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Every day as a resume writer, I work with clients and gather background materials for their projects. People fill out a worksheet, plus they send me the most recent version of their resume with an updated work history. Related: 5 Things To Fix Before Your Resume Leaves Your Desk And you know what? I’ve noticed a rather startling trend. There are a whole lot of people missing the boat on one particular item they either forget to include or stick at the very bottom of the document… almost as an afterthought. Can you guess what it is? Give up? It’s the notable achievements section. Yes. Really. I’m talking about the things that set you apart from your peers…and please note: if you don’t have any, don’t sweat it. But for the folks that do, this section somehow becomes an awkward part of the resume that they don’t quite know what to do with it. Sometimes it is left out entirely. Other times, it is placed at the very end of the document. Now why would you want to do that? Notable achievements (a.k.a. how you have distinguished yourself in your industry and career, as well among your peers) are the CREAM THAT RISES TO THE TOP. I’m not talking about financial incentives here (i.e. you won a bonus or financial award). The stuff I am talking about are awards (from peers, colleagues, supervisors, and industry), speaking engagements, patents, authoring articles, being quoted or featured in the media, and any other way you have established your industry subject matter expertise. Over and over again, we are told that employers (that is, once you get a real live human being reading your resume) give you between 6-8 seconds and the first third of your document can either make or break your candidacy. Pulling your notable achievements into that first third of your resume is going to be critical to getting you noticed… you’ll want to place this section after your job title headline, summary, and skills list, and before your actual work history. The idea is that your resume is telling a story: The job title headline connects you to the target position for which you are applying, then you tell the employer why hire you, provide the skill sets that are relevant to that position, and then you need to tell the employer what makes you special. That’s it, really… notable achievements help make you stand out. Don’t be shy. Don’t be bashful. This is where you take ownership of your accomplishments and let the employer know how you have distinguished yourself. It’s not boasting. Quite honestly… if you don’t tell them, they simply won’t know. So take a moment, look over your resume, and see where you may have placed your top industry and career achievements. If they aren’t there, include them. And if they are, but are listed at the bottom of your document, pull them up closer to the top. You’ll stand out more because of it, and it COULD make the difference on whether you are invited in for an interview. This post was originally published on an earlier date.

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Every day as a resume writer, I work with clients and gather background materials for their projects. People fill out a worksheet, plus they send me the most recent version of their resume with an updated work history. Related: 5 Things To Fix Before Your Resume Leaves Your Desk And you know what? I’ve noticed a rather startling trend. There are a whole lot of people missing the boat on one particular item they either forget to include or stick at the very bottom of the document… almost as an afterthought. Can you guess what it is? Give up? It’s the notable achievements section. Yes. Really. I’m talking about the things that set you apart from your peers…and please note: if you don’t have any, don’t sweat it. But for the folks that do, this section somehow becomes an awkward part of the resume that they don’t quite know what to do with it. Sometimes it is left out entirely. Other times, it is placed at the very end of the document. Now why would you want to do that? Notable achievements (a.k.a. how you have distinguished yourself in your industry and career, as well among your peers) are the CREAM THAT RISES TO THE TOP. I’m not talking about financial incentives here (i.e. you won a bonus or financial award). The stuff I am talking about are awards (from peers, colleagues, supervisors, and industry), speaking engagements, patents, authoring articles, being quoted or featured in the media, and any other way you have established your industry subject matter expertise. Over and over again, we are told that employers (that is, once you get a real live human being reading your resume) give you between 6-8 seconds and the first third of your document can either make or break your candidacy. Pulling your notable achievements into that first third of your resume is going to be critical to getting you noticed… you’ll want to place this section after your job title headline, summary, and skills list, and before your actual work history. The idea is that your resume is telling a story: The job title headline connects you to the target position for which you are applying, then you tell the employer why hire you, provide the skill sets that are relevant to that position, and then you need to tell the employer what makes you special. That’s it, really… notable achievements help make you stand out. Don’t be shy. Don’t be bashful. This is where you take ownership of your accomplishments and let the employer know how you have distinguished yourself. It’s not boasting. Quite honestly… if you don’t tell them, they simply won’t know. So take a moment, look over your resume, and see where you may have placed your top industry and career achievements. If they aren’t there, include them. And if they are, but are listed at the bottom of your document, pull them up closer to the top. You’ll stand out more because of it, and it COULD make the difference on whether you are invited in for an interview.

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  Is it possible to do the impossible? For author Patrick Bet-David it is, and he’s willing to show you how. Bet-David, a self-made success who emigrated from war-torn Iran to the U.S., is author of the book Doing The Impossible, and he says if you can dream it, you can do it. But making dreams happen is not for the timid, and it’s not the safe and secure road. It means taking a leap of faith, leaving your comfort zone and risking failure.

I have the honor of working with many high-performing and high-potential individuals who are always striving to reach the next level in their careers. What is quite common among these people (and most high achievers) is they are typically very forward-looking and assess their current career success based on how far away they are from their "next level" or that next goal. I have heard this described as the "elusive carrot" syndrome and I think it is a great depiction of what is going on. As that carrot (which represents what we are trying to achieve) is dangling out in front of us, it always seems one step ahead of us and just out of our reach. As long as we assess our progress against that elusive carrot, it can feel like we are never getting anywhere. But, if we take a look behind us, the picture is quite different. I recently did this with a client who is striving to reach a higher level position inside his company. He has not yet gotten there so feels like he is not making progress in his career goals. Yet, when he looked back six months, he realized he had finished his master's degree, hired six new people on his team, successfully implemented several new programs across his company as well as completed a senior leadership development program inside his company. This not only gave him exposure to the CEO and executive team, but it also allowed him to present to the company board. All of these things were clear indicators of his progress toward his goal of reaching that higher role. However, by only looking ahead at the "elusive carrot," he was unable to see just how far he'd come and all the successes he had achieved. I am all for being forward-thinking and focusing on achieving goals. In fact, I'd much rather do that than look behind me; however, every so often, it is really important to take a look back six months or one year to see how far you've come. It might even re position your perspective on that "elusive carrot" you are striving to reach.

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