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8 Keys To Creating A Winning Award Package

  1. Go After the Right Award
    Choose awards whose requirements best match your unique qualifications. In what area(s) do you shine? Your business achievements? Your advocacy? Your industry accomplishments? Your community service?
  2. Read The Award Submission Guidelines
    Carefully review the award information and application requirements. Then “read between the lines” to discover all you can about what they are looking for. If possible, find out about past winners. Allow the guidelines to dictate how you’ll present your qualifications and what angle you’ll use as a “hook” (e.g. turnaround, business growth, innovative management, service).
  3. Identify In Detail Why You Are Deserving Of This Award
    Using the application questions as a guide, step outside yourself and take an objective look at your successes and accomplishments in the award’s focus areas. As you list them, resist the tendency many women have to downplay or overlook the significance of what they have created. You may want to seek the assistance of a friend, associate or awards consultant to help you ferret out the strongest information.
  4. Don’t Overlook Your Volunteer Or Charitable Activity
    No matter what the award, what you “give back” to the community distinguishes you from other nominees.
  5. Present Your Nomination In A Narrative Form
    Make your narrative easy to follow, and make it readily apparent to the judges that you have answered all their questions. Organize your information in sections that follow the sequence of the application form or guidelines. I find it effective to write in a dispassionate, third-person style that uses the vernacular of the award materials. Be sure to observe any length restrictions.
  6. Supplement Your Narrative With Relevant Supporting Documentation And Testimonials
    Some awards applications set limits on support materials or overall length of submission; others do not. Be aware of such limits as you plan for inclusion of third-party nomination articles about you or your business, copies of award certificates, letters of commendation, etc. Always include a cover letter summarizing your story and credentials. Consider using the services of a graphic designer or desktop publisher to format your narrative sections in a clean and compelling manner. Use a folder, or a 3-ring binder with plastic sheet protectors, to hold all your materials neatly. Add divider tabs if your package is lengthy.
  7. Meet The Deadline
    Don’t let an oversight jeopardize your opportunity to win an award that you well deserve. Be cognizant of and respect the submission deadline date.
  8. Adjust Your “Basic” Story For Each Award You Seek
    No two awards ask for precisely the same information in the same vernacular. To enhance your chances for recognition, take the time to recast your story to fit each award’s specific criteria and organization.