5 things to include when writing about an accomplishment

3 minute read

One piece of advice that I’ve been giving out more recently is how to properly frame your accomplishments. Be your own advocate and learn how to write meaningful, impactful accomplishments that will wow the reader. This is a useful practice whether you are a …

  • Junior developer submitting your end-of-year report
  • Senior developer creating a promotion package (like an STSM package)
  • Manager that is relaying a report’s accomplishment

It may seem long and unnecessary at first but I promise that with some practice it’ll become second nature and you’ll benefit from it for the rest of your career.

What to include in an accomplishment

Aside from the obivous of what was actually accomplished, get used to adding the following:

  • Priority: Why did this work matter?
  • Stakeholder(s): Who asked you to do this work?
  • Metric(s): Include some numbers. Page visits, active users, revenue.
  • Reference link(s): If possible, include a reference for the reader to visit
  • (Optional) Testimonial(s): Did someone give you kudos for a job well done, mention it!

Example: A new course was created

In 2020 I was to create a course about IBM Cloud, let’s look through the iterations I did when writing out my accomplisment in my yearly review. (Some details have been changed or anonymized).

Created a newly updated version of the IBM Cloud Essentials course.

As a reader, I have no idea why this was important, let’s add the stakeholders.

Worked with the CognitiveClass.ai team to create a newly updated version of the IBM Cloud Essentials course.

Great, now let’s say why it was important that this goal was accomplished.

Worked with the CognitiveClass.ai team to create a newly updated version of the IBM Cloud Essentials course. The course is part of a larger program that was launched in 2020 to have folks become certified with IBM Cloud. It is currently required training for some teams at IBM.

Now let’s add some metrics in the form of views and NPS.

Worked with the CognitiveClass.ai team to create a newly updated version of the IBM Cloud Essentials course. The course is part of a larger program that was launched in 2020 to have folks become certified with IBM Cloud. It is currently required training for some teams at IBM. To date, more than 9000 people have registered for the course. The course has received the *highest NPS* of any cloud related course on CognitiveClass.

Now it’s looking pretty good! Let’s add a few links.

Worked with the CognitiveClass.ai team to create a newly updated version of the IBM Cloud Essentials course. The course is part of a larger program that was launched in 2020 to have folks become certified with IBM Cloud. It is currently required training for some teams at IBM. To date, more than 9000 people have registered for the course. The course has received the highest NPS of any cloud related course on CognitiveClass. An announcement blog was published: https://developer.ibm.com/blogs/ibm-cloud-essentials-v3-course-now-available. The course is available on CognitiveClass: https://cognitiveclass.ai/courses/ibm-cloud-essentials.

And let’s finish it off with a testimonial

Worked with the CognitiveClass.ai team to create a newly updated version of the IBM Cloud Essentials course. The course is part of a larger program that was launched in 2020 to have folks become certified with IBM Cloud. It is currently required training for some teams at IBM. To date, more than 9000 people have registered for the course. The course has received the highest NPS of any cloud related course on CognitiveClass. An announcement blog was published: https://developer.ibm.com/blogs/ibm-cloud-essentials-v3-course-now-available. The course is available on CognitiveClass: https://cognitiveclass.ai/courses/ibm-cloud-essentials. The course was shared on Twitter by our GM, Willie Tejada: https://twitter.com/wtejada223/status/1344416472882413568

Maybe it’s a pinch long, but I think the last one sounds much more impressive than the first one-sentence accomplisment.

Final thoughts

If I had to summarize my advice in two words:

Context matters!

Remember that the reader may not know what or who you are referring to. Adding a few sentences about the priority and stakeholders will give them the context they need.

I know how popular those year-end reviews are (not very) but I’m a big believer in this practice. It helped me when drafting my STSM package and has helped me as a manager. I hope it helps you too.

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