How to drill down for accomplishments

January 20, 2011 | Uncategorized | tom

If you think you don’t have accomplishments worthy of mentioning on their resume, think again. Most likely, you have plenty of them. Often, accomplishments lie just below the surface of routine job responsibilities. You just need to identify the right areas that can be developed into accomplishment statements. This may require thinking about your past experience in a new light.

The list of possibilities for developing accomplishment statements is far more extensive than you probably realize. An accomplishment is an action you took that produced a positive result for your employer. It could be something that increased revenue, reduced costs, saved time, improved productivity, or made strengthened a customer relationship. It may have been something that slipped under the radar, unnoticed by your supervisors or peers. But it should be something verifiable – and preferably – quantifiable.

Sometimes an accomplishment can be found in an unlikely place. For example, it may be hidden behind a negative situation. Here’s an example of what I mean. A while back I was working with a client who was wits end with her present job. She was an apartment leasing agent who wore a number of different hats, overworked, and under-appreciated. In fact, her boss was downright abusive.

After overcoming mountain of negativity, I was able to get to look at what she accomplished on her job in a new light. Much of her stress was the result of additional responsibilities she had to take on after one of her co-workers abruptly left. The positions was never filled and she had to pick up the slack without any increase in pay. Buried beneath all of this understandable negativity was the framework for a very positive accomplishment. Here’s how it played out:

• Overcame staffing shortage by continually taking on additional responsibilities, above the scope of defined duties, in order to meet the growing and ever-changing needs of the department.

Don’t leave any stone unturned. Drill down on each of your areas of responsibility and try to identify areas where you went above and beyond the normal call of duty. It may have been a single action your took, such as soothing a relationship with an unhappy customer, or it may have been a process over a period of time. Once you’ve identified the raw material for an accomplishment, craft it into a statement that shows the challenge you faced, the action you took, and the result that it produced.

Your accomplishments will set you apart from the competition and motive prospective employers to call you for the interview.


Leave a comment