Prior to beginning your resume or updating a current resume, there are a number of documents that can help you create language to land the interview. It is vital that you prepare a persuasive resume and cover letter if you are interested in a promotion.
Believe me when I say that your boss is not always aware of your accomplishments, skill set, or achievements. Not only that, it may be that someone in the company who does not know you is the decision maker. Performance evaluations, letters of reference, and quotes make the difference in whether your resume stands out from the crowd.
Performance evaluations are a great source for quotes to use within a resume or a cover letter. The comment sections may contain quotes which can be used to prove both soft and hard skills. Often, evaluations contain information about projects, accomplishments, and internal courses. For executive level clients, the annual review may contain a 360 report which includes comments from direct reports, coworkers, and other leadership team members. If you going for a promotion, your boss or HR manager is not going to review all your performance evaluations prior to offering an interview so this is your chance to knock their socks off!
I suggest pulling quotes from more than just one person. For example, use a quote from different managers by using multiple years of evaluations. The correct way to use quotes in your resume or cover letter is to pull the quote word for word and list the person’s name, their position, and the date of the evaluation.
Sample Performance Evaluation Quote
“You are a master at fostering a team…and making people feel valued members of your team…you pay attention to personalities, relationships, and passions…”
Bob Smith, Company Name, Performance Evaluation, 2015.
Be sure and take a copy of your performance evaluations and put them in your file.
Written Letters of Reference
Now is the time to start if you don’t have any written letters of reference! Contact previous employers, your direct reports, and even staff who reported to you and ask for written letters of reference. Letters of reference prove your skill set in a powerful way and support your resume. Do not include the entire letter with your application. A resume and cover letter are marketing documents to persuade the reader to make the call and offer an interview. Be sure to bring the reference letters to an interview to speak for you after you leave. Keep electronic copies in your personal file.
Sample Letter of Reference Quote
…always seeking first to understand, listening, and then taking action. (Client Name’s) work ethic and commitment to building (company Name) was astounding… always available to support his team and his consistency to perform at a high-level day in and out… an outstanding leader.
Jack Frost, Franchise Development Manager, Company Name.
Email Atta Boys or Atta Girls
If you ever receive acknowledgement of a job well done, keep it! These documents are awesome to support your skill set. Often, they contain quotes from people outside your company. I recommend creating a folder on your computer called ‘Atta Boy’ or ‘Atta Girl’ depending on your preference and keeping all these notes in a document. You must include the person’s name, their relationship with you, and the date. You may be able to use the quotes in your cover letter or give the Atta Boy or Atta Girl page at an interview.
Sample Atta Boy Quote
“Steve has been back and forth with us regarding our production issues with Company Name and has come back with some excellent information, very quickly I might add! The information Steve has provided points to the addition of rework to the batch as a source of residual citric acid which explains why we are seeing a PH drop in the batter prior to stuffing. We can test this theory very easily on our next run and take steps to improve our process by limiting the amount of rework in our batches, not using rework in every batch and adding the rework and ECA in the last processing step. Thanks again Steve, we will let you know how we make out with these change. Hopefully someday we can repay the favor!”
Bob Smith, Company Name, Date.
Current and Past Job Descriptions
Although your current job description is probably not complete and may be out of date, it will contain information about what kinds of tasks you do every day. The job description or role responsibilities are a great starting point to develop persuasive language and remind you of what you actually do. I suggest creating a file on your personal desktop and emailing a copy of your job description to yourself so that you have a file ready to go when a new opportunity comes up. If you don’t have a job description, keep a copy of the job posting.
Resume supporting documents like performance evaluations, letters of reference and Atta Boy or Girl Quotes can make the difference in whether you get the job or the other guy/gal does. If you haven’t started gathering the materials yet, now is the time. Not only will your resume and cover letter be awesome, you will move to a place of greater confidence and belief in yourself. Your documents and supporting materials, well thought out preparation, and confidence will make your stand out head and shoulders above the competition.