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Mining for Accomplishments (Not Duties)


This posting is a guest entry from the Career Doctor, Randall S. Hansen, PhD: Karen Danyels writes: I’m thinking about switching jobs, but when I look at what my duties are here, they don’t sound like very much at all. My job is basically data entry and word processing. My duties include running almost all packages that go to the courthouse. These include starting evictions, running eviction packages, the Substitute Trustee, Notice of Sale, Notice of Hearing, staying in contact with the mortgage companies, ordering Title Searches, ordering Publication requests from the newspapers, Final Reports, and various other forms. I also had the highest grade in my class in editing and proofreading, the only A in the class.
The Career Doctor responds: Karen, you are making one of the classic job-seeker mistakes. You should not be focusing on your duties at all — you should be focusing on your accomplishments! Accomplishments are so much more meaningful to prospective employers than run-of-the-mill litanies of job duties or responsibilities. Spend some time brainstorming about your skills and accomplishments — in all your jobs and education — with an eye toward the type of job you want next. Eliminate any skills that you no longer want to perform; otherwise you will be stuck in another job doing things you no longer enjoy. Once you have this list of accomplishments and skills, it’s time to work on your resume. One article in particular that you should find useful is: Ten Easy Ways to Improve Your Resume, by my partner, Katharine Hansen. If you need more help with your resume, go to the Resume Resources section of Quintessential Careers.