Great Resumes Fast » Cover Letters » Is Your Resume Responsible?

After reviewing over 150 resumes in a three day time span I decided that there is a serious epidemic out there.  A plague so harmful it is costing millions of people thousands of dollars every month. It is called the responsibility virus and it is infecting millions of resumes all across the nation. Think I’m kidding? Take a look at your resume.

Does your resume include any of the following statements?virus%20sign

Responsible for XYZ…Held responsibility for….Ability to….adept at…. duties included….

Well, does your resume have any of those phrases? If you answered yes I’m sorry but you’ve been infected and it is costing you weeks in your job search and hundreds of dollars in salary while you are unemployed. If your resume does not include these phrases shout for joy – you’re immune. Just make sure you don’t catch it anytime in the future. Protect your resume from these harmful phrases at all costs!

I have heard more hiring managers and recruiters then I can count say how much they loathe those words. **FLASHING LIGHTS AND SIRENS** avoid those choice words. All you are really doing is shooting yourself in the foot before you ever really get a chance to start. Using those phrases are harmful for several reasons.

(1) They are boring. I don’t know many people who leaped from there chair to make a call to a candidate who used the words responsible for or duties included on his resume.

(2) They are inferred. When you are listing accomplishments and information on your resume if you did it, it is inferred that you were responsible for doing it or it is one of your job responsibilities. No need to state the obvious.

(3) They lack power and the all important WOW factor. They even lack substance for that matter. There are more concise ways to say you did something. Here are a few other choice words you can try:

Pioneered, Spearheaded, Implemented, Launched, Championed, Marshaled, Initiated and Developed.

These are just a few of the many colorful, powerful, and concise alternatives to catching the responsible virus on your resume. It is amazing how one small change can have a huge impact on your resume. Go through your resume and cover letter and look for all instances of the words responsible for, duties included, ability to, and adept at then replace them with appropriate strong action verb choices like those listed above. I think you’ll be surprised at the feedback you’ll receive.

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About the author

Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast

Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.

What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.

You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!

I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!

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