Nadine Goldberg, Graduate Assistant
I’m constantly blown away by how active Penn students are. You’re involved in work-study jobs, student orgs, athletic teams, and more. But are you tracking your accomplishments? Set yourself up for success in your next job or internship search by documenting your successes along the way. Here’s how:
1) Tell Me About a Time When…
Whether you’re writing a cover letter or preparing for behavioral interview questions, your job or internship search will challenge you to recall specific success stories from your previous professional and extracurricular experiences – and it really can be a challenge! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve racked my brain before an interview trying to recall a compelling anecdote from an experience that happened a few years back.
Save yourself the trouble by recording your success stories in the moment, while they’re freshest in your memory. When it’s time to write that cover letter or prepare for that interview, you’ll have a handy dandy cheat sheet all ready to go!
2) The Numbers Don’t Lie
Nearly every time I review a resume, I find myself suggesting that the student add quantifying detail to demonstrate the size of their impact. If you were managing a budget for an organization, how large was it? If you coordinated an event, how many people participated? If you were running a social media account, by what percentage did you grow its following?
The trouble is, it can be nearly impossible to remember these numbers if you haven’t been tracking them. How many students attended the lecture I organized two years ago? No clue! Make your life easier by recording quantifying detail about your professional and extracurricular experiences as they happen.
Also be sure to record baseline numbers when you start in a new role so that you can quantify any growth you initiate – How many people were following your organization’s Facebook page when you took the reins? How many people attended the event you’ll be planning in previous years?
3) The Proof is in the Pudding
When it comes to tracking your accomplishments, it’s alright to be a pack-rat. Hang on to any tangible outputs or records of your accomplishments. Did your event get written up in the DP, or did something you wrote get published? Save the links to the articles. Did you design a flyer that you’re proud of or develop great materials for a workshop? Hold on to the files. When it’s time to update your Linkedin profile, these materials will make great content! Just be sure to confirm that your organization will allow you to share them publically.