Resume Tips 101: What's the difference between a responsibility and achievement statement?

Resume Tips 101: What's the difference between a responsibility and achievement statement?

At The Perfect Resume, we understand the resistance some people have to reduce their career summaries down to under 10-years and getting rid of the fluff to bring a resume down to the 1-3 page industry preference.

You will find some hot Resume Tips included to help you reduce the length of your resume by knowing the difference between a responsibility and achievement-oriented statement so you can avoid your resume turning into a boring career summary without explaining every job in minute details.  

Today with the sheer volume of applications, you have approximately six seconds to impress your next employer. The industry preference for resume length is 1-2 pages. One executive on LinkedIn mentioned they only look at the front page! Even if it is 2 pages long! They use this as a culling technique and hundreds of people commented that they do the same. Executives get three pages. There have been comments from recruiters that people who are not executives with three pages think they are better than they really are. It is truly concerning how much bias enters a recruitment decision! However, we are here to HELP!

What is the difference between a responsibility and achievement-orientated statement?

To put it simply, a responsibility statement is similar to bullet points on a job description. They demonstrate what you do as a component of the role. An achievement-oriented statement proves to the reader you did what was required of you in the role by telling them what your result was. These stats can be drawn from your KPIs, business targets, P&L results, revenue etc.

To demonstrate the difference, the below examples are drawn from my personal experience to compare the difference:

Responsibility statements

✦ Developed policy and procedure to embed core process into business operations.

✦ Rolled out intensive face-to-face manual handling training across the state.

✦ Operated as a key stakeholder during the Mission, Vision and Values Cultural Project.

✦ Collaborated with the safety and quality team to enhance compliance and service delivery outcomes.

✦ Handled Fairwork reconciliations and employee and industrial relations issues with a systematic process and strategic performance management tactics.

Achievement statements

✦ Advanced the community care team from 20 to 120+ staff within 9 months by steering an end-to-end rapid recruitment project.

✦ Reduced the recruitment timeline from 6 weeks to 10 days using lean-six-sigma methodologies.

✦ Undertook extensive business development to rapidly increase the client base from 100 to 1000+ within 12-months with strategic planning and extensive stakeholder engagements.

✦ Integrated departments in 4 major regions while supporting regional staff through change management.

✦ Delivered an innovative technology business efficiency project in close collaboration with IT and software vendors. Coached the pilot program, addressed issues, then rapidly deployed the platform across the state with mass training within 10 weeks.

✦ Significantly reduced hundreds of reported complaints down to 10 per month with numerous efficiency improvements, training, service redesign, customer experience enhancements and extensive networking

You can see from the above that the responsibility statements don’t hold much weight however the achievement statements do. It is good to have an even balance between the two to make sure your resume doesn’t look stat heavy.

If you have any stats at all, this will dramatically increase the impact of your resume to increase your chances of being shortlisted for a position.

If you would like us to review your resume please email it through to and we will give you constructive feedback that will get you closer to your goal of landing a new job! 

On behalf of The Perfect Resume Team, we hope you have an amazing day today! 

The Perfect Resume Founder Melissa Peacock

The Perfect Resume Founder 

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