Explain Your Responsibilities

I usually write about resumes that focus on responsibilities, and recommend refocusing on accomplishments.  Today, I ran into a resume that lists responsibilities in such a brief and simplistic way that I have no clue what the person did.  Here are few bullets:

  • Managing Multi-units
  • Created and designed all projects
  • Operations & training
  • Housing Investors
  • Purchasing

Looking at these, it’s really tough to understand the scope of responsibilities.  The “Purchasing” bullet could mean anything.  Did the guy have a company credit card and buy a few office supplies at Staples?  Did he negotiated multi-million dollar contracts.  There is nothing on his resume that sheds any light on this. 

I’m sure that when the job seeker wrote this, he thought it was clear.  In his position, the responsibilities were clearly defined – so Operations & Training encompasses a specific set of responsibilities in his mind. 

The problem is that responsibilities aren’t the same from company to company.  Additionally, one of his positions didn’t even have a job title, making it impossible to guess what the scope of the position was. 

The important thing to remember is the hiring manager reading your resume has no knowledge of your background to clarify vague statements.  This makes writing and editing your own resume extremely difficult.  What seems like a clear and specific statement to you may be extremely vague to a hiring manager.  At the least, you should have someone that doesn’t know anything about your professional background review your resume.  If they understand the scope of your experience, you’ll be much less likely to confuse a hiring manager.