Contrary to popular to popular opinion, you should never rely solely on your résumé as you pursue a job search. Your "Job Seeker's Tool Kit" should be filled with a variety of documents that will enable you to successfully market yourself with power and professionalism.

Of all the tools in your "Job Seeker's Tool Kit," the one that will "sell you best" is your Accomplishment Stories. Yes, these will market you even more effectively than the resume. Why? Because Accomplishment Stories state very specifically what positive things you have done for your previous or current employer, and therefore clearly indicate what you will be able to achieve for your NEW employer! So, if you're not using this powerful tool in your search, you're making a big mistake.

Accomplishment Stories should be written on separate pages (one story per sheet), following the structure shown below. Give a short title to each story, and type it at the top of each respective page. Make sure to use strong action verbs at the beginning of every sentence, and avoid passive-sounding phrases, such as "responsible for." Write your Accomplishment Stories answering the questions below, in 5 distinct paragraphs. You'll be TELLING these stories; not using them as handouts. So, you'll want to commit the text to memory and practice delivering them! Here are the questions to answer in your five paragraphs:

1. What was the business problem, need or challenge?


* Revenues decreasing (How much? In what timeframe?)

* Competitors out-performing the company (How? With what impact?)

* Poor productivity (Why? How measured? Since when?)

* Inability to meet manufacturing targets (Why? Since when?)

2. What did you do about it? (Not the team or department - YOU).


* Assumed management of work groups, departments or projects? (Who? How many? Results?)

* Hired or trained new employees? (Where? How many? Results?)

* Increased production? (How? Results?)

* Developed or implemented new systems or procedures? (What? Benefit?)

3. How did you do it, specifically?


* Developed, created, designed or invented something? (What? Why important?)

* Achieved more with the same/fewer resources? (How? Results?)

* Reduced downtime? (How? How much? Result?)

* Improved safety record? (What? Result?)

4. What positive, tangible results did you produce? (Quantify if possible)


* Increased efficiency or productivity? (How? Results?)

* Solved difficult problems? (How? Results?)

* Saved the company money? (How? How much?)

* Increased sales or profits? (How? By how much?)

5. What skills did you demonstrate?


* Analysis

* Persuasion

* Problem-solving

* Communication

It may take some time to develop your full collection of Accomplishment Stories, but it will be time well-spent. Once you become adept at using your Accomplishment Stories, your search results will dramatically improve and you'll receive far better job offers!

Copyright © 2010, Ford R. Myers. All Rights Reserved.
Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Reprinted by permission of Ford R. Myers, a nationally-known Career Expert and author of “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring.” For information about career services and products, visit and

Author's Bio: 

Ford R. Myers is President of Career Potential, LLC. Since 1992, he has been providing professional services in career consulting and executive coaching. His firm helps executives and professionals to take charge of their careers, create the work they love, and earn what they deserve! Career Potential also offers a leading training and certification opportunity called “Ultimate Career Consultants” (

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