I am fairly new to MT/CT, and I was blown away by the deepness and quality of resume and interviews podcasts. I want to clarify the recommendation to include previous job descriptions and responsibilities in the resume. Taking into account all other recommendations, I would not do it unless it is something unusual or extraordinary:

  1. It eats additional lines of the precious one-pager space.
  2. You can convey your job description and responsibilities through your achievements.
  3. A recruiter has a some idea of responsibilities for majority of jobs, based on the title.
  4. My actual responsibilities change very often to adhere to new quarterly and annual goals, so you need to either put a long list or come up with something vague.

Can anyone think of any strong reason, besides if it something unusual or extraordinary, to include job descriptions and responsibilities into a resume?

mattpalmer's picture

I'll address each of your objections as you enumerated them:

  1. Write more succinctly.
  2. No, you can't.  I want to know what your overall role was, not just the few small fragments that you chose to highlight as your accomplishments.  Knowing what was part of your remit which you didn't excel in is as important as knowing which parts you did do well at.
  3. Titles give you a very vague idea of what someone's job is and the level they're at, but they don't tell anywhere near enough of the story.  For example, I'm hiring for a senior management role at the moment that we have determined requires excellent MT-style "people management" skills.  I've gotten a huge glut of resumes with impressive-sounding titles that include the word "manager", but it's process management and other non-people management.  Most of these people have never been directly responsible for any person, ever.  There's multiple resumes with the same job title and wildly different responsibilities.  Unless you are in a heavily regulated field, job titles give nearly zero useful context to someone outside of the relevant organisation.
  4. If your responsibilities are changing regularly, you're probably thinking too detail-oriented for a resume (either that or your organisation needs to calm the hell down).  You've got the benefit of hindsight when it comes to writing the responsibilities paragraph in your resume.  Look back over the time of your role, and summarise the overall responsibilities in the time you've been doing that role.  For example, I'm in a role that requires the delivery of projects, and they do change every few months.  Sure, I could say that each quarter my responsibilities have changed, because now I'm responsible for delivering Project Anvil while three months ago I was responsible for delivering Project Hammer.  I summarise that in my resume as "I am responsible for delivering technical projects to support business goals".  The projects that I deliver particularly well go in my accomplishments.

I recommend including job descriptions and responsibilities in a resume because reading resumes without them is like reading a novel that has had all the nouns removed.  You just don't get the whole story.

vtrubachov's picture

Thanks again for a comprehensive response. I see the point in concise job descriptions. I was just confused since Mark came up with a very detailed job description example in one of the resume podcasts (but it might be a negative example).

In fact, on the recent interview a hiring manager spent good amount of time asking about my responsibilities and I was not very well prepared. I realized that I could have avoided that.

shawncruzs's picture


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