Why Using the Words 'RESPONSIBLE FOR' Gets You Nowhere!

The Two-Fold Solution to Stop Sounding Like a Pencil Pusher and Sell Your Value


Every day I see the same common mistakes made on resumes. Using the phrase ‘responsible for’ is probably one of the biggest culprits I see in this business. Any form of this phrase makes my face cringe. When I read these words on a resume, my first thoughts are that this is just another person who just pushes the button, so to speak. This person isn’t doing anything to stand out and be recognized. They are following someone else’s orders. Why would I want to read your resume? Thanks for copying your job description down for me, since I know you certainly don’t step beyond it.

Whether this is true for you or not, this is what is conveyed to the reader. Perception is reality. Unfortunately, the perception you are setting is not favorable.

I know this sounds harsh. The intention is not to offend, but to help. Fixing this particular issue will have a positive impact on your resume and your applications.

The solution is two-fold. First, the easy part: STOP using the phrase ‘responsible for’ and any variation of that (responsibilities include, accountable for, duties include, etc.).

The second part of this solution is a little more complex. You need to be able to articulate what you did in your previous positions. If you can’t clearly express what you did, how is a complete stranger supposed to infer this information? This means you must describe accomplishments. You need to tell an employer that you are fabulous in a way that is quantifiable and shows value. Remember, anyone can say anything about themselves, but does that mean it is true? Of course, you are going to list your best attributes. You would be foolish not to. Whatever you say about yourself, you need to prove it. If you can substantiate that you are the best at what you do, then you can make those claims.

By highlighting your accomplishments rather than stating your responsibilities, an employer is going to understand how you have added value to your company and helps them see you in the role they are looking to fill. It is easier for them to visualize you adding new life into the position they are sourcing by making this change. This is the chance to make an impression, don’t squander it!

Very few times in life is it OK to brag, but on your resume you must. You are setting the stage for how an employer is going to view you, so don’t hold back. This is your first impression and it is what you make of it. You have no chance of getting an interview if you don’t even look good on paper. Stand out from the stack of applicants and sell yourself as someone who steps beyond a job description and gets things done!