Articles from TheCareerAdvisor
Showcase Your "Home Run" Accomplishments, Part Four
Dig Deep Into the Past

It's easy to forget important accomplishments in one's career. When I went into partnership in the Career Center on America Online, for example, they asked me for a resume, which I wrote overnight. I included CareerLab's size and revenue, publications I'd written, and major offices I'd held. Several days later, after mailing the resume, I realized I'd left off the most important aspect of my career—the 25,000 hours I'd spent as a career consultant. There was no mention of counseling. That was a real eye-opener.

In many respects, we know ourselves so well we take our greatest gifts for granted. The way to avoid this is to cross-check your accomplishments against your core competencies. If you claim "Research" as a core competency, for example, be sure to list several research-oriented achievements on your resume. Do the same for all other core competencies.

Identify Your Core Competencies

Every mid-career professional has 6-12 big areas of capability. In the past they were called skills, but today's buzzword is "competencies" or "core competencies." A recruiter of employer may ask you to name your core competencies. If so, they're asking you to identify a few of these general areas of capability. Take time to check the top 6-12 that apply to you, then prioritize them. Which is first most important to you, second most important, and so on? If you have competencies that aren't named, add them to this list.

  1. Art
  2. Business Management (cost reduction / revenue increase)
  3. Communication
  4. Community Service / Social Responsibility
  5. Computer / Information Technology / Informatics
  6. Conflict Resolution
  7. Construction / Facilities
  8. Consulting
  9. Counseling / Caregiving
  10. Entertainment
  11. Finance
  12. Human Resources Management (recruitment, training, retention)
  13. Leadership / Managing / Administration
  14. Legal
  15. Library / Records / Knowledge Management
  16. Media
  17. Negotiating
  18. Operations
  19. Planning / Strategic Planning
  20. Political Skills / Schmoozing
  21. Presentations / Speeches
  22. Quality Assurance / Quality Control
  23. Research & Development
  24. Sales and Marketing / Advertising and Public Relations
  25. Science / Innovation / Patents
  26. Special Skills [Pilot, etc.]
  27. Teaching
  28. Technology
  29. Writing / Editing / Publishing

Use your list of competencies to help you remember, identify, and develop your work accomplishments. Your achievements should mirror your competencies, and vice versa. Example: if you check "Leadership" as a core competency, then your resume should show several leadership home runs. Otherwise, why is it listed?

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