They should know what you do, right?

Photo by Alex Bellink

A frequent comment from clients — “Why do I have to detail what I do for these positions? don’t they know what I do?”

Fortunately, my clients ultimately trust me and view me as the authority on all things resumes and job search. But if I let them win on that point, the chances of them getting interviews would be slim to none.

I can remember early in my career as a resume writer when a Registered Nurse looked at me and said, “Just put down Charge Nurse, everyone knows what they do.” Yikes! And so why should they hire you then?… you are just like everyone else.

But you aren’t like everyone else! My job as a professional resume writer is to differentiate you and make you look different from the other “My profession” people who are just like you.

What makes you different?

What value do you bring the organization? What unique knowledge base do you have that makes you valuable to them?

  • What tools, equipment, or software do you use and HOW do you use it?
  • What have you succeeded at that makes you different?
  • Did you learn new procedures that allowed the clinic to attract different patients through offering a new service?
  • Did you lower costs?
  • Create a new policy or procedure?
  • Reorganize the filing system or a whole department?
  • Did you cut labor costs?
  • Improve labor retention?
  • Create a time-saving process that increased production?
  • Did you break sales records?
  • Did you intervene and save a customer from leaving the organization?
  • Did you create a new design that opened a whole new line of business for the company?
  • Did you build relationships with vendors so that you are the first one called when they find a product to add to your line-up?

Please don’t tell me they know what you do! They don’t!


  1. Karalyn on March 2, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Hi Julie, this happens with me all the time. “People will know what I do – you don’t need to explain that bit on my resume” Then I need to go through the whole spiel about that may be the case with your immediate manager, but the resume has about four hands to get past first.

    Great post.

    • Julie Walraven on March 2, 2011 at 3:17 pm

      Thanks, Karalyn, and thank you for stopping by. And as I said on Facebook, not only get past HR, you also have to prove the value – as opposed to the next person. The whole, why should you hire me anyway… 🙂

  2. Ed Han on March 3, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Julie, thank you. So many people need to read this.

    A bunch of times.

    I sometimes want to clonk people on the head with a styrofoam sledgehammer that says “Personal Branding” on it!

Resume Design and Job Seeking Tips

Here are Design Resumes' latest articles on job search, resume design, resume writing, and Linkedin optimization articles I've written.

FREE Resume and Job Search Tips by email

Get free tips and strategy direct to your inbox. just add your name and email below. I respect your privacy.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

Here are ways I can help you land your dream job.

You may be halfway across the country or the world. When you work with me, we share coffee, laughs, and concerns. This turns the scary job search into creative, consultative writing and learning sessions.