This is one of the most worthwhile career exercises you will ever do. Take your time here. Don't rush. Don't gloss over it. You can easily afford to spend several hoursperhaps several daysdocumenting your past performance.
- Everyone has work accomplishments, but. . .
- They're not always easy to see.
- You may have to ask for help to find yours (Ask friends, peers, bosses,
direct reports; ask your spouse and your past and present customers.)
- Read accomplishments other people have written to give yourself
ideas, but don't copy theirs.
- Do several drafts. Don't expect them to come out perfect the first time.
- Honor the struggle. Remember the words of American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne: "Easy reading is damn hard writing."
There's a $50,000 resume, a $100,000 resume, a $250,000 resume,
and a $1,000,000 resumeand the difference between them is the character and strength
of the accomplishments. Your resume should read $10,000-$50,000 above your last salary level,
and it will if you agonize over your past achievements.
If your resume is full of hard-hitting accomplishments, you'll shorten your job search considerably. Doors will open more easily. You'll be interviewed more often. Your interviews will go much better, and you'll be hired sooner. Good luck, and happy writing.
How to start
- Take a separate sheet of paper for each job title or work experience you've had. If you've had six different jobs inside one company, you'll still need six pieces of paper. Volunteer experience counts as a job. So does school. So does being a homemaker.
- Quickly write your accomplishments for each job off the top of your head.
Don't worry about grammar or form. Just get them down. Brainstorm.
- Then clean them up. Go back and add details. Tighten them up. Edit and shorten them.
- Read Gary Provost's article,Pack Every Word With POWER.
This is important. Don't skip this step! Then rewrite.
- Let others read your accomplishments and give you ideas.
Incorporate their ideas into your work.
- Sort your accomplishments into functional categories [or core competencies] such as marketing, general management, budgeting and finance, cost containment, public relations and so on.
- Prioritize your accomplishments putting the most-important first, the second
most-important second, and so on, and the least important last.
- Good luck and best wishes for your success and happiness.
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