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Taking stock of your accomplishments....

Career Exploration The Hiring Process Success on the Job

Question: I learned in your “Résumés and Applications” class that I need to emphasize my accomplishments on my résumé, not just my daily duties. But I’m just a secretary. I don’t have any accomplishments! If I can’t list my daily duties, it’s going to be a really short résumé. What do I do now? Answer: Everyone has accomplishments. Even secretaries. Even you. First, for the benefit of those who haven’t taken the class yet, here is the reason that accomplishments are so important. The employer knows what a secretary (or engineer or machine operator or lion tamer) does all day. What he wants to know now is this: why are you the best secretary (or engineer or machine operator or lion tamer) he could possibly hire right now? That is what your accomplishments tell him: what makes you the best; what sets you apart from the other 27 candidates he could hire instead. Now, let’s look at your own accomplishments. One source for that information is your own memory: what do/did your co-workers and supervisors compliment you for? What are you famous for? What makes people say, “Go ask (your name) about that; she’ll know.” What are you most proud of? Look at your past evaluations, if you have them. For what did your supervisor commend you? In what area did you get your highest marks? If there are comments, you can use the supervisor’s own words in your résumé. Another source is ProveIt, a program available here at the Business and Employment Center. Check out this website: It asks many questions to get you started thinking. The questions include: • Have you done creative or innovative things on the job? • Did you ever come up with a new idea, way of doing things, order in which a product has been processed, or way to minimize waste? • Did you ever start any new tasks or projects? • How did you make your boss look good? No doubt you did many things that fall into those categories (especially the last one.) These questions will jog your memory and shake some of those accomplishments loose. �