Should you write an achievement report? Many jobs will require you to write one, and often this will consist of a self-assessment where you will need to report on what you did throughout the year. On the other hand, you may be asked to write a report on a meeting. Understanding how to write these types of reports can make a big difference in the perception that others have of you as a successful person or not.
Part 1 of 3: Format an Achievement Report
Step 1. Begin the report with a summary paragraph
At the top of the achievement report, summarize the big picture. Tell readers what your overall accomplishments were.
- You may be writing an achievement report for a nonprofit organization. In this case, you could summarize the good points, such as the fact that you organized events that benefited shareholders, gained recognition in the industry, and created connections between partners.
- You don't need to fill out the summary with too many specific details. What you should do is summarize the main points and provide an overview. Also try not to write a very long report. Two pages is a good general guideline, unless your employer makes a specific suggestion. Talk to your employer to determine if the company uses a specific format.
Step 2. Provide details to support each point in the summary
This is when you should go back to the main points of the introductory paragraph and then proceed to provide specific details later in the report.
- Use an outline. Organize different areas into their respective sections and use sub-points under each heading. For example, perhaps one of your sections is titled "organized and held events."
- Under each heading, you could include (with bullets or letters) a short summary paragraph of each event held, its purpose, and how it helped fulfill the group's mission. Be specific.
Step 3. Use a professional format
Don't just randomize your report. Your report should look organized, have a professional typeface, and be printed on nice paper.
- Create a title and place it in the center of the page. Use bold subheadings to organize your information.
- Provide the basic information at the top of the report. Provide the dates covered by the achievement report, as well as the name and title of the person who wrote it.
Step 4. Keep a journal for the entire period in question
It will be much easier to gather information on achievements as they occur.
- Keep a journal or folder in which you track achievements throughout the study period. This will make your life a lot easier when you sit down and write your report.
- If you don't do this, you may forget the important milestones that happened at the beginning of the period in question.
Part 2 of 3: Create Strong Content
Step 1. Remind others of your performance goals and expectations
You must remind them what your goals were at the beginning of the period in question. What were the objectives? What are the expectations of the job? If you don't know what they are, discuss them with your employer.
- Then explain in real numbers how you met these goals and expectations. The point is to compare what your activities or results were with the original projections.
- For example, if you raised more money than projected, this will be a good thing for investors or your superiors. However, if you don't provide a benchmark, it will be more difficult to assess whether and to what degree it is a triumph.
Step 2. Provide visual aids
Include some charts or graphs if you think these will help the reader better visualize the data you present in the report.
- Remember that some readers will only skim the report, as they are probably busy. For this reason, visual aids can sometimes convey your point more effectively.
- You also shouldn't flood the reader with too many graphics. Select 1 or 2 graphs that emphasize the main points.
Step 3. Focus on the DAR technique
This technique will help you document your accomplishments. Its acronym stands for challenge, action and results. This technique will help you organize your achievements.
- Find out what the challenges of the job are. Then outline the action you have taken to confront him. Finally, document your results. For example, let's say you are the manager of a restaurant. In this case, you could write the following: Challenge: The lines were too long during lunch hours and customer complaints increased by 10%. Action: Have the waitress start her shift an hour earlier to increase support staff during rush hour. Result: Customer complaints about waiting times were reduced to 2, or 80%.
- At this point, the most important thing is to be specific. General accomplishments, such as "I like to work in a team," are not that significant because everyone can say something like that. The important thing is to connect the results with the main problems and demonstrate success through specific data and information.
Step 4. Present your methodology
If your program contemplated data collection, it is a good idea to briefly explain the methodology you used to do it.
- Tell readers about the logic behind the sampling methodology. Also, explain the benefits and results of the sampling. Why was this a reliable method? For example, in the case of the restaurant, you could explain why it makes sense to use complaints as a methodology.
- Explain the dates of the sampling and what you are trying to achieve with it.
Step 5. Focus on your achievements
In order to reduce the number of achievements you want to present, think about what made you most proud during the period in question. Perhaps it was an attempt to calm the eager visitors or to train others. Remember not to flood your readers with too much detail.
- Another method you can use to achieve this is the "situation, task, action, result" (STAR) method. This method involves briefly describing a situation and a task, the action you will take to accomplish it, and the results you achieved. As with the DAR method, the goal is to connect problems with results and explain how you reached them.
- Focus on points such as degree of difficulty, something that is one of a kind, that happens for the first time, that has high visibility, that meets deadlines, as well as innovation and the scope and impact of your work..
- An example might be to explain that when you started as a branch manager, your staff turnover rate was 35%. For this reason, you implemented an employee satisfaction survey, established training programs for the workers, and determined that a weekly meeting with the staff would be held. As a result, the staff turnover rate was reduced to 15%. As this example shows, accomplishments should not be expressed in eloquent words, as long as proper connections are made.
Step 6. Explain what your value is
Don't be content with just saying what your results were. You should also explain why your achievements are valuable to your organization.
- For example, let's say you implemented staff meetings. What happen after? What value did this action have for your organization? Think about it. If your action did not have a specific value, perhaps you should focus on something else.
- If staff meetings helped boost worker morale, which was evidenced by fewer absences and saved the employer money, then your action was valuable.
Step 7. Review the report before submitting it
You will undermine the purpose of an achievement report if you present something impromptu and unprofessional.
- Check the grammar, punctuation, and spelling of the report. Set it aside at night and reread it the next morning. Remember not to write your report at the last minute.
- Print a copy of the report and check for errors. Sometimes a person's eyes get so used to the computer screen that they miss obvious mistakes.
Part 3 of 3: Use Effective Language
Step 1. Address the negatives in a positive way
If there is any point where you did not meet expectations, it is best not to avoid it. Don't make it the focus of the report, but don't completely evade it either.
- Use positive language to refer to areas where you didn't do so well. For example, focus on the concrete steps you will take to solve the problem, rather than looking for culprits or excuses.
- Don't blame other people on your achievement report. Instead, focus on what you have done. Be positive. Focus on the things that you or your group did well and select those areas that you can boast about.
Step 2. Use numbers and use the metric
If you can be very specific, your answers will be more credible. When possible, substantiate what you say with something that can be measured.
- Generic superlatives like "outstanding" or "reliable" are not very significant. Saying to someone, "I had a great year" is something anyone can say.
- Remember this phrase: Prove it with deeds and not with words. Instead of telling others that you had a great year, show them through details and measurements. Instead of telling them you're good at customer relationships, cite the results of customer satisfaction surveys, the letters you've received, and the lack of customer complaints.
- Use numbers. Saying that you've been in charge of a large staff doesn't mean much if you don't know how big it was. Use numbers to express the size of a budget and to give an overview of the scope of your duties.
Step 3. Always tell the truth
Never exaggerate or lie. If you get caught doing it, you could get into serious trouble.
- The other problem with lying, even if it is an obvious omission, is that you will lose your confidence in yourself and you will not be able to improve.
- Instead, make an honest assessment of the period in question based on your strengths and weaknesses. Also, don't overlook weaknesses. You just have to find a positive way to do it.
Step 4. Give recognition to the work of others
Many business and technical writing classes suggest not speaking in the first person. However, you can do it in certain cases in an achievement report.
- For example, you might be tempted to say, "I hired 100 people." However, don't forget the other people who contributed to your success. Refer to the team when necessary.
- You will earn points if you avoid looking arrogant. Vary the structure of the sentence, so that it is not spoken in the first person in each of them.
- Never use an angry tone in an achievement report. It is almost always better to be positive.
- Use professional and not informal language.