By Brenda Bernstein
The Essay Expert
Most of us are familiar with the concept of “power verbs” on a resume. We also have unlimited resources for finding and choosing power verbs, including many websites that provide lists of such verbs.
How many times have you heard, “Every bullet in a resume should start with a verb”? Dozens at least, right?
Then why are you starting your bullets with the phrase “Responsible for”? Responsible is not a verb, no matter how many times it shows up on your resume. Furthermore, you can be “responsible for” something and not actually do it! Employers care about what you *did.* Compare:
- Was responsible for submitting two sports-related blogs per month for publication on website.
- Submitted two sports-related blogs per month for publication on website.
- Responsible for raising $250,000 by recruiting staff to run door- to-door canvass reaching 200,000 people
- Raised $250,000 by recruiting staff to run door-to-door canvass reaching 200,000 people
Version 2 in both cases is shorter and more powerful than version 1.
You might be there saying, “But I didn’t just do things, I was responsible for them!” If you had supervisory or managerial responsibilities, there are verbs for that. Some of them are:
If you had many significant responsibilities that are important to list on your resume, you can have two sections, one that says “Significant Responsibilities” and one that says “Key Achievements.” Then start your bullets under those sections with *verbs*!
In a pinch, “Held accountability for” does start with a verb.
Be “responsible for” the words you choose on your resume. Otherwise you might be “responsible for” impressing a recruiter or employer, but will you succeed?