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What have you done for me lately?

➔ What have you done for me lately?

That’s a question that gets bandied about a lot – especially during a job search. Usually it refers to what skills have you used on the job during the previous five to ten years. Just because you did something 30 years ago, doesn’t mean that it’s a current skill.

“What have you done for me lately?” can take on a whole other dimension, however, if you’ve been out of work for an extended period. In that case, “lately” also may mean what have you been doing since you lost your last job. Let’s face it: no matter how much time you spend job searching, you’re still going to have some “9-to-5” time on your hands.

Time is a factor

Sure looking for a job takes up the lion’s share of your time, but what else have you done? Have you tried to improve and/or update your skill set by taking a class or pursuing some other type of training? Have you been able to secure a much-needed certification in an area where you may have fallen behind? Or have you been able to augment a skill that you previously didn’t have? That’s a useful and productive use of your time. It’s also something that may positively demonstrate that your skills are current and up to date.

Have you done any pro bono or volunteer work? If you have, what a bonus! It shows that you’re keen on remaining active. Or, it may be another opportunity to update your skill set that doesn’t involve going back to school or getting certification. What have you taken away from your efforts? New skills? New contacts? Maybe it’s a new project or initiative at a non-profit that may have demonstrated some work-related skill or capability. (The hidden good news here is, that “volunteer” work may lead to a full-time job.)

What have you done for me lately? That’s something that’s really open to interpretation. Framed correctly, however, and it’s something that bolster the impression that you’re striving to leave with your prospective employer.


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