Job Hunting: Including Job Duties on your Resume

Job Hunting: How to List Your Job Tasks and Duties

I love writing career-related posts, and while I’m still no expert career lady I would definitely say I’m up there when it comes to resume and cover letter writing (check this and this out if you want more on that). I’ve read a lot of resources on the topic, attended a lot of career workshops, and asked for feedback from all of my many employers once I was hired, and one thing that’s stuck with me was the advice from my former careers counsellor during my post-grad studies. The topic was resume-writing, and we were working on listing job duties on your resume. And before I give you the complete goods, I’m going to tell you what I knew about listing job duties before coming into the workshop, just so we’re all on the same page.

When listing your job tasks out under each past employment term, the number one thing you need to do is evaluate their relevance to your current position. For example, I once was in charge of hiring referees for my university’s intramural flag football program, and I received a resume that listed working at a nursery as a past job – tasks included “inventory” and “cleaning the aisles at the end of the day”. As the hiring manager, all I see is menial tasks that aren’t at all relevant to the position I’m hiring for; in short, that experience looks as good to me as no experience, because it doesn’t make you a better candidate in my eyes.

So when you write your job tasks, word them so that they’re relevant to the position that you’re applying for. Had the person written that they “take inventory of all items on the shop floor on a weekly basis, recording missing items and noting which reorders need to take place” then I’d probably say “you’d be a great equipment manager and I can use that”. Same task, word it differently, and suddenly I see why you’re great. And if you’re not sure what will make you relevant, the first place to start is the job description. Look at the tasks listed, think about what skills you’d need to do them, and write your resume accordingly. You really would be surprised what a world of a difference this can make!

Next thing, when listing your job tasks, start each bullet point with a verb, and keep the points succinct (i.e. no fluffy adjectives). A friend of mine was told by someone to use fluffy words to show enthusiasm in her resume, and it ended up with a bunch of tasks listed like “happily monitored the canning machines for errors” and “enthusiastically cleaned the store each night after closing”. When hiring managers read resumes like that, they think two things: 1- this person is using fluffy words to cover up the fact that their experience is lacking, and 2- this is wasting my time, get to the point. So start your points with verbs, i.e. what you did, and keep it to the point: “Maintained the clean and uncluttered aesthetic of the shop throughout the course of my shift”.

Also note that it’s definitely okay, and in fact a great idea, to list one or two noteable achievements/recognitions in your job tasks, and I usually choose to list those last for each role. For example, when I was serving, I included “received three written commendations from regular restaurant patrons for my excellent customer service”. The people hiring you should know that you do your job well!

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The Enabler: Recent Purchases

Spring 2013 Purchases

Not that I’m enabling your shopping habits, but I like to consider myself pretty savvy when it comes to buying things on my wishlist without paying full price. Considering this is the age of online shopping, where a quick Google search can easily turn up coupon codes you didn’t even know existed, I thought it would be fun to not only share what’s on my hit list lately, but what I’ve pulled the trigger on while still saving myself a bit of cash in the process. I also thought it would be fun to discuss my favourite ways around paying retail price for items, and to share what I’m currently watching the sales for.

It’s easy to get lost in the sea of websites that offer new sales each week (especially if you’re on their email list), but I think that as long as you budget for a certain amount of spending each month/couple of months (and make decisions like ‘shoes OR dinner out on Friday night; not both’) then it’s all good. You just have to know what numbers you need to stick to, and stick to them! And also, recognise that your limits and your friends’ limits might be different, so stay as far away from the keeping up with the joneses mentality as possible! But even with the most well-thought-out purchases, a little coupon code googling can never be a bad thing. Even 15$ off what you expected to pay is good – it’s 15$ still in your pocket after all!

1/ I’ve been heading to the local pool at least once a week for the past three months to swim some laps in my old swimsuit that I’ve had for years. But swimsuits aren’t meant to withstand chlorine forever, and the lycra in my suit was deteriorating to the point that I’m pretty sure you could straight up see my bum when I wasn’t in the pool. I found this suit on The Iconic (who knew they have sports clothing?) and used the coupon code I mentioned in this post on both my shoes and the suit (use the code below to get 30% off this week). Bargain!

2/ I told you I have a problem with The Iconic (this isn’t even an ad – I wish it was). This bag is a very low-cost Celine-inspired bag (mine’s black+brown, but its sold out now!) that has replaced my trusty tote from days gone by. I love it because I can wear it with anything, meaning it’s one bag that I don’t have to switch out depending on my outfit. And at 50% off at the time, how could I resist?

3/ I bought a few dresses from Portmans when they had a promo out for 20% off sale price. Each dress was regular $120 and I managed to buy 4 for around $40-$50 each. Once again, it’s why I don’t recommend deleting promo emails – it’s far more cost effective if you can just learn to restrain yourself and pick your sale purchases wisely.

4/ I’ve had my current converse sneaks since 2007 and they’ve started to get holes in them like crazy. I love the way white all stars seem to go with everything (even dresses!), but Converse sneakers are about $15-$40 more expensive in Australia. Solution? eBay! The seller I used is here and I got mine for less than $55!

5/ I mentioned my nail polish bargains in this post, but if you’re a polish junkie like me, then it’s worth mentioning again. Buy your polish online from eBay and you’ll be able to get them at a fraction of the Aussie price, as well as get combined shipping which works out overall to about $5 a bottle. My favourite brands are Essie and China Glaze, because they last forever and have a heap of amazing colours for cheap (like my faves: play date, turquoise and caicos, and carry on).

6/ Another Portmans purchase was a white+black blouse, which I love for both casual wear (untucked of course) and the office. I’d seen it when it was first released and was really tempted to buy, but I waited… and with the sale email mentioned above, I got it for half price. Love that!

7/ If you work in an office whose dress code is quite business formal, no doubt you’d be keen for some way to jazz up your workwear. I was introduced to UK brand Hawes and Curtis through a friend, and their shirts are my favourite new thing to wear to work. You can get ‘em during sales for less than 20 pounds (or about AUD $30), and shipping only took 5 days. Do note that I wear a 10/12 shirt in Aus sizes (6/8 US), and a 16 in the fitted shirts at H&C are about the smallest I can wear.

++On my Wishlist

8/ I’ve been in the market for a leather jacket for at least a year now, but after seeing Julia wear this one (here) I think I’m in love. I’m crossing my fingers that it’ll still be in store when I get home to Canada in December, because I love the rose gold accents and don’t think I’ve seen them anywhere else! Fingers crossed for pre-holiday sales ;) I also love the one above with the silver details, but it’s a liiiiittle out of my price range :(

9/ If this skirt goes on sale I’m buying it for sure. It’s one of those tops that would look really cute dressed down (with the crop top?), but can also be worn to the office with a blouse like the one I mentioned above. I also loooove the colour blue for summertime, because it reminds me of boating and the ocean and sailing (though no, I’ve never been a sailor. I do hear they like blue though). Hopefully they carry this skirt in stores, cuz I’ll definitely be hunting down a J Crew on my trip to the US in December.

10/ While I legit never thought I’d say this, I love the idea of pairing crop tops like this one with slightly higher waisted skirts. It’s not really midriff baring or overly exposing, but the overall silhouette of the outfit would just be so clean and pretty. While I can’t say for sure if I’d be bold enough to wear it myself (maybe after a few more kettlebell workouts!), at 15$ I can definitely afford to buy this top online, try it out, and return it if it’s too full frontal.

That’s it from me! I’m officially on a shopping hiatus until I go home next month, so I made the end of October and November an extended tight month for myself. No matter how good the sales are! Have you bought anything recently that was a major steal/money-saver? Or are you stockpiling your cash for holiday season too? Gotta remember – a new skirt today won’t make me as happy as the feeling of financial security come December. But if you’re starting your holiday shopping early, here are a few sales & coupon codes to help you out!

The Iconic: 30% off with code BDAY30
Portmans: 30% off sale prices, ends tonight!
J Crew: 30% off with code LOVEFALL :)

White Converse All Stars // Speedo Rocinha Swimsuit // Hawes & Curtis Button-up // 10 Bells Structured Shopper Bag // Portmans Dress // Essie Turquoise and Caicos // Essie Carry On // Essie Play Date // Portmans Blouse (sold out), similar style + price here // J Crew Fluted Skirt // Asos Crop Top // Leather Jacket

Sunshine + Wine

Wine tasting (Vic, Australia) Wine tasting (Vic, Australia) Valhalla Wine Tasting, Rutherglen Australia Rutherglen, Australia Wine tasting (Vic, Australia) Wine tasting (Vic, Australia)

This past weekend Luke and I went camping up on the Victoria/New South Wales* border, in a small little town that the 9-to-5 rush forgot. We tagged along with some friends from work who were starting a 2.5 week camping adventure up in that area, and camped with them on their first stop in the scenic little wine region that is Rutherglen. What’s the best way to do a wine tour when you don’t have a designated driver? Obviously it’s by bicycles rented from the town info centre!

There are over 15 wineries in the Rutherglen region, but we got so carried away listening to the winery employees tell us about each wine (and then letting us taste them all, naturally) that we only made it to 3. Follow-up trip required? You bet.

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