Go-to Words to Get Your Resume Noticed

Retool your resume with these witty words

Your resume is the first thing HR looks at, and unfortunately, you don’t get a chance to talk to them or show them who you are as a person before the interview. All you have are the words on the page. Which is why it’s so important to make sure you use the right ones.

Resumes can be frustrating. You’re spending hours working on a document when you know that if you could just meet your interviewer, you’d land the job. But it’s something we all must deal with. It’s not possible to interview every single applicant, so companies need to have some way to narrow down the competition. That’s why they have software that picks out certain words as more pertinent to the job than others.

Here’s how to make sure you don’t get thrown out of consideration.

Employ Metrics-Focused Verbs

Your resume should be full of accomplishments. When you list what you’ve successfully done (number of reports sent, projects completed in a finite time-span, etc), use action verbs:

  • established
  • secured
  • maintained
  • created
  • reviewed
  • achieved
  • accomplished
  • produced
  • identified
  • pitched
  • successfully converted

Use Team Player Words

Instead of saying you’re a team player, show you directed a team and achieved results:

  • collaborated
  • coordinated
  • cooperated

Opt for Management Words

Instead of saying you “led” a team, show you went above and beyond with these words:

  • managed
  • directed
  • coached
  • oversaw

What NOT to Write

In addition to the words you should use, there are some words and concepts you’re better off staying away from.

  • Don’t use the wrong tense. If it’s your current job, use the present tense. If it’s about a previous job, use the past tense. Realize that not all words are going to be right for every situation. If you were never a team leader or a manager, you probably shouldn’t use something like “oversaw” or “orchestrated.” The perfect words will vary depending on your industry and position.
  • Don’t use mundane words like ‘did,’ ‘saw’ or ‘typed.’ Instead of focusing on something you can find in a job description, list out your accomplishments.
  • Don’t talk about soft skills, like being a “people person,” a “team player,” “responsible,” or “kind.” These qualities are expected of a qualified candidate. This type of information is more well-suited to a cover letter or interview.
  • Don’t mention that you “met deadlines.” Instead, you “achieved ___ in a deadline-driven environment.”
  • Don’t use the first person. It’s unprofessional and can be confusing for the HR person because first person refers to them as they read it.

Any other words you love to use in your resume? Questions about the perfect term for a given situation? Let us know in the comments below!

See Also: 

Lucky Words for Your Resume




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