Muscle your résumé to the top of the heap!

Ok you’ve got the bones for your résumé now let’s flex those muscles.

Don’t worry about formatting at this point; your main goal is to list the duties you performed on the job and the skills you learned while performing those duties.

 1. Duties

Take each job or volunteer position and think about what you did, put it in simple terms, you can always elaborate later. If you’re having trouble coming up with info walk yourself mentally through an average day on the job taking note of all the things you did, from opening the store (Key holder duties) to checking stock (Inventory management duties).

 If you’re really at a loss for what to include or English is your second language, check out and type in your job title and look under duties.

 2. Quantify what you did

Now take those duties and add numbers. (*if possible)

 EX: “Able to up-sell customers on sale items resulting in a 20% increase in revenue for outlet store”

 3.  Skills

Phrase your duties as skills.

 Take this duty: “Rang in customer purchases and exchanges at front counter” and turn it into a skill: “Knowledgeable in the use of Point of Sale operating system for cash, debit, credit and gift card purchases”

Note the difference. Generally skills point to the ability to operate a piece of equipment or a program usually gained on the job or through educational pursuits, however this mainly covers what’s considered “hard” skills, but what about “soft skills?”

4. Soft skills

Soft skills are personality or character traits which although unquantifiable are none-the-less essential and much sought after by employers so they should definitely be included in the skill section of your résumé.

Taking the above examples, you can draw out the following “soft skills”

EX:  “Ability to assess and understand new technology” or “Strong numerical skills” or “Comfortable in fast-paced work environments”

Now that you have most of the content, it’s often a good idea to get help from your friendly local resume specialist on how to tailor your résumé towards your objective and sector so it truly reflects you!



MCACESBlogs is a series of blog posts aimed at assisting job seekers and their peers with job search! These posts were created by students of the Career Consultant Certificate Program at Mohawk College. If you like what you read, be sure to like, follow, distribute to your network. Thank you and happy reading!


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