Focus Your Resume on Accomplishments, NOT Responsibilities
Think about it: Being “responsible for” doing something certainly doesn’t mean a person does it. What a person is supposed to do and what they actually do are two different things.
I have often explained it this way: When my daughter was a child, she was “responsible for” cleaning her bedroom. Did she do it? Rarely. And when she did, not very well.
Imagine if I were to write a resume focused on her responsibilities: “Responsible for making the bed and neatly putting away all toys and shoes daily.”
The hiring manager reading that statement learns nothing about her or the value she is capable of delivering
Many people make the mistake of emphasizing features (responsibilities) rather than benefits (achievements/results) on their resumes.
Instead, to fix your resume and get better job search results, it is imperative to emphasize achievements, quantifying results whenever possible.
Imagine if instead of focusing my daughter’s resume on what she was supposed to do, I focused on what she did do:
- Saved mom 30 minutes daily by helping her set and later clear the dinner table five nights per week.
- Assisted with weeding a 10’x20’ kitchen garden plot, resulting in harvesting 15 pounds of tomatoes, 12 pounds of cucumbers, and several bushels of other vegetables.
These are some silly examples. Obviously, I wouldn’t be writing a resume for my nine-year-old child. But you get the point. It is much more powerful to focus your resume on what you did and the results of what you did.
Document how your work has benefited your employers, include bullet points to call these accomplishments out, and quantify them whenever possible. You demonstrate your future potential by including past achievements and results in your resume.
What did you improve, save, increase, enhance, etc? What impact did the work you do have on the companies?
Using bullet points in your resume design to break out each accomplishment will help them stand out while also helping make your resume easier to read.
Always remember, you won’t get hired for what you know how to do; you will get hired for what you do with what you know how to do.
The example resumes in our portfolio are filled with quantified accomplishments and will give you ideas on applying this principle to your resume.