In Identify Your Accomplishments, the focus was on gathering your successes and transforming them into compelling stories using the CARD model.
- Challenge – the situation, problem, or requirement at hand
- Action – the specific actions you took to resolve the challenge
- Result – the benefit created in as specific and measurable terms as possible
- Details – add clarifying details to provide context, consider these questions: how many, how much, how long, and how often.
Now, it’s time to turn those stories into effective self-marketing, both on paper and in person. Employers generally want to understand the value you would bring to their company,.
Following a strategic approach to your job search and learning how to market your skills will be more effective than blindly sending your resume to dozens of companies. Taking time to learn how to communicate your accomplishments can prepare you for a successful, proactive job search.
Which Accomplishments Should I Focus On?
When communicating your accomplishments, it’s important to think about the setting and the audience. Do the research to know your audience and their interests.
Your accomplishments can be shared with the brevity required on a resume or the more detailed storytelling possible in a formal interview. Even your professional introduction at a networking event can include a brief accomplishment story. Knowing your stories well enough to communicate effectively in these differing formats sets you up for greater success.
What Should I Include in a Resume?
Simply listing your duties connected with past employment won’t make you stand out in a crowd of candidates. A list of job duties or tasks only says what you did, not why you did it or the outcome. By adding brief context, following the CARD model, the employer sees more detail about what you accomplished and how it benefitted the company or organization.
For each position you’ve held, include bullet points describing a few of the best results or outcomes that you were able to achieve. (A good “formula” for these statements is “result + action + brief description including clarifying details.”)
Again, it’s about telling your story and standing out as someone an employer sees as having immediate value. But remember; keep it short and sharp for a resume. Think in terms of a movie. Intrigue the employer with the trailer and save the detailed plot for the interview.
How Do I Share Accomplishments in an Interview?
Employers want to hear stories of your achievements because they imply future success based on your past behavior. Many employers will ask follow-up questions about accomplishments listed on your resume (e.g. “Tell us more about how you organized the fundraiser.”) So, review the compelling stories you wrote down based on the CARD model. These provide an employer a memorable reason to consider you over someone who simply explains what they did and not the outcome.
The CARD model helps you prove, in specific terms, why you’d be an asset to the company.
How Do I Introduce Myself Professionally?
Introducing yourself in a meeting, at a networking event, or at an industry conference can open up professional opportunities. Yes, it can feel awkward, but not if you know how to translate your accomplishments into a compelling introduction.
Always start with a brief overview, telling them who you are and what you’re looking to achieve.
- Your name and current job title, industry of interest, or field of study
- Something interesting about yourself that helps you to stand out from others (maybe mention your reason for getting into your field, or some specific and relevant skills)
- A question to invite further conversation
From catching an employer’s attention on a resume to promoting your past success in an interview and knowing how to introduce yourself professionally, learning how to market yourself is all about effective communication. With some research and preparation, you will shine in every situation.
Also in this series:
The Capella University Career Center counselors, resources, and tools help students and alumni manage their careers at every stage and move toward the careers they want.