Hi all, I will be applying for a management position in another department within my organization.  I have previous management experience but I am an individual contributor here.  

BLUF:  I planned to use an example of managing employees that resulted in saving $12,000 to the firm that year and $5,000 per year going forward but I'm concerned that it feels a little flat or insignificant.  

If asked about a significant accomplishment in managing I had planned to say something along the lines of this:

When I was assigned employees no one told me what to do or how to do it or even gave me a book and told me to read it.  I had to figure things out for myself and one of the things I did was implement year end reviews that resulted in saving the firm about $12,000 that first year and about $5000 going forward.  

During 1 on 1's I told my direct reports in October that we were going to have year end reviews. I gave them a list of things to report on and one of the things I required for each of them was to bring two suggestions on how we could improve the firm.  During the year end review I asked what she had for me and her first answer was that she had done some investigation and if we rework our telephone plan with our current provider we could save about $2,000 immediately and about $2,000 per year going forward.  I was blown away and almost forgot to ask about her second suggestion.  

Our law firm had three offices and eight attorneys and each attorney got their own set of books.  She had checked and if we cut from eight sets of books down to three no one would be inconvenienced and we would save a lot of money.  More importantly, we would sometimes buy a book for a specific case.  When the case was over we might never look at the book ever again but we were continuing to get updates for the book and being charged for these updates.  By asking around and figuring out the books we did not use we were able to save even more money.  All told, we were able to cut about $10,000 of expenses that first year and about $3,000 each year going forward. 

This accomplishment is significant to me, not just for the money saved, but because it marked growth as a manager and helped shape my management style from that point forward.


I'm second guessing myself, is this significant enough to mention?     

clemgr's picture

Here's two options of what (my impressions) your scenario might look like as an SA.

1. Led direct reports through a cost savings initiative leading to a XX% operations cost savings in year one and XX% ongoing. 
2. Led direct reports through a cost savings exercise that delivered a XX% resource cost savings in year one and XX% ongoing.

Take your total savings and divide that by the costs before savings to get your % saved.

If your goal is to communicate how you’ve managed directs before, you will find it difficult to write a good significant accomplishment that includes your management style or behaviours.

Look for other places to talk about previous managing. The accomplishment is about what you accomplished not a narrative on how you accomplished it.

Hope this helps.
All the best,

ilkhan's picture

Thank you Clem, I really appreciate your thoughts.  That's helpful.  

LEmerson's picture

I like Clem's approach. Be concise about the results. Don't bury the main points unless asked to go into details.

The accomplishmets are significant. In deciding how to preset the information, focus on your audience. Of course you're proud of your accomplishments and growth as a manager. If you do a good job of communicating your results the facts will speak for themselves. I'll bet you could cut the description down to 25% of the length in your description by cutting things that aren't necessary to communicate the results, which would, in my opinion, result in a shorter, more powerful presentation.

tabitharizzio's picture
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Hi, I have slightly different POV, I'd highlight your accompishment of leadership and management of a team that produced  results.  You don't want to take credit for the results your directs produced, rather your management allowed your team to be successfull and drive actionable results.

LEmerson's picture

I respectfully disagree that the manager should express a passive involvement in results as merely allowing the team to achieve success.

To use an analogy, if a pro football coached their team to a Super Bowl win, the coach did more than "allow" the team to succeed. It doesn't matter how many superstars are on the team, the coach was still successful in his role. Of course he doesn't want to take credit for the specific accomplishments of the players - yards gained, points scored, etc. - but the coach had more than a passive involvement.

Especially since we're talking about a resume, this is the exact right time for the manager to hightlight their accomlishments and portray him or herself as an integral part of the team's success. If you don't blow your own horn (at the appropriate time), nobody else is going to do that for you.