Here's a story about Ron and Kyla:
Ron is an assistant store manager for a fashion retailer, and he's looking for new opportunities elsewhere. In order to build his resume, he turned to his job description, figuring it would explain what he does. Luckily, he gets called for an interview with Kyla, who is a district manager for a rapidly growing chain. (Hey, it's fiction - Ron probably wouldn't get an interview if he actually used his job description to make his resume.)
Ron and Kyla sit down to chat and during the course of the interview, Kyla starts digging for more information:
KYLA: Ron, I noticed it says here on your resume that you're responsible for meeting sales plans. Tell me a bit about that. How successful have you been at meeting your targets?
RON: Unfortunately, not very successful at all. We've come close a few times - around 98% or so - but the company as a whole has been in a bit of a decline lately.
KYLA: I understand, unfortunately that happens a lot in retail these days. So you're saying you've never made your sales target?
RON: Not yet, but hopefully soon.
KYLA: Okay, well it also says here that you're responsible for driving customer conversion growth. How has that been going? How much have you improved?
RON: So far we haven't but I'm developing a plan to do that right now. I hope to increase it from 14% to 18% this year.
KYLA: That's great, I wish you luck with that. But as of right now, you're saying that you haven't been able to improve your store's customer conversion rate?
RON: Not yet, no.
KYLA: Okay, let me ask you about some of your inventory management skills. It says here that you are responsible for planning and executing the inventory count. That can be a very complicated process. How many have you done?
RON: I haven't actually done one yet. That responsibility was just recently given to me and the first count is scheduled for next month.
KYLA: Okay, so what you're saying is you haven't done any inventory counts while in this position?
RON: Not yet, but soon.
KYLA: Let's turn to HR. Your resume says that you're responsible for hiring and on-boarding new associates for the store. How many associates have you hired and on-boarded?
RON: Um, none actually. It's part of my job description but we've been fully staffed since I started.
KYLA: So you're saying you haven't hired anyone yet, but you'd be the one to do it if anyone needed to be hired?
RON: That's right.
KYLA: Okay, how about this? Your resume says you are responsible for training all newly hired assistant store managers in the district. How many have you trained?
RON: Sorry, none so far, but I've been told that if they hire any, I will be training them because my store is the district training site.
KYLA: I see.
Do you think Ron is going to get a job offer? Me neither.
Obviously this scenario is a bit of an exaggeration. It's highly unlikely that Ron wouldn't have actually done anything that he says he was responsible for. But is he lying? No. He may actually be "responsible for" all those things. Those things have been put in his lap. They are his to carry. They're on his job description!
But that doesn't actually mean he's done them.
Here's the key, and this is why job descriptions and resumes are two completely different things:
That's not always the same thing, which is why it's important that your resume focus on actual achievements rather than responsibilities.
Happy job searching!
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