of all the things that you did during each of your relevant internship/temporary job positions. So, for each of the positions on your CV, ask yourself the following:

  • What did I do that was above and beyond my normal job duties?
  • How did I stand out among other interns or team members?
  • Was I ever recognized by a manager for a job well done? When and why?
  • What did I contribute to the team? How did this help?
  • What new processes did I propose/review to improve things?
  • What problems did I solve?
  • Did I ever consistently meet or exceed what was expected from me?
  • What made me really great at my job?

3.) Paint the Picture with Results

Then, take your list, and add in as many facts, figures, and numbers as you can. How many people were impacted by your work? By what percentage did you/your team exceed your goals? By quantifying your accomplishments, you not only make them easier to understand, you really allow the recruiter to understand your accomplishment.

4.) Add the Benefit

Lastly, take each statement one step further and add in what the benefit was to your team, boss or your company. Thereby, you clearly communicate not only what you’re capable of, but also the direct benefit the employer will receive by hiring you.

For example, let’s say you have “created 20 client reports each month” on your list. Instead, write something like “created and prepared 20 weekly and monthly status reports to ensure my boss consistently received timely and complete information.” Reading that, a recruiter will see that, if he/she hires you, you’ll be able to provide great support.

A CV full of accomplishments is the best way to show off what you can do and set you up for your next success. However, we know that as a graduate or as a student looking for a first job or internship it is difficult to come up with accomplishments. Register with us and have one of our team members check your CV to give you individual feedback – for free!

For students of selected universities only – please find below (access code) – or contact us.

ETH (GJPJHZ), HM (MCS7K3), KIT (HSPMCW), RWTH Aachen (6UGHQ5), THD (5S2FKW), TU Darmstadt (S3WZ55), TU Dresden (PVKTXP),  TUM (Code: FVJ79W)

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