Received another example of a cringeworthy D-I-Y resume today and so like Peter Finch in the movie “Network” I have decided to make a stand. Yes, right here I’m going to open the windows and scream “‘Responsible for’ is a dead phrase and I’m not going to take it any more!”
Okay, perhaps that was a little loud. But if you can do anything to improve your resume today, then this is it. Remove, eliminate, wipe out, replace (get my drift?) the horrendous cliche “responsible for”. This little phrase is the most over-used phase in resume writing and despite its popularity, means absolutely nothing. What does “responsible for” mean exactly? That you managed people? That you were required to get a report out on time? Something else? Nebulous and cloudy phrases do not belong on a resume and do not sell your skills!
“Responsible for the restaurant”. Does that mean you manage the restaurant? Does it means you are accountable for the profitability of the restaurant? Or, does it mean you manage the afternoon shift? Does that also mean you recruit and train staff? Perhaps it means you oversee the leases and negotiate with the building owner. Who knows?
By using the phrase “responsible for” you are sabotaging your candidacy by making the information unclear. Think about what the employer is looking for in relation to what it is you do. Don’t take the lazy way out by resorting to cliches everyone uses! Tell the reader what you do!
Instead of “Responsible for the restaurant” consider:
- Exceeded profit targets by 23% via an integrated strategy that matched a cultural theme with daily specials.
- Reversed declining staff morale, retaining 90% of staff for more than 12 months in a high turnover industry. Transformed staff into a dynamic, customer-focused team through one-on-one training and skills reinforcement.
- Drove renewed effort to improve restaurant operations. Devised new processes, created policies for OH&S and eliminated duplicated tasks leading to greater individual productivity and less reliance on costly overtime.
Doesn’t that tell your next employer just a little more than “Responsible for”?
Remove that particular cliche from your resume right now! You can do it… Stand on that chair and open those windows and yell “I’m as mad as hell at the words ‘responsible for’ and I’m not going to write them anymore!”