Career&Employment, Employment & Career

Your Resume is Not About What You Have Done

Confusion, Women, Gesturing.

By Rose Holland, CWDP
Employment Advocate

I want to make it clear that I realize what you did at any job is important, however, when you are applying for a position you have to recognize the employer does not care about what you have done. Lately I have been reviewing a lot of resumes that do not correlate to the job posting. What do employers care about? They care about what you did RELATED TO THE JOB POSTING.

Employers want to know that you can do the job. They need to realize you have the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities for the position. If you have not done the exact type of position, an employer wants to see that you can correlate your previous experience with the position you are applying for.

So how do you do this? Start with the job posting. Every thing in the posting has a reason. The order of the job duties listed is usually in order of importance. Look at this real job posting for an Office Manager / Bookkeeper:

Office Manager Job Description
Experienced Office Manager for a real estate company located in any city USA.

  • Accounting/Bookkeeping
  • Processing agent commission checks through Quick Books
  • Working with Broker on Marketing initiatives
  • Electronic Filing
  • Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivable
  • New Agent Orientation
  • Oversee Office Operations
  • Conduct Office Meetings

The first thing you see is accounting/bookkeeping. This should be the first thing you show off in your resume, even if this was a minor part of your last position.  There should be an accomplishment related to this first responsibility – what you did, how and the results. Include quantifying information such as dollar amounts, percentages and numbers. Each of the responsibilities listed on the job posting should be addressed in the order listed on the job posting.

If you have not done the exact job duty or responsibility on a job posting, show the hiring manager that you understand the position by relating something else you have done. Perhaps you have not held “New Agent Orientation,” but you created a book about company policies and procedures. You might address this with something like, “Developed company orientation materials for new employees outlining company policies and procedures for an organization of 50 personnel.”  Can you see how the hiring manager will recognize that you understand the position?

It is important to show the hiring manager that you understand the position. You want to prove that you have done similar work and are up to the job. Remember, your resume is not about what you have done, it is about what you have done RELATED TO THE JOB POSTING!


7fcde3ae4be55169d661dc998752bb25Rose Holland is the spouse of an Active Duty Army Reservist and is an advocate for military andveteran families. She has three adult children and has been married to her husband, Michael, for 30 years. She is a certified Workforce Development Professional, Federal Career Coach and Job Search Trainer.


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