Be Your Own Historian (For the Love of Your Resume)

One of the first and most sobering professional life lessons each of us learn is that all those amazing things you know you accomplished in your very-difficult-job-with-a-psychotic-supervisor are hearsay.

 When you leave a job, regardless of the reason or the end game, nobody writes up a glowing account of your crazy, ground-breaking, profit busting corporate exploits, and hands you a spiral bound copy of it on the way out with a congratulatory thumbs up. Instead, you are left to market yourself, and that glowing account you wish someone else had handed you is your resume.

 If you are wise, you’ve kept copies of any written performance reviews, or similar material, and you may have one or two commitments for written references, but past that a record of everything you did quite literally vanishes the moment you leave.

 Once you are the former employee of a company, getting basic information about work you did while you were there may be more difficult to obtain, and you may be left struggling to recount the details of your most prized achievements. However, your professional legacy can live on in the marketing brochure called your resume. However, you must be your own historian!

 I know, I know. Another thing you have to do. You’d rather move on to YouTube and watch a cat video. I get it, because we have to be our own historians as well.

Here’s an example where some good, properly recorded details can make the difference:

Generic: Wrote and published career insights blog.

Kick-Ass: In nine months, wrote twenty-six career insights articles for job seekers and, in line with mission statement to help others find work, published and promoted them across multiple online platforms, increasing overall web traffic by 5%, and establishing targeted brand visibility.

If you document your incredible work, and pay close attention to personal and company metrics, when the time comes to create a world-class resume, all the juicy details of your professional history will be there to mine and include in the most important marketing material you will ever generate.

It’s hard to have too many metrics. Dollar signs and percentages are known crowd pleasers. So are phrases like, “Increased annual revenue by…“ and “Cut operating expenses by”. If you have those types of details at your fingertips, you, or someone you hire, will have an easier time of turning your professional accomplishments into resume gold.

There is a hidden value too – confidence. When your mesmerizing personality is backed up by cold hard facts, you take that professional confidence into your job search, into the interview room, and ultimately into the boardroom.

Philip Roufail contributed to this article.

Scott Singer is the President and Founder of Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching, a firm dedicated to guiding job seekers and companies through the job search and hiring process. Insider Career Strategies provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, career coaching services, and outplacement services, including a free resume review. You can email Scott Singer at, or via the website,