Great Resumes Fast » Resume Writing Tips » These Two Phrases on Your Resume Are Why It Just Hit the Trash Can

Does your resume read like a job description? Is it one long list of bullets that contain the phrases duties included or responsible for? Sought-after candidates (the ones whose phones are ringing off the hook for interviews while you’re struggling to get one call-back) don’t include phrases like these on their resumes. I hate to be so blunt but hey, you need to know. Stop selling yourself short in your job search. You CAN have a marketable, interview-worthy resume. Your phone CAN be ringing off the hook with employers who want to interview you. Stop falling prey to the notion that the job market is just that bad. Maybe it isn’t the job market, maybe (just maybe), it’s your resume. Did I step on some toes? Good. Now that I have your attention, I’ll finish making my point.

Employers want to know that you’ve successfully faced and overcome challenges within the roles you’ve filled in the past. This is how they gauge how effectively you’ll function within their organization. Your future performance is judged based on your past performance. This is why it’s critically important that your resume isn’t one long list of duties, responsibilities, and one-liners you’d read in the job description. Your resume needs to be chock-full of your achievements and successes. And no, you cannot tell me that your only accomplishment was doing your job duties. Surely you contributed something to the organization that went above and beyond the status quo. If you only ever met the bare minimum and never offered anything of value over the least expected of you, then you were probably canned.

Instead of implanting a sense of underachievement with a potential employer by listing only job duties and responsibilities on your resume, take that information and rephrase it into statements that contain challenges, actions, and results. Thus, you demonstrate to the employer what you know and are capable of. Your resume’s goal is to position you as THE sought-after candidate and get your phone ringing with interview requests. You can be the preferred candidate, you can get interviews; it’s all in how you position yourself on your resume.

Is it time to reevaluate your resume and how it’s written? Our certified resume writers are masters at positioning our clients as the coveted candidate of choice. Outwit your competition by partnering with a certified resume writer today.


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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!


  1. Jon on January 21, 2013 at 11:04 am

    My clients phones are ringing and being a career coach as well as a resume writer, I coach not to rely on a resume alone. I do list skills in bullet point form as well as STAR statements for results oriented qualification statements. WORDY resumes are a big turn off once someone starts to read it, concise and precise shows a mastery of language and communication skills. No one can predict the reactions of each hiring authority, but we can follow the productive trends.

  2. […] These Two Phrases on Your Resume Are Why It Just Hit the Trash Can […]

  3. Lesa Hammond on February 4, 2013 at 10:07 am

    This is an excellent article for anyone writing a resume. Great advice.

  4. Katrina Keeling on February 12, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    This is a great article. I see too many resumes that are copied and pasted from the NOC (National Occupational Classification) listing or previous job description. General statements about job duties do not make me want to pick up the phone to learn more about you. Action statements, about what you have done and what you can do the the employer, do! Will definitely share this with my job seekers. Thanks!

  5. […] These Two Phrases on Your Resume Are Why It Just Hit the Trash Can » Blog | Great Resumes Fast. […]

  6. Biron on November 14, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Great article! I’ll admit I’ve helped candidates write some resumes in the past that used the 2 phrases mentioned here (I’m an Executive Recruiter).

    This article puts a great perspective on things though. After reading this, it became obvious/clear to me: why would you want to just list things you were responsible for? You should be listing accomplishments, challenges you overcame, hurdles you faced, and advancements you achieved. Responsibilities are boring and don’t tell a lot about how you performed in any given job.

    Amazing article. Thank you.

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