Education Career Services

July 24, 2009

LinkedIn: Today’s Career and Education Q & A

Question and AnswerSeeking to assist as many as possible, I am on LinkedIn and often respond to questions posed on that site.  If you would like a personal reply to your specific question, you can always locate me on LinkedIn and will be glad to do my best.  I’m easy to find and welcome you to take the first step and invite me to join your network.  After all, we all need a helping hand now and then!

Below are a recent question and my response recently submitted on LinkedIn.  I bring this to you as the questions are pertinent to just about everyone, including students and directors at all levels…

More duty statements and less accomplishments or more accomplishments and less duty statements on a résumé?  

Additional question and background: What are recruiters, HR, and hiring managers looking for? Is there a difference between roles? I’m seeing a lot of résumé that look more like grocery lists with little if no accomplishments. Is it important to list every duty a person has performed?

It’s all about value and developing a sense of trust in the candidate’s ability to get the job done. Being a professional writer and career coach, I encourage individuals to focus on accomplishments in a STAR method. STAR= Situation, Task, Action, and Result.

In other words, your marketing material must depict a story in which the reader can identify with. This story varies from position to position, from industry to industry, and from person to person. Overall, not an easy task to accomplish.

As a professor, I would explain to my students that I may “claim” to be the very best by way of duty statements but this does not mean that claim is true. Thus, one must provide a balance (leaning toward metric-based proof) between a claim to be the right candidate and the proof (or support) of the claim.

To bring this to a conclusion, a list of duties is useless without proof. Unfortunately, HR, recruiters, and hiring managers often look for different elements. HR and recruiters are more prone to like a list of duties in a chronological format whereas hiring managers are more interested in the immediate value you will bring to a particular position. For the hiring manager, metric based is the way to go and the format recommended by the top three career management associations in the US is semi-functional; NOT chronological.

Writing a resume is much like writing poetry (the reason why an excellent resume writer charges up to $2,000 a pop–and well worth it). As in poetry, each word is included for a reason; each claim and each accomplishment must also be scrutinized for its purpose, value, and semantic meaning.

In the end remember a resume is not the tool which will land you the job. A resume lands you an interview.

Prioritize your value to match the position, company, and requirements and you will find success. If you need assistance or a quick review, let me know…it is what I do.

Danny Huffman, MA, CPRW, CCPC, CEIP


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