By Pat Meehan
Let’s take a look into your current job and start to identify all of the little things you do each day that add up to making you capable of doing your job responsibly, and without supervision. This takes a great deal of thought and determination because we tend to take ourselves and our skills for granted. Imagine a new person doing your job. What would he/she have to do to perform your job correctly? What would this person have to know? What skills should this person be able to perform to do your job immediately? Let’s break down your job into basic requirements and specific requirements:
Basic Requirements: These are the day-to-day things that you probably take for granted, but, are necessary to the daily routine in the performance of your job. They could include things like general industry knowledge, communication skills, basic computer skills, manual dexterity, punctuality, reading directions, basic math, basic writing skills, etc.
Specific Requirements: These are things that require a great deal of knowledge and experience, and are very specific to the job in order that the job can be performed. They might be things like forklift operation, Microsoft Excel, tooling, maintenance, machine operation, safety, engineering knowledge, making presentations, high school diploma, report writing, maintenance skills, etc.
Now let’s move this process to a couple of specific job titles:
EXAMPLE 1: General Ledger Accountant
Basic Requirements: Light accounting experience / math skills / computer skills / organization / quick thinking / eye for details / communication and presentations skills, etc.
Specific Requirements: Bachelors Degree in Accounting / three years of accounting experience / experience with integrated computer systems / expertise with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint / fixed assets accounting experience / accounts receivable and accounts payable experience / balance sheets / forecasting / spreadsheet creation / general ledger, etc.
EXAMPLE 2: Manufacturing Shift Supervisor
Basic Requirements: Excellent people skills / leadership skills / organizational skills / tolerance for imperfection / training skills / even temperament / visionary thinking, etc.
Specific Requirements: College degree or equivalent experience / union or non-union experience / technical knowledge / scheduling of employees for shifts / interfacing with multiple departments / interviewing and hiring experience / disciplinary procedures experience / employee training and development experience / safety training experience, etc.
Next, we want to work on your accomplishments. Accomplishments are measurable impacts that have added value to your company as a result of your activity and creativity in your current job. Let’s look back on the two earlier examples to illustrate potential accomplishments:
EXAMPLE 1: Accomplishments General Ledger Accountant
Implemented a multi-departmental, financial reporting system utilizing Excel, which was user friendly, and allowed for information to be reviewed by all department managers.
Guided the management team through a new computer system implementation and conducted user training in every department. This resulted in timely reporting of production, quality issues, and down-time.
Conducted a monthly management financial report which provided detailed information allowing for adjustments to profit & loss statement.
EXAMPLE 2: Accomplishments Manufacturing Shift Supervisor
Met with customers quarterly to discuss quality performance and evaluate ways to improve customer service.
Managed the successful installation and start up of a 500 ton progressive press.
Performed hiring activities including interviewing procedures for approximately 300 employees for a new start-up plant.
Received the “President’s Quality Award” for improved quality and customer satisfaction.
Now it’s time to get your pen and paper and take adequate time to recall your accomplishments. You are now going to formulate your accomplishment statements and write them down. Don’t worry about how they sound at this point. There are many places to get help in wording your resume, but, only you can fully and adequately identify and define your own accomplishments. Remember, a person who is accountable has strong self-awareness which allows this person to imagine himself/herself as a person who is upwardly mobile.
The most important thing is to take that first step and start building your resume today. Let it evolve into a precise and powerful document which explains your career summary in a way that other people will understand what you do and what you have done.