“Past performance is the best predictor of future success.”
Recruiters and hiring managers assessing candidates are looking for proof that you can do the job. One of the best ways to assess that is by reviewing your accomplishments from similar roles. However, it can be difficult to remember what you’ve done!
That’s where keeping a journal comes in. Each month for the next year, I will post a summary of daily prompts to help you identify and track your accomplishments throughout the year. You can either write down a specific accomplishment from that day or use the prompt to help you think of a recent accomplishment. You don’t have to use the specific prompt for that day — but they are there to help give you some inspiration.
Keep the journal somewhere you’ll refer to it each day. Taking a few minutes to complete the prompts will make it easier for you to update your résumé and LinkedIn profile.
January 1 – What was your biggest personal accomplishment last year?
January 2 – What was your biggest professional accomplishment last year?
January 3 – Did you achieve or exceed your quotas/goals last year?
January 4 – Have you taken on any leadership roles recently — either within your job or in your volunteer work?
January 5 – What have you done recently to improve customer relationships with the company?
January 6 – Have you done anything to improve communications at work, either internally or externally?
January 7 – What are you most proud of in the work you do?
January 8 – If you weren’t at work today, what didn’t get done?
January 9 – What have you done recently to demonstrate your conflict management capabilities?
January 10 – How have you taken initiative in your current role?
January 11 – Do you have any achievements in terms of your language specialization (foreign languages)?
January 12 – What did you do today to go above and beyond what was required?
January 13 – How have you recently contributed to a team or a group project?
January 14 – Did you receive any honors, awards, or recognition this year? What did you receive this recognition for?
January 15 – How have you increased sales or profits?
January 16 – What have you done to help bring new customers to the company?
January 17 – How do you ensure your work responsibilities get completed?
January 18 – Did you institute any new processes or procedures at your company?
January 19 – Have you instructed your co-workers on any topics?
January 20 – What trainings or educational programs have you attended recently?
January 21 – Describe a time when you prioritized an activity over another.
January 22 – Have you ever discovered an error in your review of something? What was the outcome?
January 23 – What has your boss praised you for recently?
January 24 – How have you demonstrated your leadership skills recently?
January 25 – Have you been given any additional responsibility lately?
January 26 – How did you set yourself apart at work today?
January 27 – Have you done any public speaking or made any presentations (either in-person or virtual)? Who did you speak to? On what topic?
January 28 – How have you rejuvenated something that has gone stale?
January 29 – What special project have you worked on recently?
January 30 – Which of your contributions has received the most recognition — from customers, your bosses, or both?
January 31 – What is your biggest professional achievement in the past month?
When possible, quantify your accomplishments: specify numbers, percentages, and dollar amounts. Be as detailed as possible with your responses
When turning your prompts into actual accomplishment statements, create a structure to tell a story. The most common format is the CAR statement:
C = What was the challenge?
A = What action did you take?
R = What was the result?
An example of a CAR statement is:
Recruited to tackle an underperforming sales territory characterized by significant account attrition (challenge). Developed contact list for lapsed accounts and initiated contact with decision-makers at each company (action). Reacquired 22% of former customers, resulting in $872,000 in revenue (result).
For a downloadable copy of January’s accomplishment journal Click Here
If you missed December’s accomplishment journal Click Here