I have been veering well away from developing boring responsibility-based resumes and eliminating repetition from job-to-job when overhauling clients’ resumes. Instead, I apply a lateral thinking approach in drawing out outcomes or achievements in relation to the responsibility performed and categorising and showcasing these statements under key skill areas.

Where a particular responsibility cannot be drawn out to indicate an achievement/outcome, then my primary objective is to develop depth to showcase a particular skill. In the following before and after examples I have included before (responsibilities) and after (transformation to outcomes and/or depth of skills) examples across three highly competitive fields. They include Customer Service, Administration, and Finance/Accounting.


Responsibilities: Assisted customers in choosing products, as well as listened to customer concerns. Listened to customer concerns and ascertained possible solutions for the problem.
 Assessed each customer’s primary and secondary issues with machines, assigned priority from most to least urgent. Resolved issues in line with competency level, and for those more complex in nature, contacted the Fuji Xerox assistance line, and request a technician to visit customers’ business premises to resolve.

Responsibility: Trained new employees.
 Requested by management to deliver training sessions to new employees on customer service techniques, and updated product protocols and procedures. This involved demonstrating the installation process of a part, as well as emphasising proper etiquette when engaging with customers. Training provided new employees with a firm foundation; after a short period, they completed tasks unsupervised and independently.

Responsibilities: Restocking and replenishing merchandise, adjusting displays to feature new stock; processing and unpacking stock deliveries.
 Ascertained, flagged and immediately notified management of variances in stock which was then relayed to the stock room team to cross check; and checked if missing items were on hold or marked as faulty. In determining any discrepancies thereafter, cleared items in system, completed a mini stock take, and re-entered product availability and numbers in system.

Responsibilities: Running fitting rooms, maintaining a clean and safe environment, and ensuring each customer had the sizes and styles they needed, especially for those with disabilities.
 Addressed OHS potential hazards by recommending that fixtures and fittings be repositioned and placed at a safe distance apart in order for customers in wheelchairs or with prams to pass through the store safely and without trouble. Recommendations were approved and factored into every floor plan reshuffle.


Responsibility: Diary management.
 Allocated and control time by planning the week ahead using Microsoft Outlook’s features such as Calendar and Tasks; set daily tasks and task reminders, scheduled meetings, annual leave, and so forth. Despite constant interruptions this structure enabled refocus and reprioritisation, and flexibility to deal with unexpected issues as they arise.

Responsibility: Reduced expenditure in the office.
 Reduced expenditure for consumables by regularly researching and comparing prices with other suppliers/wholesalers, checked catalogues to find half price items at larger department stores, and negotiated with suppliers to drill down on prices. Secured up to 30% reduction on many of the consumables.

Responsibility: Participation and contribution in month end and year end reporting.
 Prepared detailed end-of-month financial reporting containing statistics and commentary. Information contained in the reports was precise and facilitated sound record keeping. Management provided continual positive feedback on the quality of the reports.

Responsibility: Wrote new policies and procedures.
 Developed new policies and procedures for work health and safety (WHS). These were rolled out both in office and offsite when consultants conducted large workshops and events. Procured correct First Aid material and created an instructional booklet for staff to reference when an accident/incident occurred.


Responsibility: Processed accounts receivable.
 Processed data entries for cash, cheque and EFT receipts; daily average of 150 (cash, cheque and credit card), and 90 (EFT), and the issue of 10 credit notes on average.
 Managed a customer portfolio numbering approximately 500 on a weekly basis and regularly followed up on past due invoices greater than 60 days.

Responsibility: Improved the Excel work paper for month-end process.
 Reviewed month-end journal process after merger in 2014 and identified tedious manual process was time-consuming for staff. Developed a new fully automated and streamlined Microsoft Excel worksheet which reduced working time from 5 days to 2 days, and guaranteed 100% accuracy.

Responsibility: Conducted budget variance analysis.
 Performed budget variance analysis after a new product release which led to an increase in travel expenses. Formulated a specific plan to schedule earlier bookings for upcoming events and secure discounts on travel. As a result, travel expense reduced by 40% in the following month.

Responsibility: Prepared and analysed the monthly balance sheet reconciliations against all of the Group’s entities.
 Prepared and consolidated the Group’s monthly investment report and analysed profitability for the current investment ($500m value). Recommended to senior managers to switch to another investment fund to gain better return on investment (ROI). As a result, the board approved the proposal which led to a 25% ROI increase in 2016 compared to 2015.

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Annie Cerone