If I had a quarter for every time a job seeker told me, “I just did my job. I don’t have any accomplishments”… I’d be a millionaire.
Why so humble?
It’s very important, in all aspects of our lives but especially in our careers, that you take credit where credit is due. Even more important: recognizing your accomplishments and the skills required to create them.
Why, you ask, are accomplishments important? Because, your next employer will want to see and hear a demonstration of your skills. This is key to both standing out in a job interview, and keeping your current job. Employers want to know that you will be a good hiring decision through evidence that you pitch in and help out when asked, do your job well, and ultimately help make the company money.
An accomplishment means any time you successfully did your job. It’s a short story. Think of a time when there was a problem (probably daily).
Take some time to brainstorm answers to some of these questions:
- What were you proud of doing at work?
- What did you do better than others around you?
- Were you ever recognized (formally or informally) for work that you did?
- Did you ever go above and beyond what was required of you?
- Were you ever selected to be a part of a team or train others?
- Did you identify and solve a problem?
- Did you save time and/or money?
- Have you improved productivity?
- Have you ever streamlined operations?
- Did you devise new strategies?
- Did you minimize customer complaints?
- Did you provide a service that did not exist before?
- Did you develop an idea that was used or presented?
- Did you help others achieve their goals?
Now, briefly write down some of the specifics of what you did, how you did it and what was the outcome. Also think about what the outcome would have been if you had
not been there to do your job. You can download this simple document to record your stories.
Please, don’t use these excuses:
- I don’t remember
- This is too hard
- It happened daily
- I was just one of many
Look at it this way. If you were called into your manager’s office one day and they said to you, “I need you to tell me what you did this year to deserve a raise”. What would you say? How would you prove you were worthy of a raise?
Documenting your accomplishments isn’t just to get a job. It is about taking accountability to manage your future. Today, more than ever, managers and leaders expect you to prove to them why they should keep you on the payroll. Keeping track of your accomplishments is expected. It is an easy insurance policy for justifying your work.
When should you use these stories? On your resume, in your interviews, while networking? The answer is… all the time.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Career Sherpa!
About the Author: Hannah Morgan is a career sherpa, guiding new job seekers through the treacherous terrain of job search. If you are looking for no-nonsense advice, check out her site Career Sherpa, and follow Hannah on Twitter for the latest job search news and trends!