Educate September 2017

Tracking Career Success: Designing Your Accomplishment Archive


Written By: Craig Petrus, Executive Director of Career Services, Univesity of Florida, Hough Graduate School of Business

The scenario: You have been in the same job for 10+ years, you love what you do, and you have no intention of leaving the company you are working for. However, on this day, you show up to work and learn that the company is cutting back its workforce and the job that you love, could be in jeopardy of going away.  As a result of your career journey to date, you haven’t even thought of or touched your resume in these past ten-years. You think to yourself, ‘How am I going to remember all that I did over the past ten years? Where do I start?’

Quite often, many career professionals find themselves in these types of scenarios, having to rewrite their resume that they haven’t even thought about in ten plus years. They may never think that they will find themselves in this type of situation or even think to track their career accomplishments. A great way to avoid having to spend countless hours and late nights thinking about what it is you accomplished over the past ten years and the value you have provided the company, is to create an “Accomplishment Archive.” This archive is designed to track your specific career successes on an annual basis, by capturing very detailed information, in an effort to continuously build upon your resume, along with providing you with talking points that you can pull from when selling yourself for a promotion, or in this case, a potential new job.

The Accomplishment Archive is a simple Excel spreadsheet (built into columns) that is very easy to compile. Here are the key components that make up this document.


Organization: List each of the companies you worked for in separate columns.

Role: What were the titles of the jobs you held at each of these companies?

Project Name: List the most impactful projects you worked on at each of these companies. Give them specific titles; i.e. Corporate Plan, Consumer Analytics Study, 2014 Operating Budget.

Areas of Impact: What were the skills that you attained by working on this project? Did it sharpen your analytical abilities, help you become a better finance or marketing executive? List your improved upon skills in this column.

Project Objective: What was the intended deliverable of this project? Describe the deliverables in one or two sentences.

Your Role: Describe the specific role you played on this project. What were you responsible for? What were you tasked with doing? Describe your role in one or two sentences.

Scale of Project: What was the overall impact/scale of this project? This could be such things as monetary, workforce, or geography.

Leadership: Was there a part of the project where you led people or an initiative as part of this project? If so, list the number of people you led or describe the initiative.

Cross-Functional: At any time during this project did you work cross-functionally with any other departments within the company? Did you work with anyone from outside of your company such as vendors, consultants, financiers? If so, capture this information here.

A great way to avoid having to spend countless hours and late nights thinking about what it is you accomplished over the past ten years and the value you have provided the company, is to create an “Accomplishment Archive.”

Actions & Tools: List the specific actions you performed and the specific tools you used to accomplish this project. Be as detailed as possible and avoid generalities. They key is to be able to recall this information quickly, especially during an interview. This column will make this easy for you.

Presentation: During the project and/or at the conclusion of the project, did you have an opportunity to present your findings/recommendation to senior leadership? If so, what titles did they hold?

Results: You never want to forget about the results! Describe, in detail, what where the results of your project. Try to quantify these results as best you can (hiring managers love numbers). If quantity is not applicable in this case, what was the overall impact that the project had on the company, in some way, shape or form? Did it improve a process or procedure? Did it introduce a new project or procedure at the company? Think about how the company is better off now that you worked on this project.

Take-Away’s: One of the most important aspects of this entire Accomplishment Archive is to track what you learned from this project. What were your take-away’s that you can now include in your professional development tool box. Make sure to capture this information, as this will be a significant part of any future interview that you participate in.

Although the Accomplishment Archive may look or sound time consuming, if you continuously track this information on a regular basis, it does not have to be a task that you dread. By tracking this information on a project by project basis, it will actually save you time in the long run, as you will avoid having to spend hours upon hours thinking about the many impactful projects you worked over the length or your career. In the end, you will look back at your career, and this document, and be extremely proud of what you have accomplished.

 

CRAIG W. PETRUS joined the Warrington College of Business in June of 2009. As Executive Director, Craig is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Business Career Services Office and ensuring the delivery of quality career development programming and services to students within the College of Business at the University of Florida.

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