Job Journal, Success Stories and a Job Seekers Strategy & Ego

Recently I wrote a post about the idea of a Job Journal and the power of recording your past successes to help you communicate your value to people in interviews, on resumes, etc.

Mary Lou Hely left a great comment:

I’m a believer. The PAR statements make a critical difference in both keeping you from feeling like a loser for not having a job, and for positioning yourself as the ideal job candidate on your resume.

I kept putting off the effort. I guess subconsciously I didn’t really believe I had any successes. But, finally one day recently, I just buckled down and started making notes of my successful experiences with each company I’d worked for. My brain hurt at the end of the day, but it completely changed my approach.

I then took the rough notes, fine tuned them into brief, succinct PAR statements and transferred them to one of my resume versions. It’s pretty powerful let me tell you.

What a boost of confidence it gave me! What a powerful statement it gave my resume! On my resume, instead of a long boring list of every job and responsibility I had, it zooms right into where I added the most value. I can pick and choose from my PAR statements to customize the resume for the type of job I’m targeting. It’s a GREAT exercise for every current and future job seeker.

I hadn’t thought of this exercise as something to help you change the way you think about yourself, or how you communicate (except that you can more effectively communicate your value props), but Mary Lou reminded me of how low you can get in a job search and that doing something like this can remind you that YOU HAVE SELF-WORTH!

Here’s what I’d suggest, if you were my job-seeking client:

Put off everything you had planned to do today, except for any phone calls that you have to make, and spend the entire day brainstorming wins and past accomplishments.

If you can, like Mary Lou, get such value, isn’t that worth the entire day??  She mentions:

  • It can help keep you “from feeling like a loser,”
  • It can “completely change [your] approach,”
  • It can add meaty content to your resume, indeed, give your resume a “powerful statement!”
  • Give you a BOOST of confidence!
  • Give you PAR statements you can “pick and choose from” – how powerful is that??

Awesome – thanks for sharing Mary Lou!

Brad Attig, a career coach, also left a great resource on developing your PARs.  Check it out here, and read his comment here.

2 thoughts on “Job Journal, Success Stories and a Job Seekers Strategy & Ego”

  1. Jason,

    There is another powerful and compelling reason to complete the PAR exercise. Once you have your accomplishments, you need to identify the skills you relied upon to achieve them. This allows 2 things; one, you identify the underlying traits you are good at and have relied upon throughout your career and two, find areas you might need to strengthen and develop.

    If you don’t seem to have used empathy or tact or decisiveness or whatever skill very often, then they are most likely underdeveloped. It’s like working out. If you only work on your upper body because it’s strong and you want to keep it that way, your little legs just get scrawnier and pretty soon they can’t hold you up.

    An added bonus is you also have a much better answer for “What are your weaknesses?” You can be honest, tell how you identified your developmental areas, what you’re doing about them and the progress you have made so far. Sure beats “I work to hard” as an answer.

  2. Another benefit of working hard on the PARs: you’ll do better in interviews, screenings and other human interactions. As you get clear about the problems, actions, results and the skills you relied upon, you internalize them and they clearly and naturally come out of your mouth during an interview. I have been amazed listening to myself! It also helps you guide the interview conversation in a direction you want it to go.

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