What's wrong with Duties in your resume or LinkedIn Profile?

What's wrong with Duties in your resume or LinkedIn Profile?Whether you are writing your resume or creating your LinkedIn profile, you might be tempted to list your duties. You’ve read so many job descriptions that say the words “duties” or maybe your college textbook examples all talked about putting duties in your resume that you just think you should. Don’t!

Duties are boring!

Look at this:

Duties & Responsibilities:

1. Obtain all annual goals – orders and revenues
2. Maintain consistent prospecting activity within region.
3. Responsible for qualifying prospective clients.
4. Attend trade shows as directed.
5. Participate in local, regional and national healthcare associations to enhance brand recognition and leverage contacts into prospective clients.
6. Responsible for maintaining documentation of our sales process and ongoing prospective client interaction through corporate InTouch (salesforce.com), including updating Client profiles and contacts as required.
7. Responsible for progressing prospects through our complete sales process.
8. Responsible for conducting site assessments and thereby identifying areas of need for prospective clients.
9. Responsible for conducting slide show presentations and viewing product demos for prospective clients.
10. Responsible for completing and communicating Win/Loss reports to appropriate management staff.
11. Responsible for providing suggestions for new sales opportunities regarding new software and/or services to appropriate management staff…..
19. Performs other related duties as assigned.

Yawn! Be more creative!

If you write your resume or LinkedIn profile with duties as the focus, you are missing the point of showcasing your accomplishments and differentiating yourself from the mob of other applicants. In case you are curious, this job description was for the position of Regional Sales Exec II – Healthcare Revenue Cycle Mgmt. I can’t tell you why job descriptions are so boring but I can tell you that if you write your resume that way, you will not get calls.

I’ve discussed before the reason to leave out the deadly dinosaur terms “responsible for” in your resume or LinkedIn profile, but I still see people putting them in all the time. Perhaps it rubs off from reading so many job descriptions, but don’t do it.

Want some better options? Try these for sales manager accomplishments:

  • Solved physician access problem by developing relationships with Diabetes Educators, trained the educators and increased awareness of hypogonadism in diabetic male patient, building trust, and asking for help educating 5 targeted physicians, resulting in increased average script volume of main product by 107%.
  • Captured 6 new major accounts in the Ohio market for Wang Laboratories and generated sales in excess of $2 million by showcasing the benefits of the Wang imaging servers.

or this:

  • Delivered product presentations and facilitated demonstrations, writing responses to Request for Proposals (RFP) and Requests for Information (RFI), resulting in sale of 6 to 8 new client databases annually and more than $1 million in revenue growth.

From a cover letter:

  • In 2 ½ years in the worst economy in 80 years, I led my team to grow account base from 300 low-volume accounts valued at $2.4 million to 1600 low to medium volume accounts valued at $11.5 million.

See the difference? Let the employer write boring, you write accomplishments, use cutting edge proactive networking strategies, and you get hired!


  1. Ed Han on February 21, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Julie, I hate hate hate the boring list of duties or responsibilities that I see on resumes–thank you! A lot of people fail to understand that a resume is marketing collateral and needs to pop accordingly!

  2. Julie Walraven on February 21, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Thanks for the comment, Ed, I really like: a resume is marketing collateral and needs to pop accordingly! Great point! Most people fail to get the leap that your resume is a marketing brochure and YOU are the product.

  3. Ben on February 26, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    It’s great advice. I’m all for making your resume interesting, but what should someone do who hasn’t had any management positions or simply did their job well without impressive stats to show for it. How do you make a good enticing resume out of something average?

    • Julie Walraven on February 27, 2011 at 8:20 pm

      Hi Ben, did you check out today’s post https://designresumes.com/my-role-in-the-wausau-daily-heralds-3-part-job-search-makeover/ and the link in it to the newspaper article I collaborated on? You don’t have to have stats or management to make your resume sound as though you are someone they would like to hire. Just think hard about your talents and how you used them. I firmly believe that unless you are slacking, everyone brings something wonderful to the table.

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