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Exercise # 7--  Identify and Analyze Your Accomplishments

An accomplishment is something specific that you did that solved a difficult problem, met an interesting challenge, reacted to a crisis, or created a rewarding success.  It is quantifiable, and you enjoyed doing it.

Your accomplishments, if carefully identified at the beginning of your search, can help you easily answer interview questions such as:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What have you done on the job to make money or save money for your company?
  • What have you done on the job to improve work flow?
  • What makes you stand out among your peers?


Examining your accomplishments increases self-awareness and, often, raises self-esteem.  Analyzing your accomplishments can help you determine your key strengths and give some insight into your interest patterns. Your accomplishments can then be used to communicate your core competencies and how you add value to an organization.

Start by making a list of your accomplishments:

Beginning with high school, take 3 to 5 year segments of your life, and identify things you did that had some kind of result and that you liked doing. The objective of this exercise is to come up with a list of at least 25 to 30 accomplishments.


The majority of your accomplishments should come from your work life, but your accomplishments can also include things you did as a student, an athlete, a volunteer, or a family member.  All of these can show how you do things and what you like to do.
The accomplishments need not be monumental in the eyes of others. What counts is that you actually did something, there was a result, and you felt good about it.


If an accomplishment you have noted has no result involved, it is most likely a responsibility, not an accomplishment.  It should be removed from your list.

 From this “accomplishment dump”, pick ten accomplishments, most from your work experience, that are quite different from each other.

 For each accomplishment, prepare a PAR statement.  A PAR statement breaks an accomplishment into three parts:

“P”--  The Problem
“A”--  Your Actions
“R”--  The Results


 First, the Problem or situation:

  • What was the context of the situation?
  • What was your role?
  • What actually was the Problem?
  • Why was there a need for action?
  • What were some of the obstacles you faced?


Second, your Actions:

  • What specific Actions did you take?
  • How did you take the steps necessary to resolve the Problem?


Third, the Results:

  • What were the Results of the Actions you took to address the Problem?
  • If possible, please quantify the Results.  Use dollar amounts, percentages, or testimonials to your performance.
  • If you can’t quantify the results, in more general terms talk about how your Actions affected people and the organization.


Once you have created PAR statements for your ten accomplishments listed above, conduct the following analysis for each PAR statement:

  • Underline the action words or phrases that you have used.
  • Once you have done this for all your PAR statements, make a list of the five action words that appear the most frequently.
  • This is good input into identifying your key strengths.


Also, for each of your PAR statements, answer the following questions:

  • What was the main thing accomplished?  (Examples--  created a successful marketing approach, got the team working well, communicated better with my boss)
  • What was the main subject matter of the accomplishment involved here?  (Examples--  specific industry segments, specific product / service issues, or specific functional areas such as Sales, Marketing, Finance or Human Resources)
  • What about doing this did I most enjoy?
  • What did I do best and why?
  • Was I energized by this activity, or just spinning my wheels?
  • What was my key motivator to complete this?
  • How did I get along with everyone involved?
  • Describe the working environment and how it felt each day?


Finally, carefully review:

Your PAR Statement action word / action phrase analysis (above)
Your answers to the PAR Statement questions for each PAR Statement (above)

This review should reveal emerging patterns that will help you identify your four to five core competencies, how you like to add value to organizations, and where your true interests lie.

Click here to see examples of PAR statements.

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