Use Your Performance Reviews to Score Your Next Job
Stop brushing off those performance evals as a nuisance and hesitating to gather recommendations — whether in the form of a letter or on your LinkedIn profile — because I’ve got 7 ways to use quotes and snippets from all 3 to blow away the competition.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found golden nuggets of info in my clients’ performance reviews, LinkedIn recommendations and good ol’ fashioned recommendation letters. That’s exactly how I was able to turn a bland statement like “exceeded quotas” into the far more exciting “exceeded annual quota 36% in 2012 and 33% in 2013.”
Looking at old evals might remind you of a long-forgotten award. Sifting through your team results spreadsheets might reveal a pattern like “top customer service ratings 4 years running.” Also, reviewing your reviews could reveal a powerful statement attesting to your character, like the needle in the haystack I discovered in a client’s eval and transformed into the tagline, “Lauded by national sales team leader for infectious enthusiasm,” which added personality and 3rd-party praise to his already accomplishment-packed resume.
And while evals and recommendations are amazing tools to jog your memory and potentially provide precise, quantitative data to enrich your resume, cover letter or LinkedIn profile, below you’ll find 7 ways to incorporate direct quotes or quote snippets to further set you apart from the sea of job seekers.
Positioning quotes at the top of your resume can make a real impact. By bolding sought after, keyword-rich soft skills, you make it easy for outsiders to see what others see in you, like:
Excerpts from your performance evals are a great way to break up the bullets on your resume. By simply mentioning the title of the person who completed your review, you can save space while keeping the spotlight on what made you stand out on the job, like:
And if you’re in an industry receptive to a little fun and out-of-the-box thinking, why not show some personality by quoting a mix of statements and snippets to reinforce your resume with what sets you apart, like:
Have an impressive array of recommendations on your LinkedIn profile? Why not snag attention and make them easy to see by placing a reminder and live link to your profile in the header of your resume, like:
You can even make use of your most powerful, pertinent LinkedIn recs to captivate and reinforce your brand by inserting pieces within your resume or cover letter, like:
Lucky enough to have actual recommendation letters to scour for excerpts in line with your current career trajectory? Especially if you’re a student, recent grad or career changer who is lean on applicable content to fill your resume, positioning a powerful passage right in the body of your resume can add substance and shine, like:
If your resume’s already chock full of stellar content, and you have kudos from a respected member of your industry that would add to your credibility, then consider situating it within your cover letter. And definitely name drop, title drop or company/organization drop if the deets add even more punch to the praise, like:
It’s a Wrap
Using quotes and snippets from performance evals, LinkedIn recommendations and rec letters shows those looking to refer and hire you that you value praise and positive feedback. Who doesn’t want to have someone like that on their team?
What are you waiting for? Bookmark or start a folder where you save EVERYTHING glowing that others have written for and about you. 60-day, quarterly or annual reviews, emails from your boss praising your latest achievement, team performance surveys, award certificates…You get the gist. If you’ve saved them, dig ‘em up. If you haven’t started collecting yet, take the initiative and ask for them!
HR might not be eager to jump at your request for evals after you’ve left the company — if they’re willing to give them up at all — so from here on out commit to making and keeping physical copies. Better yet, snag PDF versions and send them to your personal email address so that they’ll be on hand when you need ‘em.
Thanks to Death to the Stock Photo for the idea to include their image.
08 December 2015