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Query: If I've been working for over 10 years do I still need to follow the guidance in the interview cast on Significant accomplishments regarding preparing 5 for work experience, 5 for undergrad and 5 for work? Would I be better off focusing on more for work?

I'm finally putting this stuff into practice as I have an interview coming up - I wish I'd started sooner now but better late than never!

Thanks in advance.

thaGUma's picture

I would think that after 10 years, your college results should be less relevant than your employment. Keep one or two academic accomplishments if you are sure they are good ones.

Chris

HMac's picture

10 years at work - you might well find that you can list 10-15 solid and quantifiable accomplishments.

They won't all be of the same magnitude - but I'll bet they're there, waiting to be uncovered. You're not even going to list them all in your final resume (listing 4 to 5 bulleted accomplishments per job is about all you need to do) but they're worth uncovering so you have them at hand for interviewing and for developing compelling references.

Point is, after 10 years, there's really little room to list academic accomplishments, which really aren't all that relevant anyway. Get yourself to the point where you're saying: [i]"Damn, I have so many work accomplishments that I have trouble choosing which ones to list."[/i]

-Hugh

lazerus's picture

The relevant accomplishment of your academic career is that you graduated, IMO.

itilimp's picture

Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply and confirming my gut feeling on it. I've definitely got lots more on the work front so I won't worry about the advice on this one which I guess was aimed more at those recently out of university.

Curiously Lazerus, I took it completely for granted that I graduated and didn't view that as an accomplishment - one more the list! Instead I was thinking about the extra-curricular activites I led whilst at university.

I'm having trouble getting STACs (Skills, Traits, Abilities, Characteristics) straight in my head. I relistened to the significant accomplishment cast but didn't hear a definition of the differences between them (particularly skills vs abilities and traits vs characteristics). Could someone clarify this for me?

Hugh - one area I'm really struggling with is not which accomplishments to include, but how to word them for maximum impact. For example in one position I improved the customer perception of ICT significantly but as there was no benchmark at the beginning, I have nothing to compare the end result to in terms of figures - only empirical and anecdotal evidence. Any advice on how to get around this?

Thanks!

HMac's picture

[quote="itilimp"]Hugh - one area I'm really struggling with is not which accomplishments to include, but how to word them for maximum impact. For example in one position I improved the customer perception of ICT significantly but as there was no benchmark at the beginning, I have nothing to compare the end result to in terms of figures - only empirical and anecdotal evidence. Any advice on how to get around this?[/quote]

Thanks for asking. Some thoughts:

[list]How is it that you [i]know [/i]you improved the customer perception? I'm not doubting that you did, but how did you report this to the organization?

You note that it's empirical: what did you observe as a change in behavior on the part of customers? (If they started doing something they didn't do before, that's a 100% improvement!)

Did you [i]establish [/i]a benchmark for ongoing measurement? (you said there was no benchmark at the beginning, so I'm hoping there was one at the end).

Did you increase the frequency of measurement (even if it's empirical)?

Did you do something different with the evidence that hadn't been done before? (like, meeting with the client to confirm it and plan for improvement).[/list:u]

As to writing the accomplishments for maximum impact, try to start with the [b]result[/b], rather than the activity. This is a bit counterintuitive, but compare the two following statements:

[list]* Increased Client Satisfaction scores by 20% after streamlining processes and eliminating production errors with Six Sigma team

*Used Six Sigma team to streamline processes and eliminate production errors, resulting in 20% higher Client Satisfaction scores[/list:u]

[i](Disclaimer: they can BOTH be written tighter; this is just for demonstration purposes using a professional driver on a closed course)[/i]

To the scanning reader (who reads only four or five words of each bullet) the first one is about the happy Client; the second one is about process improvement. Nothing wrong with either. But if you're a manager, you'll have more bottom line impact making Clients happy than improving processes. So emphasize the result, not the activity.

-Hugh

itilimp's picture

Ah excellent thoughts - thank you! You've got me thinking again about things that I did that I took for granted that really are accomplishments.

As you say... although there was no benchmark at the beginning there WAS one at the end so I can also have accomplishments around the introduction of performance management to achieve the improved customer satisfaction, managed communications, etc.

*goes off to work on identifying more of her accomplishments*

itilimp's picture

UPDATE: I got the job :)

Thank you all for your advice - it worked!

lazerus's picture

[b]NICE!!![/b]

Well done and best of luck in the new position!

HMac's picture

woohoo!

[i]***Does happy dance in honor of itilimp*****[/i]

jhack's picture

Nice!

John