Under which circumstances (if any) can I list accomplishments on my resume that were mostly accomplishments of my direct reports? 

Background; I manage a big team of interns. I supervise them closely, and am ultimately responsible for their work, but I also give them a lot of responsibility because I believe that's the best way to engage them in the work, and benefit from their ideas about the best way to accomplish something. I work closely with them throughout their big projects, but expect them to make many small decisions along the way without consulting me. I try not to veto their big decisions, or even talk them out of big decisions, unless I think it's very important, and/or will be an excellent teaching moment.

So when an intern of mine coordinates a big community event, can I report that event as an accomplishment of mine on my resume? Related questions:

  1. Does it depend on how much work I did directly (vs. how much I just supervised my direct doing the work)?
  2. Should I record it as "Managed team that organized ___ community event"?
  3. Or am I not allowed to report it at all, except perhaps as a responsibility ("Managed team that organized community events")?

Thanks for any guidance you can offer!


mark_odell's picture

If you are managing another person, their achievements (and failures) are also yours, it has to be that way.  As you get higher up in the organisation the amount of actual 'work' you produce personally reduces.  It's all about achieving through others.  So with that in mind I would go with something like:

- Delivered successful community event within budget, with 97% satisfaction from attendees, by putting in place a coaching plan and reporting structure for the event coordinator.


Chief Executive, Connect Support Services Ltd. - London based cloud & traditional IT services for SMEs -

nicholasbarry's picture

Thanks, Mark! That makes sense, especially highlighting that your role was a managerial/oversight one.

Nicholas Barry
Executive Director for Davis Dollars Community Currency
District Representative for Senator Darrell Steinberg

nicholasbarry's picture

So I thought I had listened through all the relevant podcasts, but I just found that in Resume Update 2008, they mention briefly at the end that if your team gets promoted out of your team, or accomplishes other good things, you should brag about it - it reflects well on you. So, obviously, don't claim credit for something your direct actually did, but do claim credit for managing/overseeing/mentoring your directs/team when they accomplish good stuff.