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I have responsibilities you have responsibilities…so what?

Many a resume lists responsibilities for each role held.  This gives some idea on what should have or may have happened but does not tell us about someone’s capability.  Responsibilities do not tell us what has been achieved or what difference someone has made in their role.

Change the tense of responsibilities listed in resumes to past tense and we go from… “This is what I (should have been) was doing” to “This is what I did!”

Shane Watson (outstanding international cricketer) as a player is responsible for making runs and taking wickets.  Usain Bolt (incredible athlete) is responsible for running fast. However without data on what was achieved they (the sportsman) and we (as observers) cannot determine how effective they are.

A candidate can best convey performance and capability by describing outcomes in measureable terms (dimensions/numbers).  The context within which these achievements were delivered i.e. scope and scale of the company and job should be described to provide a frame of reference/ benchmark.  Are we managing a small recruitment business or running Microsoft?

The resume is therefore about what when and where achievements that happened and the context within which they happened.

People are hired by a business to either make money or save money.  Put on your Finance Director’s hat and look at you resume.  Does it reflect impact on business performance?As an employer does your recruitment brief describe, in measureable terms, the impact you need from your new employee?

Simply put you cannot manage without measuring.  You cannot assess performance without measurement.

As a candidate it is difficult to portray capability without outcomes (achievements) described in measureable terms.

As an employer it is difficult to relate candidate capability without knowing what needs to be achieved in measurable terms.

It’s not about responsibility. It’s about the capability to deliver.


Garry King

Blog Posted by Garry King, Director – October 2017

Garry king Kingscroft Garry King is an Executive Recruitment Consultant, Owner and Practice leader at Kingscroft Consulting. Garry has been in the recruitment industry for 19 years, and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to help both candidates and employers across many specialist industry sectors.