What Makes a Winning All-Star Nomination?

Since launching the OfficeNinjas All-Star Awards five years ago, we’ve excitedly watched this program grow and change. We’ve read thousands of Ninja stories and have had the opportunity to recognize some of the brightest leaders in the admin profession. Needless to say, we know a stand-out nomination when we see it. And we want to see even more of them!

So to help you and your colleagues craft eye-catching entries that communicate your accomplishments, personality, and All-Star qualities, we’ve compiled seven simple tips.

Keep them in mind as you craft your self-nomination (do it!), and share this article with your coworkers when you ask for their support (for more on that, see tip #2).

7 Tips for a Winning All-Star Nomination


Tip #1: Visit the All-Star Hall of Fame

Need a little inspiration? You’re in luck! You have access to interviews with every winner in All-Star history. Check out the All-Star Hall of Fame to learn from the greats and to get a sense of the types of nominations we’re looking for. Like they say: if you can see it, you can be it!

Tip #2: Rally Your Coworkers

Chances are, your boss and coworkers would be thrilled to nominate you (it’s a free, easy way to recognize your hard work and celebrate your badassery). But they have to actually know about the Awards in order to do so. Here are a few ways you can get them in the know:

  • Post our handy announcement flyer in a high-traffic physical area like the kitchen or supply room or a digital one like a company message board. The flyer offers a quick explanation of the program and super simple nomination instructions (and has clickable links for digital sharing).
  • Enlist us to send an anonymous hint email. Just fill out our nudge form with your coworkers’ names and email addresses, and we’ll send them a friendly note about the All-Star Awards.
  • Share your nomination. At the end of the nomination form, you’ll have the opportunity to write in your peers’ email addresses. Once you hit Submit, we’ll let them know the good news that you’ve been nominated, and we’ll encourage them to nominate you as well to increase your chances.
  • Just ask. Ask in any way that feels comfortable. Send a quick email or bring it up during a one-on-one. You could even email the flyer. In any case, you’ll feel pride in advocating for yourself. (We promise!)

The desk of 2018 All-Star Mimy Wraspir

Tip #3: Focus on Quality, Not Quantity

A few sincere nominations filled with detailed examples of a Ninja’s accomplishments paints a much better picture than 50 generic ones.

Case in point: 2017 All-Star Erica Kelley caught our attention with just seven nominations from her coworkers. That year, some Ninjas received up to six times as many nominations, but the nominations for Erica were thoughtful and filled with examples of her excellence. One co-worker provided a bulleted list of the office-wide systems Erica had created to better support the team, and another detailed the multiple off-site meetings she had planned and flawlessly executed.

Tip #4: Show, Don’t Tell

We get a lot of “My Ninja is amazing!” Of course, you’re amazing. You’re a Ninja after all. But we need more. What exactly makes you amazing?

Not sure what we mean? Read this nomination for 2018 winner Nicki Bartels:

Under Nicki’s supervision, our proposal process is on autopilot. Nicki standardized a pricing structure and spreadsheet that not only generates our proposals but also automatically takes the proposal information and creates work plans and accounting templates to essentially automate our overhead project kickoff activities. This not only makes our proposal process easy, but it also drives our team to higher profit margins through efficiency.

The nominations details what she did and why it had such a big impact. Go, Nicki!

Tip #5: Set Yourself Apart

Multi-tasking capabilities, strong organizational skills, tech savviness — Ninjas have these qualities in spades. Your nominations should spotlight what makes you an All-Star. How do you improve the quality of your workplace and elevate the role of Office Ninja?

For example, not long after being hired by CHG Healthcare, 2018 All-Star Kellie Edwards co-founded a summit for all of her organization’s EAs, many of whom had never met face-to-face. Years later, the summit continues to meet on an annual basis. Kellie helped create a program so her fellow EAs could share information, learn new skills, and feel connected and supported — everything OfficeNinjas stands for.

Tip #6: Balance Work and Life

The Ninja community is a vibrant, diverse group, and our All-Star lineup reflects that. So, in addition to your professional accomplishments, we want to know about your quirky bird watching hobby (2016 All-Star Willa Glesener), your over-the-top Oscar parties (2017 All-Star Jamie Caban), and that time you cut the company president’s hair (2018 All-Star Verlance Friar).

 2018 All-Star Verlance Friar trimming the company president’s hair.

Tip #7: Don’t Wait

Nominations for the 2019 All-Star Awards close on Thursday, February 28, 2019. But Thursday shouldn’t be the day you ask for your coworkers’ support. Allow them enough time and space to reflect on your brilliance. And if they have any questions that you’re unable to answer, feel free to email our team for back-up. We’re here to help!

Question: What’s one thing that makes you an All-Star? Get warmed up sharing here (yes, we’re asking you to publicly brag a little) and then include it in your self-nomination!



OfficeNinjas gives recognition to the administrative role by supporting and growing a community of executive assistants, office managers, and operations pros. OfficeNinjas brings these “Ninjas” tech resources, educational content, vetted vendor recommendations, and modern in-person events.