Accomplishment – Something done successfully,admirably or creditably

Value– Inherent relative worth, merit or importance

One of the most disconcerting things I come across in working with clients is getting them to realize and acknowledge their accomplishments to go beyond a laundry list of responsibilities.

Responsibilities show no VALUE to the hiring company. The hiring manager needs to know what you did above and beyond that. Get over being uncomfortable when you think about your accomplishments. It’s not bragging.

If you don’t know your accomplishments how can you know your value or worth to your current employer or to a potential employer? Are you undermining, undercutting and undervaluing yourself because you don’t acknowledge your accomplishments?


A recent client said she doesn’t brag. Well, to quote Walt Whitman, “If you done it, it ain’t bragging.”

Bragging is difficult for both men and women, but I must say that those that can’t or won’t brag are mostly women. Why can’t women acknowledge what they’ve accomplished in the workplace? Research shows that women are terrible as self promoters. They tend to attribute their accomplishments to other people, work team or family. My feeling is that most haven’ t been taught to do so.   One client was a “lowly admin” (her own description) in a department where none of the computers used the same software programs. She too k it upon herself to question all 150 workers, including the department head and VP to see what they needed to make their jobs easier and to work more efficiently. She then researched software, narrowed it down to three programs and brought her findings to her manager. Needless to say a software program was selected, purchased, installed and the department became much more efficient and the morale improved greatly. When I pointed out that this was a monumental achievement, that went above and beyond her assigned duties, she brushed it off saying, “It was just part of my job.”

Accomplishments demonstrate your skills and experience. It’s one thing to claim you can do something – it’s another to prove you’ve done it.

 The key here is to get clarity on your career accomplishments and get comfortable talking about them!  

 While in job search mode, if going about it in the right way, “bragging” might just be the key differentiator between getting the offer and coming in second place.

Here’s an exercise to help. Start with your current or last job as it is still fresh in your mind. Write down your title then a brief summary of responsibilities. Next take your time think of projects that you’ve worked on. Was there a challenge you faced? What actions did you take to alleviate the problem? What were the results of your actions? Did you save your employer or client money or time? What did you do to accomplish that? Did you initiate new procedures? How did that help? Remember – It’s not bragging if you did it.

More advice: Start keeping a record of your work and accomplishments when you start your new job. It will be easier in the long run when the time comes to create a new resume.

If your current boss doesn’t provide performance evaluations, tracking your own accomplishments is even more important. You can track your metrics and communicate this information to your boss – you can provide it in an “end-of-year review,” and even if you only submit the information in writing, it can help you showcase what you’ve done and the value you add to the organization.

Here are some other reasons for collecting your accomplishments:

» For performance evaluations or an annual review

» To set your personal and professional goals for the next year

» Tracking the progress of projects you’re working on

» To support your candidacy and qualifications in a job interview

» When you want to make the case for a raise or a promotion

» To remind you of your achievements when you’re having a bad day

» When applying for recognition (awards or scholarships)

Quantifying your accomplishments also helps you stand out from others who do the work you do – whether you’re using the information for a raise or promotion request, or when seeking a new job opportunity. But accomplishments go beyond the basic job duties and responsibilities.

There is also value in simply collecting and reflecting on your personal and professional accomplishments.

 Writing Up Your Accomplishments

 Accuracy in collecting your accomplishments is critical. Quantify the scope and scale of the achievement in terms of percentages, numbers, and/or dollars. Be as specific as you can.

Make the statements as powerful as possible. Include action verbs in your accomplishment statements – in fact, try leading with one.

If you are having a hard time thinking of your achievements, you can also contact me at and ask for a list of 389 verbs to brainstorm your accomplishments.

Accomplishments demonstrate your skills and experience. It’s one thing to claim you can do something – it’s another to prove you’ve done it.


Click on Book Store to view and purchase 2 books that will be of enormous help and are important additions to your own professional library.

Brag! by Peggy Klaus has solutions that will show you how to spotlight and artfully communicate your accomplishments

Knowing Your Value by Mika Brzezinski – This vital book for professional women will aide you in understanding how knowing your value will help you get what you are worth.

If you don’t know or recognize your accomplishments, you can’t understand or relate your value to your boss or a potential employer.

 It’s time to give yourself a pat on the back and say”Job well done.” 


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