Are you acting or reacting in your work-life? When you are acting, you are taking responsibility for your enjoyment of your work-life and your professional success. You can be pro-active by keeping a list of your work accomplishments.
Sometimes other people will recognize the value of the work you do and reward you. Other times your co-workers and managers will be preoccupied with their own career challenges and your accomplishments may go unrecognized. This is why it’s important to keep your own list of your accomplishments.
Acknowledging your own accomplishments will boost your self-confidence and help you articulate your value at work. Knowing your work accomplishments helps you prepare for performance reviews, ask for a raise, apply for promotion, as well as helping you get interviews and promoting yourself in interviews that lead to job offers. When you can effectively articulate your accomplishments, giving concrete examples of your value and worth, you have the opportunity market yourself and achieve your work-life goals.
Here are some tools to help you discover your work accomplishments:
Job Bank USA Work Accomplishments Questionnaire
Let your work accomplishments be cheerleaders of your success!Join the Conversation
After five weeks of unemployment, I am pleased to have the opportunity to love work again and find joy in my new work-life! A recent conversation with a friend caused me to consider the value I choose to recognize in my skills and talents. Confidence in my abilities and my work accomplishments lead me to an exciting and valuable new work opportunity. This confidence, with a dose of hard work and a positive attitude, opened doors for me at a time when securing a job is challenging.
My recent job search is quite different from my last job search at which time I was overwhelmed by feelings of fear and anxiety. When previously unemployed, I focused on the outcome- finding a job. I did not focus on honoring my career value and my accomplishments. As a result of my misplaced focus I accepted a job opportunity that was not right for me, and found myself unemployed again.
I have goals in my work-life and to be successful those goals must be flexible. I have found myself in situations I didn’t plan or desire. I try to consider those unwanted situations as opportunities to love my work-life and re-assess my goals. Recognizing and honoring my work value helps me make good career choices and move forward in my career. Acting for an end result, such as getting a job- any job- stifles my career and greatly reduces my enjoyment of work-life.
If you’re looking for work, or you are gainfully employed, recognize and celebrate your skills and talents! Know what you do well and keep a record of your accomplishments. Consider the value you bring to your employer, and pursue a career path that makes use of your value.
At some point you may decide to change jobs or your career direction. If you are making a career change of any kind, be mindful of your value and don’t sell yourself short! Make the change with joy by honoring and respecting your abilities. Honor your skills and celebrate your new career opportunity and new direction you are headed.Join the Conversation
On my career journey, it’s more important than ever for me to find an opportunity that uses my skills and experience, and supports me in my career goals. When I’m in harmony in my role at work, I provide greater value to my employer, and I am more open to loving my work and finding a healthy work-life balance. To find the right career opportunity, I must first get interviews.
Employers are receiving more resumes per job opening than most employers can reasonably review. Here are some tips that have improved my response rate from employers in my own job search:
1) Tailor your resume to match the job posting. A hiring manager is looking for key skills and qualifications that match the job description. I highlight my experience in these areas by removing job experience and skills that do no match to the job I’m applying for. Leave out information that does not relate to the job.
2) Include a targeted cover letter with every resume submission. There’s little value in writing a general cover letter just to send a cover letter. Instead, introduce yourself and specifically reference your skills and experience that are a match for the position. While this information is also in your resume, you’ll receive a better response rate if you make it easier for the hiring manager by comparing your skills to the job posting.
3) Don’t be afraid to show a little personality! After reading through hundreds of dry, impersonal cover letters, showing a little personality can work to your advantage. Be appropriate and professional, and be yourself.
4) Copy your cover letter and resume into the body of the email. Make the hiring process easier by pasting your cover letter and resume in the body of the email so hiring managers can review your skills and qualifications without having to download attachments and run a virus check before opening them. I’ve heard several hiring managers say they screen out applicants who attach documents and leave the email body blank.
5) Pay attention to the requirements of the job posting. If you do not have the required skills and experience, don’t apply. Sending your resume blindly in response to every posting is the equivalent of spam. If you don’t have the required skills and you feel you have transferable skills, apply and detail how your transferable skills relate to the job posting in your cover letter.
6) Pay attention to the requirements of the job posting. If the employer requests salary requirements or other information be included in your response, make sure to include the information they are requesting or at least address the request in your cover letter.
Experiencing joy in your work and your life takes patience, practice and active engagement in your world. Apply for jobs that inspire you, and show employers what you have to give by sending purposeful and thoughtful responses to job postings. Good luck!Join the Conversation
It’s an exceptionally hard time to be looking for job or undergoing a job change, and being contacted for an interview is a great boon. I am fortunate to have skills that continue to be needed by employers. My skills and experience have resulted in interviews, and receiving a job offer is the result of good interviewing skills.
Asking questions in your interview is as important as answering them. The questions you ask a potential employer reflect your professionalism, preparedness, motivation, expectations and thoughtfulness.
When I’m interviewing candidates to fill an opening at my employer, I absolutely want the candidate to show they are bright, prepared, and are a good fit for the job. With so many job seekers vying for the same positions, it’s more important than ever that candidates send the right message to employers when interviewing. And the right message is, “I have the skills and ability to do this job, and the attitude to get the job done.”
When preparing for the interview, I consider the company and the specifics of the position, and write down my questions which I bring with me to the interview. I bring a list of 8-10 questions, as some of my questions may be indirectly answered during the course of the interview and I want to have some questions to ask directly.
When you think about what questions to ask, think about what is important to you. Is it the company environment, the daily activities of the job, opportunity for advancement? Ask questions that relate to your career goals and needs.
Here is a list of questions I like to ask in an interview.
Company Culture Questions
What are the company’s goals for the next 5 years?
What makes “Company Name” a great company to work for?
What do you like best about working for “Company Name”?
How would you describe your management style/ the management style at “Company Name”?
Position Specific Questions
Why is this position open?
What skills and qualifications will the right candidate possess?
What goals do you have for the candidate you hire in this role?
What challenges do you see for the person you hire?
Describe a typical day for a “Job Title” at “Company Name”.
My salary range is “Salary Amount” to “Salary Amount”. Is this in line with the salary range for the position?
What is your most important consideration in hiring for this position?
What could happen in the interview that would cause you to disqualify a candidate from consideration?
How many interviews are scheduled to fill this opening?
When will you be making a decision?
May I have your contact information and follow-up with you?
When asking your questions, consider using this opportunity to bring up any skills and experience you haven’t already mentioned that applies to the position. Use the interviewer’s answers to get a better understanding of what they are looking for, and if you match their desired qualifications, let the interviewer know!
For example, you ask, “what is your most important consideration in hiring for this position?” Your interviewer responds, “we’re looking for someone who has the skill set and the attitude needed to get the job done.” You can counter his/her answer with an appropriate response such as, “You can see from my resume that I have the skill set you’re looking for, and I am dedicated and motivated.”
Ask thoughtful, intelligent questions in your interview and improve your chances of getting a job offer.Join the Conversation
Talking about the economy seems almost cliché, but I can’t think of anyone unaffected in my circle of family, friends, co-workers and colleagues. A year ago I started to notice the effects of the recession on my former employer and I began to consider my career options should I lose the job I enjoyed for nearly six years.
I realized that I had been relatively isolated in my career, working for a small employer, since moving to Fort Collins from Denver six years earlier. I kept reading about the importance of networking and the hidden job market. The potential results of networking sounded great to me, but the idea of networking also sounded scary and overwhelming.
I read many articles and blogs on the topic of networking and set out to become an experienced networker. I haven’t yet found a job as a result of networking, nor has networking opened a door to a flood of job leads that I couldn’t have found on my own. Still, I have enjoyed much value from my networking experiences.
Networking is about relationships. Make a connection with another human being. Through networking, I have reconnected with past colleagues and friends and discovered new relationships that offer much more than job leads. I have enjoyed friendship, support, encouragement and shared knowledge and wisdom. Networking has enhanced my personal and professional life. It has helped shape my job search strategy and helped me better define my own skills, experience and career goals.
As you’re just starting out your own networking journey, take a deep breath and say, “hello”! You don’t have to be a networking expert to introduce yourself. You don’t have to have a lot of know how to have a friendly conversation with another person. Networking can be as simple as enjoying social time together, encouraging someone else in their job search, or sharing some of your own professional expertise.
And you can check out some of these articles for in-depth tips and tricks.
1) Get Networked! provides a good overview of networking.
When networking, remember to relax, have fun, and give back to your network.Join the Conversation
When I found myself in a precarious employment situation, I started browsing job boards. I ramped up my networking, research, internet searches and began applying for jobs. Though I did receive some response from my efforts, I wasn’t getting the results I wanted.
A good friend, career/networking coach and recruiter, Cindy Schneider offered to meet with me to brainstorm ideas for a creating strategic job search plan.
During our meeting, Cindy shared with me a template for creating a job search strategy. Through this exercise I discovered that though I was doing a lot of the right things, my job search lacked focus.
In the two weeks since designing my personalized strategic job search plan I have been called for three new interviews, a second interview at one company, and a third meeting at another company where I previously interviewed. All this and I was on vacation for one of the last two weeks!
Focusing my job search has helped me generate better job leads and more effectively communicate my skills, experience and value to potential employers.
Strategic Job Search Plan Exercise
Goal: Develop a Strategic Job Search Plan that will result in a __________(direct hire/contract/full-time/part time) position as a __________(title) at/in __________ location(s), type of company, etc.) earning __________(income range) with __________(benefits/perks).
Part 1: Include as many specific solutions as possible for each category below:
Search Job Databases:
Resume Posting (Job Boards, other):
Events (Job Fairs, State Workforce Center Training, other):
Networking (LinkedIn, Networking Groups, other):
Agencies (Staffing Agencies, other):
Part 2: Rank the previous categories by their respective Tiers.
Tier 1 – Definitely include in strategy:
Tier 2 – Nice to include in strategy:
Tier 3 – Used only when personal needs justify (i.e. past X days, financial impact, etc.)Join the Conversation