Resume Tips: Highlight Achievements, Not Responsibilities

By Dan Simmons

My office has seen thousands of resumes over the past 15 years. . Many candidates don’t realize this document’s importance to a recruiter, much less a future employer. Remember, this is your first impression! Make it interesting.

Boring resumes describe job responsibilities. Anyone can list off tasks within their job description. Honestly, no one cares about what you were told to do. They are most concerned about whether you did them, how well you did them, and your results.

Impressive resumes highlight key achievements within the context of the responsibilities of the job.  You should highlight sales and/or production quantity and qualify your results whenever possible. Let’s say you were a lead researcher for product development. Here are some examples of a good, better, and best bullet point for that responsibility.

Example: Lead researcher for product development

Good – Team Leader for product development

Better – Responsible for a team of 5 researchers developing products for a world-class manufacturer.

Best – Leader of a 5-person team for product development of a world-class manufacturer resulting in 3 new products and 2 patents in the last 24 months, producing sales of over $5 million dollars.

Key Tip: When writing your resume, tell them what you did, how well you did it, and why it was important to your employer.

I once heard a trainer provide this advice to a group of recruiters “ Whenever you have to describe something, ask yourself these three questions: So what? Who cares? What does it mean to me? That’s what the reader or listener cares about.  It boils down to  what you can do for them.” What you can do for them will be similar to how much you accomplished in your last role.

When developing your resume, present a strong representation of accomplishments, not just job responsibilities.  Include how those responsibilities benefited your employer.  Readers will translate this into how you can help them.

Dan Simmons Bio

Dan SimmonsDaniel C. Simmons is a Certified Personnel Consultant recruiting since 1991. Dan has won over twenty awards in the last decade with the Top Echelon Network, America’s leading placement network, including Placer of the Year in 2009 & 2010.

Frequently Dan also is a recruiter trainer and has been featured at various Top Echelon Conventions and online as a speaker for various webinars. He has also been published in The Fordyce Letter, the recruiting industry’s #1 magazine.

If you’re ready to take your career to the next level, connect with Dan on LinkedIn or email him at for the latest job opportunities.  

2023-04-25T08:56:42-05:00September 6th, 2011|

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