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Success in the Job Search Process Requires Specific Facts and Figures

Job search candidates need to maintain a "career success journal" to remember specific position-related achievements. A recent survey of professional recruiters conducted by Kathy Sweeney, NCRW, CPRW, CCM and president of The Write Resume, revealed that 91 percent of those completing the survey wanted resumes that had "position descriptions with a good mix of duties and accomplishments."

Phoenix, AZ, December 23, 2006 -- Many job seekers believe their knowledge of and ability to complete daily job duties alone will secure them a new job. However, this thinking is what separates unsuccessful job search candidates from their more successful counterparts.

What do winning job seekers know that other candidates do not? They realize that when searching for candidates or reviewing resumes submitted for specific positions, recruiters and employers look at a combination of position responsibilities and specific achievements when deciding which job seekers to contact for an interview.

Since most job search candidates do not realize that adequately portraying their accomplishments in a way that is meaningful to potential employers will make the difference between being called for an interview or not, they miss opportunities for great positions. Further, these individuals do not understand that those same accomplishments are the criterion which employers utilize in the interview process to determine which candidate to hire.

A recent survey of professional recruiters conducted by Kathy Sweeney, NCRW, CPRW, CCM, and president of The Write Resume (, revealed that 91 percent of those completing the survey wanted resumes that had "position descriptions with a good mix of duties and accomplishments." Further, 65 percent of the respondents stated they wanted cover letters with "specific accomplishments or results."

So, why don't more job seekers include accomplishments in their resumes and cover letters? Sweeney believes job search candidates do not know how to identify and quantify their achievements.

"As a professional resume writer and interview coach for more than 19 years, I often find the toughest area for my clients to clarify is their career achievements. However, it is the most important part of a resume, as employers believe that past performance equals future success," stated Sweeney. "It is also imperative that job seekers keep a record of their success, as the information will be critical when the time comes to interview for their next job, whether it is an internal or external position."

To make the task less complicated, Sweeney advises her clients to keep a "career success journal." She says it does not have to be fancy; just a notebook job seekers keep with them at all times. Sweeney further advocates that job search candidates adopt a habit of completing their success journal at least once per week, including entries which detail contributions made in the workplace.

When keeping a career success journal, Sweeney suggests job seekers ask themselves the type of questions below when considering successes in their positions:

Did you sign on a new account that contributed either a significant dollar amount or percentage of overall business to the company?
Did you recommend, develop and implement a process which increased productivity, improved accuracy or eliminated a step in the overall process?
Did you source a vendor or negotiate a contract that saved the company money?
Did you help increase your company's brand awareness through an innovative marketing campaign?
Were you part of a team that worked on a major project for the company? Team contributions and achievements are just as important as individual successes. If you were selected as the Project Leader, that lends even more credibility to the success of the venture.
Did you receive an award for your contributions (either an individual or team award)? Be sure to detail why the award was received.

By answering these types of questions, job seekers should be able to identify achievements and contributions in the workplace. Sweeney maintains that by keeping a current career success journal job seekers will be able to remember their achievements more clearly when it is time to prepare their resume.

"Many job seekers believe they are in a position which cannot produce quantifiable achievements," commented Sweeney. "I tell my clients it does not matter the industry in which they are employed -- there are quantifiable achievements which can be garnered from their daily work experience. Further, I advise them no matter how insignificant they think an achievement is, chances are, an employer will find value in their contributions."

Kathy Sweeney is the president of The Write Résumé, a Phoenix-based Resume Writing and Career Consulting Firm established in 1987. Ms. Sweeney is a Nationally Certified Resume Writer, Certified Professional Resume Writer and Credentialed Career Master. She works with job search candidates on a global basis. She specializes in preparing job seekers at every level to maximize their ability to gain employment through the composition of effective resumes and career marketing documents and conducting personalized interview coaching sessions. To contact Ms. Sweeney, call 866-726-9052 or visit her website at

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