Don’t Use Official Job Descriptions Verbatim on Your Resume

Why you should create unique job duty paragraphs

It can be tempting to simply copy and paste in your official job description into a paragraph when writing your resume, but don’t do it! Yes you perform these tasks, but do hiring managers want to read a laundry list of duties when looking for that one perfect candidate? Your job description can certainly be a starting point for this portion of your resume, but it is not written in the concise and dynamic tone that your resume needs to be effective. Consider these reasons for creating your own content from scratch:

  • You may feel as though you are “reinventing the wheel” by writing out your responsibilities, however official job descriptions are dry, very extensive,  and were not written to generate excitement. For example, “exhibit a positive attitude” and “complete other duties as assigned” may be in your job description, but will those phrases really do anything for your resume?
  • Your actual job duties may have changed significantly since you were hired. Your responsibilities may have expanded, so using the job description will sell you short. Conversely, you may not actually perform all of the duties listed in your job description, so including it verbatim on your resume will be inaccurate and misleading.
  • Do not Google your job title and pull exact phrases from similar positions available at other companies. Job ads are a great guide for keywords to include, but do not copy and paste content from these word-for-word. Hiring managers will recognize their own work.
  • By creating your own content, you are also showing that you are invested in your career and committed to putting your best foot forward. Copying/pasting verbiage from a job description could very well land you in the “no” pile for laziness and a lack of originality.

Your resume should be completely unique to your qualifications, experience, and achievements, as you are a completely unique job seeker. Resist the urge to cut corners when writing your resume. It will be well worth the time.

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