How to Market Yourself
How do I describe my work experience so it catches an employer’s attention?
“We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.” -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Others may look harder at your accomplishments than you do yourself. While your personal visions and goals are of great value to making a job or career change, you must also be able to convey your past accomplishments to those who are getting to know you, perhaps for the first time. Accomplishments are specific activities you have performed in your work that often speak to the results, value or outcome you achieved in performing the work. They also help convey skills and behaviors used, and obstacles you overcame. To define and convey your accomplishments in the most powerful, succinct way, the following exercise(s) is provided.
- What are your demonstrated strengths (consider behavioral strengths, industry/product knowledge, key accomplishments). How are these strengths helpful to a potential employer?
- What common theme has spanned your various jobs? (e.g., Informing people, developing and overseeing processes, ….)
- Here are some questions to jog your memory, in your previous work experiences, volunteer leadership positions, etc….
- Did you help increase sales? By what percentages or amount?
- Did you generate new business, bring in new clients, or forge affiliations with new organizations? How and with whom?
- Did you save your company money? How much and under what circumstances?
- Did you design and/or institute any new system or process? What were the results?
- Did you meet an impossible deadline through extra effort? What difference did this make to your company?
- Did you bring a major project in on or under budget? How did you make this happen? How were the dollars you saved used?
- Did you suggest and/or help launch a new product or program? What was it? How successful was the effort?
- Did you take on any new responsibilities that weren't part of your job? What did you do?
- Did you ask for the new projects or were they assigned to you? Why were you selected?
- Did you introduce any new or more effective techniques for increasing productivity? Is your approach being used?
- Did you improve communication in your firm? With whom and what was the outcome?
- Did you participate in the recruitment or training of other employees? What did you do? How did your company benefit from your performance?
- What are suggestions or recommendations you have made which have been accepted or implemented?
- What awards or work-related contests have you won?