Two Critical Elements For a Successful Job Search – While You Are Still Employed, Part I

Concerned about being laid off? Make sure you are “Taking care of Business”

In today’s economy I am hearing from many who have lost their jobs, both with notice and without notice.

It is never a comfortable situation to be in, for sure. We’ve lived it within our own family this year, and can happily report we’ve also come out on the other side, better for it all, believe it or not, and have seen many of our friends and clients do the same.

I am seeing a common thread for those who are seeing quicker success in the job market which I wanted to share.

1. They have strong resumes which are loaded with quantifiable accomplishments which are tailored to the jobs and companies to which they are applying…

And

2. They are extraordinarily strong networkers, using LinkedIn effectively and reaching far beyond the limits of online networking as well.

The common thread of success between both of these elements starts while you are still on the job….. so if you are currently employed, this article can really benefit you!

Today I’m going to talk about the resume with accomplishments and I’ll follow up with a separate networking article.

All of what I am going to share in these two articles is born out of my actual experience with successful job seekers during this recent recession.

Resumes with Accomplishments:

Resumes with quantifiable accomplishments are a strong stand out against the competition who don’t have this element. Yet, surprisingly a large number of people who approach me for resumes have much difficulty listing accomplishments which actually have meaning. They can tell me they “met quality goals” or “on-time” goals, but they can’t tell me specifically what those goals were, or what the metrics were behind the goals.

Companies care about what you can contribute to their bottom line…. So being able to articulate and highlight on your resume accomplishments which translate to the field or company you are applying for is key to success.

If you are still employed it is to your benefit to know what your unit and corporate goals and metrics are. It helps to know where you’ve been and what you’ve accomplished as a team towards unit and corporate goals. It also helps to know what your individual contribution to the team was.

If you don’t know this information….. find it out while you are still employed…. It will be too late once you have been released from your job. Most companies have a non-disclosure policy once a person has separated from the company, whether voluntarily or involuntarily.

I find that folks I work with are continually challenged when I ask them to come up with “specific accomplishments”. To that end, this is a partial list I’ve created to generally help people start to mine through their accomplishments and “find the gold.”

If you are still employed, this list will help you start thinking about the information you should be finding out specifics about while you are employed and have access to the information…

Did you help make money?

o Add to net profit through re-engineering of operations

o Lead or par-take in a successful start up operation?

o Develop or participate in an incentive program?

o Increase sales, add customers or territories or products?

o Prepare or win proposals for funding or new business?

o Increase production or sales volume?

o Develop or participate in the development of a new product?

Did you help save money?

o Develop or participate in sourcing initiatives

o Manage and shrink inventory?

o Reduce operating expenses without affecting production?

o Design or participate in purchasing strategies?

o Re-engineer business or production processes?

o Increase production without labor expenses?

Did you help save time?

o Streamline work processes or job assignments?

o Perform work previously done by two employees?

o Introduce technology or data processes that saved time or shortened work cycles or processes?

o Redesign work space lay out?

o Consolidate forms?

Did you help make work easier?

o Merge fragmented work groups

o Eliminate unnecessary steps, or policies?

o Mitigate risks in the execution of a process or product development?

o Initiate an idea generation process from the work group

o Secure out sourcing or vendor assistance in a process

o Create an internship that assisted with additional workload?

o Initiate or participate in any kind of team communications?

If you aren’t employed, this list will help jog your memory.

Keep in mind for the purposes of this article it is only a partial, generic list.

I’ve also developed some industry specific ones, which are very attractive on a resume and help in the “key word” department. –So, after you’re finished with this list, think of things specific to your field of work and list those for yourself and keep it where you can find it in the development of your resume.

For industry specific questions and lists or other resume writing and interview resources, visit my website at

Here’s to your Success!

Dominique Koukol