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How to Fill Out Duties on a Job Application

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The duties and responsibilities section of a job application is where you tell an employer what specific professional experience you have. Job applications do not generally leave much room for you to describe your job duties. Choosing the right duties to include can be challenging when your job descriptions for each position were a page or more in length.

Read through the job description of the job you are applying for. Look for the most important skills and qualifications the employer wants. These are the skills and duties to highlight in your job application. Gauge how much room you have to write in the duties section of the job application. You may only be able to choose two or three duties that describe your work for previous employers. The ones that you choose should relate directly to the job you are applying for.

Write your accomplishments in the duties section of the application. Your accomplishments give employers a good idea of what exactly you are capable of on the job. You can tell the employer that you were responsible for hiring, but this wording does not tell the employer that you hired 10 new employees for your department in 3 months and reduced the turn-over rate in your department by 20 percent during that time as well. Avoid repeating accomplishments or responsibilities on the application if you held the same or similar positions for different employers. Describe different accomplishments for each one.

Use numbers and percentages to convey what you can do for an employer. Quantify your past accomplishments in your job application just as you would on your resume. Employers will better be able to translate your accomplishments into what you can do to improve their companies when you give them numbers describing what you have done in the past.

State your job duties with action words that accurately describe your work. Instead of saying you “managed” a department, tell the employer that you “developed and implemented” a new training plan, or that you “administered” both the financial and human resources aspects of your department. The more specific you are in describing your skills, the better an employer will understand what kind of work you have done.


Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.

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