June 27, 2014

Zeroing in on Your Hard-to-Define Job Successes for Resume Writing and Beyond


Ever wish you could more easily identify those personal traits that make you a good employee, even when your job successes are less than obvious? To get started, ask yourself some simple probing questions to help turn your investigative eye toward the right topics. Appropriately searching questions could be similar to:

  • How was your job performance superior to the way a generic, mediocre employee may have performed at the same tasks?
  • What were your job accomplishments that other workers in your position may not have done?
  • What do you think your boss and coworkers would say about you that makes you a great employee?
  • How did your company/department/team change for the better for having you aboard? How did hiring you make your workplace better?

While this is a great place to start for turning intangible performance metrics into sellable marketing points, some additional questions are also useful for making sure you will make a great fit at your new job and can handle the new job duties appropriately. These qualitative metrics can be used to compare your performance to another worker so that you can truly begin to see what makes you a top employee. These questions take into account how your target company is built as well as what you need to succeed in a given position.

These questions may include:

• What do employees in your field of choice do and are you passionate about these tasks?

The goal for this questions is not to simply figure out what it is professionals in the field do, but whether the job is something you are driven to do. How the business is built is also a major factor in shaping the answer to this question.

• Are you disciplined enough for the job?

Understanding your passions is not always enough to ensure success at a job. Many employees fail at their positions due to lack of discipline, especially involving the creation of a schedule and the ability to rigorously stick to it.

• Do you have a support system in place, both outside of the workplace and available to you at your employer?

A useful support system can be as much of an emotional boon as a motivator to keep moving forward. The better you understand the role of the people in your life and the support they offer, the better you can gauge how they will react to various job-related stressors and support you through them.

• How advanced are your problem solving skills?

A significant portion of any professional job is spent troubleshooting, identifying current and potential problems at your company, and discovering ways to solve them. Being able to consistently solve problems is a prerequisite for most any position out there.

Beginning with your next job, set some tangible goals each month and keep records of when and how you accomplished those goals. When it comes time to apply for new job or start a new career, you will already have a list of hard successes to fill out your resume and present at future interviews to prove your effectiveness and strong suits as an employee.


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Joshua Bjerke, from Savannah, Georgia, focuses on articles involving the labor force, economy, and HR topics including new technology and workplace news. Joshua has a B.A. in Political Science with a Minor in International Studies and is currently pursuing his M.A. in International Security.