Have you decided it was time to update your resume? January job opportunities knocking at your door and you have nothing but an old outdated resume? One of the most important aspects of a resume is demonstrating accomplishments and how your experiences and skills can benefit a future employer.
Employers want to see measurements of your career progress. What some job seekers fail to do in a resume is to go beyond showing the basic job duties and responsibilities. Highlighting accomplishments with as much quantifiable information is what will help you stand out from your competitors. In addition, it helps you prove your abilities to recruiters and hiring managers.
Over the next few weeks I will publish a series of blogs that will help you collect accomplishments, give you formats for highlighting achievements, show you how to write them into a resume, and provide you with a list of questions to help you identify additional accomplishments.
One of the best ways to prepare for a time when you will need to share your accomplishments is to collect details of your achievements as you go along — and there’s no better time than now to start!
Accomplishments demonstrate your skills and experience. It’s one thing to claim you can do something — it’s another to prove you’ve done it!
Here are some other reasons for collecting your accomplishments:
– For performance evaluations or an annual review
– To set your personal and professional goals for the next year
– Tracking the progress of projects you’re working on
– To support your candidacy and qualifications in a job interview
– When you want to make the case for a raise or a promotion
– To remind you of your achievements when you’re having a bad day
– When applying for recognition (awards or scholarships)
Quantifying your accomplishments also helps you stand out from others who do the work you do — whether you’re using the information for a raise or promotion request, or when seeking a new job opportunity. There is also value in simply collecting and reflecting on your personal and professional accomplishments.
Tracking and Documenting Your Accomplishments
There are several ways you can collect your accomplishments:
- Online. You can create a Microsoft Word file to document your achievements. (Be sure to back up your file regularly.) In your email program, you can create a folder for accomplishments and send yourself emails to store in that folder. You can also use an app like Evernote.
- Offline. Something as simple as a file folder or notebook can be used to track your achievements. You could also use a diary.
When you receive a “kudos” email, forward a copy to your personal email account. To help you organize it, tag or label it with a specific subject line (like “Kudos”).
If you receive notes of appreciation from customers, coworkers, or your company, compile those. You can make a copy and keep it in hard copy form, or take a screen shot and keep a digital copy.
You should also print out and/or take a screenshot of any LinkedIn Recommendations you have on your profile. These are an important part of your accomplishments record as well.
Other ways to document accomplishments:
- Take photos.
- Collect news clippings (the digital equivalent is setting up a Google Alert for yourself)
- Create a brag book or portfolio.
How often should you update your accomplishments? As often as necessary. For some, that may mean weekly updates (for example, if you’re working on a series of projects); for others, that could mean a quarterly assessment. The most important thing is to take the time to do this on an ongoing basis. Put an alarm or task reminder on your calendar so you remember to set aside the time to track your accomplishments regularly.