Nada.  Zip. Zilch. Not even one little nibble on jobs you submitted to that are an exact match of what you are doing now.

You begin to think that your resume is leaving your computer and immediately sucked into some black hole.  Are they even getting it?  Do they even read it?  Is anyone out there?

They are out there, they are getting it yet they are probably not reading it if you are one default action: describing your jobs by listing job duties.

But wait – shouldn’t you tell them your qualifications by showing what you do or did? Yes.

And listing job duties is describing what you did, right? No.

Listing job duties is telling the reader what you were hired to do.

No one cares what you were hired to do, they care what you did.

If a job posting is requiring a resume, you would not send it an application; yet that is pretty much what you are doing when you list job duties.  It tells the reader what you were hired to do.  It does not mean that you actually did it or did it well.

The reader cares about value.  It is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world – they want to know what you can do for them.  Listing job duties is not a compelling reason to talk to you.

Job duties are a place to start – but to get their attention you have to tell them the value you bring in doing these things.  That is what will get attention.

Describing your value demonstrates your skills and expertise – this is critical in communicating your value effectively because the reader is not going to believe you are amazing at something just because you said so.  You have to prove it.  They read a lot of resumes and everyone says they are amazing.  They will pay attention to the ones that prove it.

Transition your bullet points from stating to demonstration.

Which would get your attention, 1 or 2?

  1. Create reports for various departments as needed.
  2. Compile critical data by partnering with leadership in Sales and Marketing to produce accurate forecasting reports, define metrics for success and identify areas for cost reductions and risk mitigation.

Number 1 is telling the reader what you were hired to do, number 2 tells the reader the value you provide.

There is value to everything that you do, otherwise a company would not pay you to do it.  It is your job to identify the value and communicate it so the reader sees how it can be of value to them.

Start with your job duties, then dive a little deeper by asking yourself clarifying questions:

  • Who did you work with?
  • How did you work with them?
  • What did you do?
  • How did that bring value and to whom?

Start describing what you do and how you do it to demonstrate your value.  Begin as a conversation and then you can clean it up into more concise, resume language.

A conversation break down of number two would be:

Who did I work with: Sales & Marketing, managers or directors

How did I work with them: I got together with them to get their numbers, goals and expectations

What did I do: I put all the numbers together and created reports

How did that bring value and to whom: for those departments, it helps them forecast more accurately, we can find places to cut costs, determine what things would not be good to follow and we created checkpoints to make sure we are meeting our goals and going to hit them.

Your resume is your story about your value.  Demonstrating your value gives them a reason to read it – and contact you for further conversations.


As the Founder and Principle of Career Polish, Inc., a national career coaching and practice firm, I am an Executive Brand Strategist, Resume Writer and Career Coach. I work with individual clients, companies, leadership and teams to identify, strengthen and effectively communicate their brand, engagement, commitment and most importantly – their value – by learning and leveraging LinkedIn, resumes, networking, communication, relationship management, presence and influence.
I help people get from where they are in their jobs to where they want to be in their careers.

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