“Responsible For” is a Weak Phrase to Avoid Using on Your Resume

My position on resumes is simply that these documents are your marketing brochure that should capture the essence of how you can “add value” to your  future boss(client/customer).   Your resume achieves this purpose  by imparting to the reader evidence of your accomplishments and achievement .     In the quest to prepare a marketing document punctuated by accomplishment  and achievement  many often flounder by utilizing what is possibly the weakest  phrase in contemporary  resume writing : “responsible for”.    The term “responsible for” implies that you are only responsible for the task which follows that phrase.  In essence you are responsible for EVERYTHING written on your resume. Remove that phrase and  begin with a verb.  For example:

Rather than: Responsible for  managing a team of 5 associates.  Why not state: Managed a team of 5 associates?  Instead of: Responsible for conflict resolution  programming for 500 first year students, state exactly what you did:  Created, developed and facilitated  conflict resolution programming  for 500 first year students.

In short get rid of “responsible for”  and it’s equally weak brethren “Handled”.    Instead develop a vocabulary of strong verbs that emphasize the skills or attributes that you have enhanced as a result of a particular task or project.


9 thoughts on ““Responsible For” is a Weak Phrase to Avoid Using on Your Resume

  1. Hi, i feel that i saw you visited my site so i came to
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    • Yes. Feel free. When people are getting out of debt a new job is usually helpful. When students are going to school the debt they accumulate can be overwhelming.

  2. The most frustrating thing as a job seeker is having to play this little game regarding resume wording. You definitely should not submit a resume with incorrect grammar or misspelled words. However, what is wrong with using “responsible for” or “handled” if that is indeed what you did? While I understand that, obviously, one has accomplished everything on his resume, it seems childish and slightly arrogant for employers (who do not always utilize proper grammar, punctuation, etc. themselves) to turn away a well-qualified candidate because of two words that are not at all out of order. Heap this problem on top of the other loops through which HR reps and recruiters make you jump, and it all just adds up to one big GAME. It is senseless in this economy and especially for those who actually WANT to work, feed their families, and keep a roof over their heads. This insane recruiting process has got to STOP. It is highly discouraging and teaches people that a positive and productive future are reserved for the “perfect ones”….which we all know does not exist. People need and want jobs, and hope for a brighter future. I want to work for an employer who recognizes what I have to offer the company and acknowledges my accomplishments and education…not whether I chose to use the words “responsible for.”

    • I don’t think anyone would deny you employment because you used “responsible for”. When writing your resume you have such limited space why not utilize that space effectively with strong verbs that specifically showcase how you can add value? Responsible for or handle rarely convey that level of specificity. Employers need a method to ensure they are getting the right candidate. Part of your work as a job seeker is to demonstrate that you have effectively prepared. Different employers have different standards. If an employers standards are too much for you then great it means you are not a fit for the company. So find an employer whose standards are a match.

  3. Whenever an individual or perhaps a business decides that success has become attained, progress stops.
    It’s not at all through the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or even the baker that individuals expect our dinner, but using their regard to their personal interest.

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