Keep a Success Log for a Better Resume-Writing Experience May 19, 2021
One of the best tips I ever received was to keep a “success log.”
You may think a recruiter would have no issue writing their own resume. You’d be wrong. While I have an editor’s eye and a copywriter’s focus as well as the innate recruiter discernment when reviewing YOUR resume, I can’t seem to get out of my own way when I’m writing my own.
What’s a recruiter to do?
It’s no secret I’m incredibly happy at my job, I also know the way that life can change on a dime (ask me about the time that I moved across the country in less than thirty days!)
Those types of zigs and zags in life have taught me that keeping my resume relatively updated is a necessity. While a specific resume for a particular job is vital, it’s much easier to write if you have a strong base to start.
A success log makes the resume process easier.
What’s a success log?
Exactly what it sounds like. Keep a document on your phone or computer that tracks your work projects and the outcomes. Odds are when you’re in the middle of a project you believe you’ll never forget how many people are part of it, what their role (and yours) is, and how much budget you have to work with. You’ll be intimately involved with all the moving parts and you’ll celebrate the wins and review and regroup after any failures.
One month later your memory will have faded.
A year later, when you’re looking for a new role, you’ll barely remember the name of the project much less the ins and outs of what worked and why. Unless you have a success log.
A success log is simply a tracking system for your projects. If you’re an operations leader you may want to include your budget, your deadlines, your team (at least their titles and roles) as well as any issues you had along the way. As the project closes be sure to record the measurable results – dollars saved, time saved, efficiency increased, waste reduced, etc.
If you’re a therapist working with differently abled populations, why not track the number of clients you see and how often. Track the treatment plans you created and how effective they were in gaining results for your client. Review the number of people you’ve supervised and what their roles were, as well as any wins or challenges you’ve encountered – did your team completely understand their work? Were you required to provide disciplinary reviews? How did you handle setbacks?
Over time you’ll see how you’ve grown in your role and your career. By tracking where you’ve begun, you’ll have proof of your improvement and this will give you talking points during the interview, when you’re asked what things in your career have given you the most satisfaction.
Of course, a success log should also include big wins and awards. Whether your company, your industry or your client provides you with positive feedback, be sure to ask if you can share their comments publicly or use them as a reference down the road. Just because you don’t need a recommendation right now, you will be asked for one in the future!
When the time comes to write your resume, you’ll have plenty of specifics to include and more than enough projects to pick and choose to ensure you target your resume to the specific role you’re applying for.
I’d love to hear if you’ve used a success log throughout your career!
Written by: PEGGIE ARVIDSON, Account Executive
Peggie Arvidson started recruiting in junior high school when she convinced her classmates to join her in creating a ski club. Since then, she’s held many positions from sales to recruiting to non-profit leadership and quality assurance. Her focus in her life and career is helping people to find their right work for the right pay because she believes that when people are happy at work, they are secure in life, and happy people change the world for the better.
Peggie has moved more than 30 times across 5 states and three time zones and is not a military brat. Before Covid she spent her free time traveling with her friends and husband and now you can find her making beautiful things out of yarn, found objects, and her imagination.
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