Choose Your Words Wisely: Action Words for Resumes

When you create your resume, keep in mind how valuable that document will be. Keep your content to one page if you’re entry level or two pages if you’re an experienced professional. It’s important that you choose your words wisely. Recruiters are looking for something they haven’t seen before. So, what’s unique about you, your skills and experience? 

Your resume is sometimes the only representation of your professional self that an employer will have access to. The digital age has enabled job searches to happen globally and immediately. Choose active, appropriate words to illustrate your industry-specific accomplishments and skills.

Here are some ways to use powerful words:

Do you have management experience? Instead of saying you managed a project or team, try using monitored, executed, conducted and supervised.

Project-based successes? If you have created a project from the ground up, this should be recognized. Not only did you envision the idea, but you followed through on whatever tasks were necessary to complete the project. This is an achievement that recruiters would want to know about. Use words like created, designed, developed, implemented, formed and introduced.

Are you organized? If you thrive in an organized atmosphere, list some of your skills such as filing, database management, spreadsheet production and use words like systematic, methodical and structured. Another great description is task oriented and deadline driven. These catch-phrases signal to an employer that you are an efficient employee. Use words like devised, founded, established, engineered, built, pioneered, initiated, formulated and launched.

Do you have a way with words? Communication is an essential tool for success. If you have unique abilities with writing and speaking, accentuate those skills. Use words like corresponded, addressed, persuaded, edited, created, authored, composed, critiqued, documented, lobbied, published, promoted, published and illustrated.

If you are self-taught, be sure to emphasis this by using words like self-started, ambitious, dedicated, initiative, attained, achieved, targeted and reached. If you are self-taught, try to keep notes of what you have learned and from which source. There are numerous reputable educational sources online for free. There is no shame in learning this way as long as you are honest about your educational accomplishments.

Quantify your achievements wherever applicable. If you have been an integral part of a company’s profit, specify that by using words like achieved, advanced, gained, enhanced, boosted, improved, maximized and sustained.

Remember that recruiters, managers and employers read many different resumes. Be creative, but professional in your word choices. Be sure to proofread your resume prior to sending it, or have a friend proofread it for you. Be proud of your accomplishments and remember that your knowledge is worth noting on your resume. Because of the nature of the internet, learning can take anywhere.