Human Resources

Preparing a Promotion Package

As noted in its charge, “The Administrative Professional Evaluation Council (APEC) provides a review and assessment of all cases for promotion to the three most senior positions on the Administrative Professional Ladder of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).” Furthermore, “The goal of APEC is to ensure the equitable application of promotion criteria for Administrative Professional Staff across the Institution. To achieve this, the APEC members must have an in-depth understanding of all applicable job descriptions and desired qualifications and have familiarity with the particular work and expertise of the Administrative Professional Staff at WHOI.”

The tool that APEC uses to assess individual promotions is the Promotion Package. These guidelines are intended to provide Administrative Professionals with some basic tips to assist in the preparation of a promotion package.

Once you believe your Promotion Package is complete, thoroughly review the documents you have personally prepared. An Administrative Professional should be cognizant of the rules regarding spelling and grammar. Proofread and spell check your work, then set it aside for a few days, after which you should re-read the entire package. Are you presenting yourself as a polished professional? Do you believe you have expressed yourself in a clear and concise manner, free of spelling errors?

Employee Resume and Statement

A resume is a one or two page summary of your education, skills, accomplishments, and total experience, both within and prior to your tenure at the Institution. To prepare a successful resume, you need to know how to review, summarize, and present your experiences and achievements. Outline your achievements briefly and concisely.

Consider your personal statement a 'cover letter' from you to APEC. If you were working at WHOI prior to the Staff Assistant Ladder reclassification, your personal statement should emphasize how your job has changed since you submitted your reclassification material in the spring of 2001. What new skills, increased responsibilities, and professional goals have you achieved? If you were hired after the reclassification in 2001, how has your job changed since you were hired? Have the experience and the skills you brought to the job enabled you to contribute beyond a level normally expected of your current position? If so, how has that evolved?

Objective Evidence

The objective evidence should include examples that support your new skills, increased responsibilities, and any other new initiatives. Please be careful here - if you state that you “created” something, please be sure it is your original work. If you modified someone else’s original work to fit your needs, be sure to give credit to the originator. Please do NOT simply provide screen prints of programs or databases, or copies of proposals. Instead, for each piece of Objective Evidence, attach a note explaining what it is, what you did to create or modify it, and how or why your efforts were unique or important.

If you did create a database, simply print out a page or two and attach a note explaining what you did and why this is unique or helpful to your department or others.
Be sure that the work you submit is wholly indicative of your efforts. For instance, if you worked with Graphics to produce a program brochure, then you need to attach a note to the brochure that indicates your level of involvement. If you took over the maintenance of an existing database or website and made some improvements, then point out the improvements and explain their value in your explanation.

The members of APEC recognize that compiling objective evidence can be a daunting task. Furthermore, some jobs may not provide the opportunity for an AP to generate much objective evidence that can be easily committed to paper. The goal is to make it clear in your promotion package how your job has changed, how you have successfully met new challenges, how you have shouldered greater responsibility, and/or how you have applied new skills and new ideas to your position. In cases where objective evidence is difficult to produce, a promotion candidate should address these issues fully, yet concisely in their resume/statement. In these cases, letters from reviewers of your file should speak to these issues as well.

In addition to reviewing appointment and promotion files, one charge to the Council is “ provide advice and guidance to members of the Administrative Professional Staff and their supervisors regarding career paths, promotion guidelines, and preparation of folders for promotion.” Therefore, should you or your supervisor need or want advice or guidance in putting together your promotion package, do not hesitate to contact any member of APEC.

Originally published: February 24, 2004