I Am Responsible For

Every day, we see CVs from people at all levels – from students to CEOs. Even though the content of CVs are entirely different, we often see very similar mistakes, the most popular one, ‘I am responsible for’.

As you may already know, when writing your CV, it’s a good idea to use bullet points to distinguish between responsibilities and achievements in an eye-catching way.

However, your CV isn’t going to grab the reader’s attention by starting bullet points with, ‘I am responsible for….’ The first word of each bullet point should be a power verb relevant to your area of expertise.

Other common mistakes we see in bullet points are:

Switching from past / present tense:

  • Leading staff
  • Managed customer service
  • Overseeing administration

As a general rule, start each bullet with an action verb in the past tense. This makes your CV easier to read and will ensure it remains consistent throughout.

Repeating the same word on every bullet point

  • Writing letters
  • Writing reports
  • Writing training manuals

Again, this is boring and will imply you don’t have a solid grasp of the English language. Instead , try to make use of other words to break up the points, to grab the reader’s attention and to showcase your skills. For example; ‘writing’, could be replaced by words such as, ‘creating’, ‘producing’ and ‘developing’. Consult a thesaurus if needed.

Using just one word for each point

  • Billing
  • Recruitment
  • Administration

This tells the reader nothing and will no doubt be responsible for (excuse the pun) your CV being binned.

Finally, try and use bullets for each role sparingly. A CV filled top to bottom with bullet points is not visually appealing. We advise creating ‘achievement’ sections to distinguish between responsibilities and achievements – this will significantly improve your chances of impressing the recruiter rather than purely listing your day-to-day responsibilities.

With 20+ years of experience writing CVs, it still puts a smile on my face when I hear a client has secured an interview Lee Tonge - Founder and Director


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