How to Measure & Document Achievements at Work


Our drive to advance professionally is the primary reason for documenting work accomplishments. Securing a promotion and raise, or gaining approval for a new project doesn’t happen by accident. Documenting your achievements, and quantifying them, gives your accomplishments the credibility to get the validation and advancement your career goals require.

Documenting your achievements will boost your efforts in many areas:

  1. Building a stellar resume: Quantified achievements are the currency that makes a resume valuable.
  2. Landing more interviews (Both internal and external): Recruiters and hiring managers ascribe significant value to accomplishments accompanied by metrics.
  3. Answering interview questions: Measuring and documenting your accomplishments will prepare you for interviews. Walking into an interview with multiple examples of accomplishments pertinent to the role in question will calm your nerves and solidify you as a strong viable candidate in the minds of the interviewers.
  4. Dominating your performance review: Typical performance reviews feel like attack/defend situations in which you start and end in a defensive posture. Knowing your quantified accomplishments will help you turn the tables by demonstrating what you’ve accomplished during the period in question.
  5. Vying for an internal promotion or raise: Your documented quantified accomplishments are the justification for consideration you need to share to get to that next rung on your career ladder.
  6. Knowing your abilities and worth: Socrates said people make themselves appear ridiculous when they are trying to know obscure things before they know themselves. Knowing, in no uncertain terms, what you have accomplished can help you calibrate yourself to your peers and competition. This self-awareness will also help you adjust your career trajectory and perhaps even guide you in the creation of a professional development plan.
Quantifying Your Accomplishments is an A.R.T.

As a Recruiter, I find that most individuals in job search mode struggle with what to quantify and how. First of all, there is a basic formula to a quantified accomplishment.

Action Verb + Result (Quantified) + Timeframe = Accomplishment

Alternatively, if you haven’t been documenting your accomplishments on a monthly basis and can’t seem to recall specific metrics to quantify what you accomplished many moons ago, you can build a moderately acceptable accomplishment by finishing your accomplishment statement with “resulting in.” Give it a try.

To create a quantified result you’ll need to tell a very quick story. Remember that you’re only documenting accomplishments, not entire epic saga stories. Here are some examples of quantified achievements: (Note the difference between examples that quantify and those that don’t):

  • Achieved 150% of sales quota within first 10 months in territory while also increasing Gross Profit by 13%
  • Achieved sales quota in my first year and attended Winner’s Circle
  • Increased asset recovery by 57% year over year as manager of company-wide loss reduction project
  • Managed asset recovery project resulting in a significant year over year decrease in company expense loss
  • Increased appointment generation by 20% in a 3 month period while directing the activities of 10 undergraduate sales interns
  • Supervised 10 undergraduate sales interns each summer resulting in multiple additions to the sales team
  • Increased Earnings Before Interest & Tax (EBIT) by 7% in CY2016 through the implementation of accounts receivable controls
  • Implemented accounts receivable controls resulting in a significant jump in EBIT

Quantifying your accomplishments can be difficult. Here are a few easy ways to get it done:

  1. Quantity: How many widgets did you make, sell, build, paint, design, check for quality, etc? Knowing the number of things you did and comparing that to colleagues helps set you apart.
  2. Money: How much did you save or make? Money talks and employers love hearing about how you can either save them money or make them money.
  3. Time: How often did you do something? How quickly did you do something? Did you reduce the number of hours it took to complete a task done? Time is often more important than money to an organization and you may be doing yourself a disservice in not documenting just how much “time you make for a company.”
When and Where to Track Your Quantified Accomplishments

Documenting your quantified accomplishments on a regular basis is as easy as setting amonthly recurring reminder on your calendar. I recommend using Evernote to track your accomplishments by using the notebook and/or tag function. An alternative method would be to add every accomplishment to a “master resume” on Google Docs that captures all accomplishments. This central repository of accomplishments will hold all you need to build your future resumes or document recent success for internal reviews and opportunities.

If you regularly document your successes, the career you build will better serve you today and in the future. Doing so gives you a clear view of where you stand and when to move forward. This level of self-awareness comes easier to those who have tracked their progress and can demonstrate their value in quantifiable terms.


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