What Makes a Winning All-Star Nomination?

In our search for OfficeNinjas All-Stars, we’ve read thousands of 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 look forward to seeing even more of them in our search for the 2020 OfficeNinjas All-Stars!

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).

ALSO — to mark the Era of the Office Ninja, we’ve added a new award category: OfficeNinjas All-Stars Team! In addition to selecting five individual Ninjas, we’ll be honoring one powerhouse team of workplace pros worthy of some All-Star recognition.

Whether you’re part of a team or flying solo, OfficeNinjas All-Stars is yours to win! But it all starts with a stellar nominations. Let’s dig in.

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 All-Star Awards in order to do so. We happen to think saying something like, “I’m pursuing a professional award, and your support would mean a lot to me,” is a great opener. If you’d like some help, fill out this form and we’ll send them an anonymous hint.

2019 All-Star Ali Berger and Co-Workers celebrating

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 stellar work, from launching new office-wide systems to flawlessly executing off-site meetings.

Tip #4: Show, Don’t Tell

We get a lot of “My Ninja is amazing!” Of course, you’re amazing. You’re a Ninja. 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. That’s an OfficeNinjas All-Star!

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 over-the-top Oscar parties (2017 All-Star Jamie Caban), that time you cut the company president’s hair (2018 All-Star Verlance Friar), or your side hustle as a baker (2019 All-Star Zoila Primo).

2019 All-Star Zoila Primo & an assortment of baked goods.

Tip #7: Don’t Wait

Nominations for the 2020 All-Star Awards close on Friday, February 28, 2020.

But don’t wait until Friday to 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!

Quick Warm Up

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


OfficeNinjas® is a community of bold, forward-thinking administrative professionals and workplace operators (aka “Office Ninjas”) committed to leading valued and fulfilling professional lives.