Accomplishments should be documented soon after noteworthy achievements while the information is still fresh in your mind.
Previous posts on grit mention accomplishments and making use of incremental rewards. This easy system of documenting accomplishments can help you with current challenges to get more free time and future challenges which can help you earn more money in the future:
More free time
High school and college will be easier if you make the most of your time and replace confusion with clarity by using this simple documentation format. When you’re submitting page after page of information online, you will be glad you documented your accomplishments!
- Documenting accomplishments can help you develop your thoughts and gain clarity to discover your skill set and clarify what you enjoyed about the accomplishment which can help you select a major.
- SAVE TIME! By keeping brief notes on accomplishments, it is far easier to find the information for scholarship applications and college applications. The accomplishment form can serve as an outline for a scholarship or college application essay.
- Thinking positively and “taking ownership” of your accomplishments can boost your confidence.
Get ahead of the competition and start making more money earlier in your career.
- Quantifying the results of your accomplishments creates the basis of résumé writing and networking, increases opportunities, and shortens the length of your job search.
- Knowing how to talk about your accomplishments is the basis of successful networking and interviewing. This is also the best way to show your value (which proves you’re worth more money) to an employer which can help you get a promotion and raise.
- Keeping track of accomplishments makes it easier to maintain files in your professional life. Keep your performance reviews (they’re your accomplishments as documented by your boss). This makes writing and updating a résumé easy. Your records can also be the basis for a professional portfolio.
What is an accomplishment?
Accomplishments are more than awards. The accomplishment form can be used to document:
- Personal growth: An event/decision that changed your outlook/attitude/maturity, etc.
- Academic development: How you improved scores and faced challenges will demonstrate your maturity and determination.
- Extracurricular activities/work accomplishments: Working with other people forces you to develop skills and insights that will be important in your future career.
Get the contact information of future references (and keep in touch) so it will be easy to verify your accomplishments for future use.
Click link for a PDF version of the Accomplishment form. Accomplishment form
How to complete the form
It is important to note that some sections will not be relevant to every accomplishment. For example, images, video, and verifying documents might not apply to personal growth accomplishments.
Categories: Circling the type of accomplishment helps with quick reference later if you need to find an example of a specific type of accomplishment. For example, if you find out about a scholarship that requires an essay about earning an award, flipping through a stack of papers to quickly find an accomplishment about an award will be quick and easy.
The Problem, Action, and Result can be the most challenging, yet most rewarding section. This is an explanation of each section with my personal example.
- Problem: State the problem you solved or the challenge or obstacles you faced. This is the basis of the additional information because you need to state the starting point so that the results will be relevant.
- Example: I had trouble in German class and couldn’t remember some of the vocabulary. My grade for that class was slipping.
- Action: Describe the action or actions you took to solve the problem. It might be difficult to start identifying all actions taken and skills developed at this point, but the idea is to complete the section as well as you can.
- Example: I asked my teacher for study tips. (Note that this was done without grade-grubbing.) She informed me that she had a student who had the same difficulties who later became one of her best students. I talked to him and he gave me a very useful piece of advice: Think of the other language as a “new” language instead of thinking of the new language as a second language. When learning new words, I started to think of the new word in its own context instead of a direct translation.
- Result: What was the outcome of your action? Did you improve something, win a contest, or make a dramatic (positive) change to your GPA?
- Example: Not only did it take me from a D to an A, I was able to start thinking of the new language in terms of its culture and to see it in a new way. Instead of thinking of each new word and how to translate it, each new word became its own label and concept. It taught me to think in the context of another culture.
What skills did you use? What did you learn? Listing skills and what you learned might not be as easy to incorporate into your responses for Action and Result. If you list this information in these sections, it can be easier to find for quick reference if you need to find an example about developing a specific skill.
If you prefer to create your own document to save on a flash drive, or a cloud-based document, make sure you’re consistent with titling and saving for easy retrieval. If you prefer to print, make sure you keep the completed accomplishments in a safe place. Meticulous records can’t help you if you don’t have a quick and easy way to store and retrieve them!
For help with documenting your accomplishments to make the most of your experiences, contact Career Prep Academy, a service of CrossRoads. Call us at 317-842-8881.