Resumes largely consist of a list of your previous work history. In some cases, you’re trying to sum up years of work in a few phrases. It’s a tricky assignment. Your resume has to encapsulate all your responsibilities and accomplishments during your tenure at various companies.
Finding the right balance can be tricky. In a job interview, you have a chance to make your case in person. You can read the room and adjust to the circumstances. With a resume, you don’t have this ability. You need to lay down in black-and-white why you are perfect for the opportunity available.
At the same time, resumes don’t give you much room to impress a potential employer. One study found that hiring managers spend an average of seven seconds reviewing each resume. So, that means you have about half a TikTok video to make your case.
Obviously, you need to provide as much information as concisely as possible, making sure to underline your best features in the process. That dynamic gets to the heart of the responsibilities vs. accomplishment discussion.
What’s the Difference?
In determining the right balance to strike between listing responsibilities and detailing your accomplishments, you first need to consider one significant question: what’s the difference between the two? Knowing what each category communicates will help you determine how best to describe your past experiences.
In brief, responsibilities represent the duties you performed during your previous position. These describe the basic functions you provided to fulfill the minimum job requirements. Think of things like daily tasks or specific roles you filled.
Meanwhile, accomplishments highlight how well you performed your requirements. They describe the level of excellence you brought to your tasks, and the accolades you acquired while doing your job.
Focus on Value
As you try to balance discussion of responsibilities vs. accomplishments on your resume, think about it in these terms: what did you add to the company?
Fulfilling your responsibilities allowed you to avoid getting fired. They signal the minimum amount of value you provided to remain a contributing member of the team. Discussing these will help you communicate your baseline skills and qualifications.
However, to impress hiring managers, you want to go further than this. You want to underline the added value you brought to the team. That’s where the conversation about accomplishments comes into play. Detailing these will let potential employers know what additional worth you have as an employee.
Set Yourself Apart
Hiring is essentially a competitive exercise. Employers have a position to fill and need to decide among multiple applicants seeking the opportunity. As such, they don’t just choose a qualified candidate. They choose the best possible one.
Highlighting accomplishments allows you to set yourself apart. Your past responsibilities get you into the competition by proving you meet the minimum qualifications required for the position. To win the job, however, you need to highlight your accomplishments.
Use Details and Statistics to Make Your Case
Be as specific as possible. You might not have the space to launch into particular case studies on a resume. But you can still find ways to highlight times when you went above and beyond.
Statistics provide a very powerful way to accomplish this. You can condense a lot of information into a very short space using statistics. Meanwhile, the very fact that you have such data on your resume communicates a certain skill level. You are conversant with statistical analysis and have the attention to detail required to compile the necessary information.
How do you use statistics? Well, don’t just say that you exceeded sales expectations. Say something like “exceeded sales expectations by at least 15% for eight straight quarters.” That added depth of information will help hiring managers understand the true added value that you offer.
Landing your dream job requires that you put your best foot forward. Working with a top-notch recruiter, like PrideStaff, makes that easier. They have the experience and expertise needed to take your job search to the next level.
Contact PrideStaff today to learn more.