So … What Did You Actually Do?

Posted by

When I tell people that I’m a resume writer, some assume that I work with a lot of candidates who need assistance embellishing their resumes. In actuality, this is almost never the case. Many of our clients are highly educated professionals who have so much work experience that they can’t figure out where to start when it comes to writing their resumes. While this is definitely a good problem to have, I see experienced candidates make the same mistake again and again on their resumes. They get so caught up in describing all the facets of their jobs that they forget to explain one very important thing: What do they actually do? No matter how far your career has progressed, you should be able to succinctly sum up what you do every day for anyone who asks. Furthermore, you should be able to summarize in a sentence or two every position you’ve ever held; and that information should be spelled out on your resume. The bullet points showing your achievements won’t impress anyone until they fundamentally understand the nature of the job you held. For example, a CFO wouldn’t meet someone at a cocktail party and say, “I structure the overall budget for my company, oversee our compliance with SEC filings, manage the entire internal audit process, and ensure our stock continues to produce a profitable dividend for our shareholders.” He would simply say, “I manage all the financial operations for XYZ company.” Then, if it made sense in the context of the conversation, they would provide more details. When writing your resume, diving right into the details without offering a summary is equally illogical. Therefore, as you’re outlining your previous history, make sure that you’re offering the reader a very broad summary of the nature and purpose of your position—before you start bombarding them with all your impressive accomplishments!

Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

  • Meadow
    Fell out of bed feeilng down. This has brightened my day!

Jobs to Watch