In today’s competitive job market you can’t afford a résumé that fizzles; power up your résumé with solid success stories. Including simple, clear accomplishment statements on your résumé will get and keep the attention of hiring managers.
In all of my years as a career coach I find that most of my clients are unaware of the value they bring to current and future employers simply because they think they are just “doing their job”. What my clients generally don’t realize is that the way they do their job, their dedication, creative suggestions, and ability to implement new ideas adds value to the company and sets them apart from their colleagues.
Where to start?
I recommend four approaches for remembering and writing about your accomplishments.
1. Review old performance appraisals with highlighter in hand. Mark those successes you’ve forgotten about and jot down additional details about those projects.
2. Review a list of action verbs and check those that describe the tasks that you most enjoy performing. Jot down specific examples of when you have successfully performed those tasks.
3. Think about specific problems you’ve solved or tough performance objectives you’ve met. Describe them.
4. Use the list of questions below to jog your memory about previous accomplishments.
* What has your manager complimented you on or recognized you for in your work?
* Give examples of a problem you solved or an emergency you handled.
* Give an example of something you built, made, or created.
* When did your idea or suggestion result in an award?
* How have you streamlined operations, increased productivity, or cut costs?
* How have you influenced individual or team productivity?
* What do you do better than your colleagues and why is this helpful to the organization?
Writing About Your Successes
Once you have a list of 10-12 accomplishments (the more the better) write about each one using the formula below.
PROBLEM. What was the problem or performance objective? This is the reason why you did what you did.
ACTION. What did you do to solve the problem or meet the performance objective? Begin this sentence with an action verb.
RESULT. Why does what you did matter? The result should answer the question. “So what, who cares?”
The next step is to review each accomplishment statement and trim it to two sentences that include the action you took and the results of that action. The problem part of the equation is not directly addressed on the résumé. The “problem” is useful for uncovering your accomplishments and is can play a valuable role during the interview allowing you to explain why you did what you did.
While there are other important features that contribute to a successful résumé solid accomplishment statements demonstrate what you can do for a potential employer.
Always, always, always write more success stories than you think you will need, and then you can pick and choose the best for a particular situation and hold the rest in your “mental” back pocket ready to be pulled out at a moment’s notice during the interview. Not only will your résumé sizzle but you will too as you enthusiastically convey your accomplishments in person.
Copywrite. Mary Jeanne Vincent