Mission Admission: Resume Part 1 – Accomplishments, Not Responsibilities

Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

In your resume, make sure that you are showcasing your accomplishments, not merely stating responsibilities. When only your responsibilities are presented—with no accompanying results—the reader has no understanding of whether you were effective in your position.  For example, consider the following entry, in which only responsibilities are offered:

2005–Present Household Products Group, Flocter & Gramble Cincinnati, Ohio

Brand Manager

  • Responsible for managing a $10M media campaign, supervising a staff of five junior brand managers, monitoring daily sales volumes and ensuring the consistent supply of product from five production facilities in three countries.


The reader is left wondering, “Was the media campaign successful? Did the staff of five progress? Did sales volumes increase? Did the supply of products reach its destination?” When this one large bullet point is instead broken down into individual bulleted entries that elaborate on each task and show clear results, the reader learns not just about the candidate’s responsibilities, but also about his/her effectiveness and successes:

2008–Present Flocter & Gramble Cincinnati, Ohio

Brand Manager

• Initiated $10M television/Internet “Island Vacation” promotion introducing new Shine brand detergent, surpassing first-year sales targets within three months.

• Mentored and supervised five Junior Brand Managers, each of whom was promoted to Brand Manager (company traditionally promotes 25%).

• Analyzed daily sales volumes and identified opportunity to increase price point in Midwest, resulting in 26% margin improvement and $35M in new profits.

• Secured “safety supply” of vital chemicals from alternative suppliers, ensuring 99% order fulfillment.


By comparing the first Flocter & Gramble entry with the second, you can see how much more effective an accomplishment-driven resume is than one that simply states responsibilities.

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