30 Career Management Tips — Document your accomplishments

By Scot Herrick | Job Search

Sep 15

This month, I’m providing a career management tip-a-day (along with other posts) to help you trigger your own career management activities.

Today’s tip: document your accomplishments.

If we all agree that career management is something that needs to be practiced and not just pulled out of our job tool box every other year or so, then it follows that our accomplishments need to be documented.

There are three good reasons to document accomplishments:

  1. Hiring managers look for accomplishments. While the resume is important, hiring managers are far more interested in what you accomplished in your positions then the positions themselves.
  2. Annual review process. Once we have a position, it is important to be able to provide our accomplishments to our manager as part of the annual review process and attainment to goals.
  3. Support our personal brand. If we’re building a personal brand, then it becomes important to build a body of work — of accomplishments — that support our personal brand.

If we wait to document our accomplishments, we will not be able to remember them or not be able to recall the salient points that will show the accomplishment as important to our personal branding audiences.

What should we document?

In the beginning, more than less. Later, when reviewing our accomplishments, we can determine which need to be pulled to the top.

Accomplishments share these three common characteristics:

  1. Accomplishments are measurable. We need to be able to document the dollars saved, the cycle time cut, or the increase in customer satisfaction from our accomplishment.
  2. Accomplishments benefit the business. In documenting the accomplishment, it is critical that the measurements also demonstrate the benefit to the business that your company serves. For example a reduction in cycle time in a process in your department doesn’t mean as much as the same cycle time reduction getting orders to a customer. Always orient your accomplishment to the customer.
  3. Accomplishments, for our definition, clearly show your role in delivering what was accomplished. Participating on a team is different then managing the same team. If you are participating on a team, you can state the overall accomplishment, but you must explain your role and what you delivered to the overall team accomplishment.

Accomplishments are critical for career management today. With people moving from position to position within a corporation every year or so or between companies every 3-5 years, the documentation of real accomplishments will enable you to clearly explain how you deliver results.

Delivering results is a key ingredient in becoming a cubicle warrior.

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