Recognize your accomplishments

Struggle with creating a powerful resume when job searching. Very often, we tend to be our own worst enemy, believing that somehow personal accomplishments are "not enough." Says who? Keep in mind, If you don't value your own contributions, then others won't either.

Since an accomplishment can be defined as something achieved, fulfilled, or completed, almost anything could be an accomplishment. To gauge whether something is an accomplishment for you, ask yourself:

  • Did you overcome some kind of challenge – even if it was just a personal victory?
  • Did you receive some kind of benefit from achieving this task – even if it was just feeling good about yourself?

If you answered yes to either of the above questions (and I know you did), then you do have significant accomplishments. The bonus is that accomplishing things has a snowball effect. When you accomplish one task, you build skills and experience that will help you accomplish others. The important thing is to remember and record your accomplishments. Making note of your accomplishments is not only useful for building your resume; it is also useful for career planning.

So, to help you get started, here are a few activities for documenting your significant accomplishments:

  • Write about your top five: Always start with what you know. What are the things for which you are most proud? What did you do? Why is this accomplishment important to you? What did you learn about yourself?
  • Recognize your character: What do you like about yourself? Describe yourself in three words. How do you demonstrate those characteristics in concrete actions? What skills are you demonstrating in these examples?
  • Check out your calendar: When was the last time you lost track of time? What were you doing? Where did you spend your most enjoyable time? What did you accomplish?
  • Look for the thank yous: Maybe it was an email or just a sticky note, but think about the times when others took the time to appreciate your efforts. What did you do? How did you impact the outcome?

Reviewing your achievements can reveal forgotten successes, one or more, which may trigger career inspiration. That spur could then motivate you to research and possibly find a career that allows you to accomplish the types of things that make you most happy and proud. 

For more help exploring your career-related accomplishments, visit or contact Career Services at or (313) 577-3390 to schedule an appointment with a Career Planning Counselor.

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