How And Why To Add Your Accomplishments To Your Résumé
It doesn’t matter how great your shoes are if you don’t accomplish anything in them.”
As mentioned previously, the best way to communicate credible information to a prospective employer is by using accomplishment statements. Effectively written accomplishments will show that you understand the field, you have a specific set of skills, and that you applied those skills in a particular situation and achieved measurable results.
Accomplishment statements summarize what God has done through you; these demonstrate how He enabled you to use your strengths and gifts in specific situations. Sharing your accomplishments gives you an opportunity to celebrate His work through you.
As Rosabeth Moss Kanter, from Harvard Business School, explains:
People often resist change for reasons that make good sense to them, even if those reasons don’t correspond to organizational goals.
So it’s crucial to recognize, reward, and celebrate accomplishments.
Writing your accomplishments…
Writing these accomplishments is one of the most time-intensive activities you’ll perform as you prepare for your job search. It takes time to review your experience and identify situations where accomplishments took place. It takes time to determine and describe the skills you used so you communicate what you intend. It can’t be done in an hour or two.
Accomplishments are even more important when you don’t have work experience that shows your true abilities, or where your work experience doesn’t hold the credibility you would like.
- Perhaps you gained experience applicable to a new job pursuit in hobby or recreational activities rather than on the job.
- Perhaps you have volunteer experience that has given you skills for the job you’re applying for.
The fact that you didn’t receive pay for what you did doesn’t matter.
One client had been a mid-level manager in a telecommunications company for 20 years; but he wanted to do something else. As we assessed his options and what he enjoyed, two things stood out. He enjoyed gardening and playing the ponies at the racetrack. We worked on his résumé to reflect his experience in these areas and he ended up as the head gardener at Santa Anita Racetrack in Southern California. He was thrilled. You can do the same!
Developing accomplishment statements is a three step process…
Discover: To write effective accomplishment statements, you need to review your career history for specific situations. If you’ve kept “To Do” lists over your working life, they‘ll help you recall various activities you’ve participated in. Status reports, project summaries, budget reports, and annual planning projections will also help you remember the projects, activities, and assignments where you were involved.
Discovering accomplishments is an ongoing assignment. You’ll want to add to your accomplishments as God brings them to your mind in the days and weeks ahead.
Create a Work Related list that shows several work roles you might have experienced.
Create a Non-Work Related list that should list nonwork projects or programs you might have been involved in.
Think up as many examples as you can for each topic. Don’t hurry through this exercise. Take your time. You should work to have two or three for each topic that you draw from your experience. When listing the situations, don’t dwell on the details of any one. Simply list each with a sentence or two that will jog your memory when you come back to it later. Your goal is to gather as many accomplishments as you possibly can so that you have a variety to select from for your résumé. When you complete the discovery portion of listing accomplishment identifiers, aim to have 20 to 30 identification statements that you can write stories for in the Composition phase.
Your accomplishments fill in a large part of your adventure story, so ask God to clear your head, help you focus, and guide you to accomplishments that will depict all of your skills, abilities, and expertise. Go for it!
In my next blog post, I’ll talk about numbers 2 and 3 above, the Composition and Summary of developing the accomplishment section of your résumé.
This is an excerpt from my book, “The Christian Job Search Manual,” click on this link to purchase the book. There is so much more in it that could help you with your job search…
If you would like to explore working with a Christian centered Career Coach, Contact me for a no-obligation 60-90 minute job search consultation with America’s Job Searching Coach, or text me at 425-220-0707 and we can discuss your situation, your résumé, what you would like to achieve, and structure your job search to fit your uniqueness.
I am also available to speak to groups.