08 Jan What You’re NOT Doing is Hurting Your Job Search
In helping people who’ve been out of the job market for many years highlight their core skills and find a new position, I’m often surprised at how little data they have from their own career progression. Even the basics such as job titles, promotions, and year-end achievement metrics are a challenge to gather when it comes time to update their resumes.
I wish I could tell every graduating senior that they need to track their accomplishments throughout their career.
When they’re hired, what is their job title, grade level, scope of responsibility and salary? When promoted, what is the date of their promotion, new job title, grade level, scope of role and salary? When given more responsibility, explain what that includes, such as managing five people, taking on three new regions, assuming a higher quota, etc. How did their direct reports perform under their leadership? If they led a project, what was the impact to the company? Did it improve productivity? Shorten the selling cycle? There is always a business reason for large projects, so be sure to capture the purpose and impact for each one.
Track all of your career details in an easily accessible place using apps like OneNote, Evernote, Word, or Notepad. Hardcopies are helpful, too. Each time you update your resume, save the earlier version as well as the new one.
After receiving a “kudos” message (email, letter, Instagram, whatever), be sure to file a copy of it. You can make it a habit to email positive messages to yourself adding MTF (memo to file) to the beginning of each subject line. That will help you easily compile those messages into a single document.
Capturing year-over-year accomplishments is especially critical for salespeople. They need to track the goal that was assigned to them, revenue they brought in, number of deals made, number of items sold, the percentage of achievement to goal (e.g. 125%). Formal recognition helps flesh out the picture. One client created a PowerPoint presentation that included photos of each of his awards, plaques and framed certificates.
These details can help make you the top candidate vs. another person vying for the same role. Give them something to brag about!
Do not work backward. Start today. Gather all of the earlier metrics you can find, jot down all of your important projects, and then make a point of capturing updates at least once per quarter as well as at the end of the year. It doesn’t have to be fancy or formal. It has to be documented so it’s easy to incorporate into future resumes.
An easy way to ensure this happens is to add individual projects to your LinkedIn profile. Add year-end metrics to your current job listing. At the end of the year, you can export a PDF of your resume directly from LinkedIn. Ta da!
If you led a critical project that made a huge impact, but you didn’t include it on your resume, did it really happen?
What a hiring manager doesn’t know can hurt you.
If you need assistance tracking your career accomplishments or need more tools to help with your career development, contact us so we can discuss your goals and find a solution that works for you.