Why is it so hard to recognize my accomplishments?
There are six common reasons why people have trouble identifying their accomplishments and achievements:
2. They don’t give themselves credit for what they do, or they underestimate their contributions.
3. Their parents taught them that it's inappropriate to boast.
4. Their managers didn't recognize their achievements.
5. They hesitate to take credit for their contribution to a team project.
6. They feel guilty that they didn't go "above and beyond" the job requirements.
Accomplishments and Achievements Tool
Use this simple tool to free you from your resume-writer’s block and uncover your accomplishments and achievements.
Thinking about your jobs, volunteer experience, and education, complete as many of these sentences as possible:
1. At my job/college, I was most proud of __________ (action or action that led to a positive result).
2. My manager complimented me on __________ (something I did or how I did it).
3. My colleague complimented me on __________ (something I did or how I did it).
4. At my job, I was the only person who __________ (action).
5. On my team, I was the only one who __________ (action).
6. If they didn’t hire me, __________ (positive outcome) would not have happened.
7. I received an award or formal recognition for __________.
8. I received a raise for or was promoted for __________.
9. On my annual review, my manager recognized me for __________.
10. If I didn’t __________ (action), __________ (project) could not have been completed.
11. If I didn’t __________ (action), __________ (positive outcome) wouldn’t have happened.
12. My __________ (personality trait) made it possible for me to __________ (achieve a result).
13. The most important thing I did at my job was __________ (action or action that led to a result).
14. I __________ (action) better than everyone else on my team/in my company.
15. I volunteered to __________.
16. I was asked to head up a __________ (special team, task force, study, project, board).
17. I wrote or published __________.
18. I led __________.
19. I designed, developed, created, or initiated __________.
20. My manager or colleague liked me because of my __________ (personality trait or something I did).
I hope you found this exercise to be fairly painless. Most people who use this tool discover a half-dozen accomplishments or achievements that they hadn’t thought about.
Savor Your Successes
Before you add your accomplishments to your resume, take a moment to look them over and savor them. Notice how it feels to acknowledge your successes, and take credit for each one—you earned them!
These accomplishments will also be your key talking points when you interview. Not only do they serve as specific examples of how you contributed to your company but they also capture the interviewer's attention.
Keep Track of Your Career Accomplishments and Achievements
Every few months, use the Accomplishments and Achievements Tool to discover your new successes and keep your resume up to date.
I’d love to know what you learned about yourself by doing this exercise.