One of the points we stressed in our recent webinar, Career Trends and Resolutions for the New Year, was the importance of keeping your resume up to date and keeping track of your accomplishments as you go.
We offer three benefits of tracking your accomplishments, along with six strategies you can implement right away.
If you keep track of accomplishments as you go, you’ll have hard data making your case for you when it’s time to negotiate a salary increase or promotion. Having a proven track record may also help you negotiate a higher starting salary if you are job searching.
You’ll also be ready to act quickly when an opportunity arises. Quickly add those recent accomplishments to your resume and it’s ready to go in minutes; giving you a head start on the competition!
If you don’t track your accomplishments as they happen, it’s very easy to forget them, despite best intentions. In your haste to update your resume quickly for an opportunity you may overlook important examples or details.
Keeping track of your accomplishments is actually very easy and requires minimal time as you go. Find the strategy/strategies that work best for you!
Good news; if you submit regular progress reports to your boss (weekly, monthly, and annual) you are already tracking your accomplishments! All you need to do is add the accomplishments to your resume.
A megaresume works as an inventory of your experience and accomplishments. Store everything there, and copy/paste what you need to produce tailored resumes.
Write a brief story about the accomplishment, touching on the Situation, Task, Action and Result; or STAR. A 1-2 line version can go on your resume as a bullet point. STAR stories can also be used as responses to behavioral interview questions (those that start with “Tell me about a time when…”).
Quantify your accomplishments using numbers/data that are meaningful to your boss or a hiring manager. Even better if you use metrics in a STAR story!
If you prefer to keep notes as you go, make notes to yourself in an organized manner (paper or app) as accomplishments occur and collect them; periodically transferring them to your (mega) resume. Check out this list of free notetaking apps that may help!
Keep a file (paper and/or electronic) of notes you’ve been given thanking you for a job well done. These notes are examples of “qualitative” accomplishments and can be used to bolster your resume. (Not to mention it’s nice to read through them from time to time!)
There are multiple ways to keep track of your accomplishments. The important thing is to find a method or combination of methods that works for you, so you’ll be ready to act, and your accomplishments will shine through!