The Harvest – Taking Stock

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Dec 5, 2011 in Career Path |

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In the retail jungle, the holiday shopping season is traditionally followed by yearend inventory counts.  On the farm, it happens right after the harvest. As professionals, we should also conduct our own yearend inventory and update our resumes with our most noteworthy accomplishments of the year. 

As illustrated in my book, TEN EASY STEPS TO A PERFECT RESUME, you want to have a good description of your company, role, and primary responsibilities as well as a brief list of your most significant accomplishments. Accomplishments are separate from your job description, what you or anyone else would be doing in your position, and they are what most set you apart from others. Accomplishments are details about what you made, saved, or achieved that are special. Relevantly describe how they, and your role, relate to the overall company structure.  Include projects you designed, led through development, and took to completion.  Describe initiatives you were involved in on a team or awards and recognition you received that show you went above and beyond the call of duty.

When describing your accomplishments it’s important to use numbers, percentages, or other quantitative descriptions to show your contribution to your role and the company as a whole. You may have found budget cuts of 10% that increased company profits by $50,000, or you led a software implementation that created efficiencies in reporting and reduced your monthly close by 2 days.  Whatever your situation, show the metric, or key performance indicator (KPI), that you affected through your outstanding performance.

Some people have a hard time bragging about themselves, so try answering these questions as a start:

    • What change occurred in my company this year and how was I involved in that?
    • How has my department and/or role evolved this year?
    • What were the major projects I worked on and how did they affect the division/ company’s performance?

Your answers should spur your train of thought about what increased or decreased and what your part was in that change.

This process can also help you with your goal setting.  Perhaps, after you see your accomplishments on paper, you’ll realize there is a fundamental intellectual challenge that you are lacking or something you really wish you had been involved in that would have offered you personal and/or professional growth. 

Even if you are content with your current role and/or employer and not considering a job change next year, it’s important to keep your resume up to date.  Companies change over time, people take on more responsibility and taking stock of the harvest at the end of the year will make it much easier to update your resume when you do need it. Remember, your resume should be an accurate reflection of the experience that you intend to carry forward, not everything you have done, so choose your examples wisely.

Related Article: Setting Goals

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[…] rush starts, it has dawned on many that the New Year is now just a few short weeks away. It’s that time of the year to sit down for a moment and take stock of what you’ve done well this year, what you want to […]


 

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