Duties? Or Qualifications? – What Should be Listed on Your Resume?

When you’re applying for a position, you may tailor your resume to the list of job requirements posted in the ad.  While this is a useful way to protect your resume from the circular file, it does little to help you stand out.

Most candidates for a job opening will list the qualifications the job ad demands – and everyone’s qualifications, especially for a specific IT position, are often similar.  While your resume should mention your qualifications, it should also contain a summary of your previous job duties, responsibilities, and accomplishments.  Why?

  1. Specifying what you have accomplished and what you can do helps your resume stand out.  If you’re applying for a position in which a Master’s in Information Systems Management is required, chances are that most serious applicants will possess a Master’s in Information Systems Management.  Stand out from the crowd by detailing what you have done with your degree – besides hanging it proudly on your office wall.
  2. Describing your accomplishments allows you to highlight times you went “above and beyond.”  If you’ve successfully completed a project or successfully mastered a skill that is unusual among workers who share the prospective job title you’re applying for, include it in your resume.  For instance, if you successfully led a crucial project when your boss had to step out for a few weeks to handle a family emergency, you can showcase your leadership skills in your resume.
  3. Integrating your duties and responsibilities makes it clear what you can already handle and provides insight into the skills you’ll draw from when thrown new challenges in a new position.  Hiring managers are often more keen to interview individuals whose backgrounds they understand, since this knowledge frees them up to ask about communication, teamwork, and motivation – things that don’t come across in a typical resume.

Although adding your duties and responsibilities to your resume can make you stand out in a crowd, it’s important to stand out for the right reasons.  Here are some things you should not do when listing job duties on a resume:

  1. Don’t settle for a mere list.   Simply listing job duties is easy – but it gives hiring managers no reason to put your resume at the top of the pile.  Instead, answer the question “What did you accomplish in this job that another person might not have?”
  2. Don’t include subjective descriptions.  Statements like “great leadership skills” water down your resume and make hiring managers suspicious: if your skills are so “great,” why aren’t you allowing them to speak for themselves?  Stick to describing what you’ve done that really has gone above and beyond.  The hiring manager can conclude your effort is “great” without a descriptor.
  3. Don’t sacrifice clarity for creativity.  No matter how you choose to describe your duties, responsibilities, and accomplishments, make sure descriptions are clear and concise.  Managers cannot appreciate what they cannot understand – no matter how creatively it is phrased.

The experienced recruiters at Marquee Staffing can help you create a resume that stands out in the crowd while also portraying your accomplishments in their best possible light.  To learn more, contact us today!