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Why It’s Important to Use Resume Adjectives
Good adjectives for your resume set the tone for your application, and emphasize important information about your experience and/or skills.
Not only that, but descriptive words grab attention and make your resume memorable. That’s why strong resume words and professional adjectives are crucial to the success of your resume.
To help you get started, here’s our list of the best adjectives to use on your resume.
List of Powerful Resume Adjectives
Here are 115+ adjectives you can use to highlight your resume skills and improve your application.
Each set of words is categorized according to the skill that they help describe.
Candidates with strong leadership skills are essential for any company. Use these adjectives for leadership to demonstrate your ability to manage teams and guide others to success:
Here’s an example of how a sales manager candidate used powerful leadership adjectives to strengthen their resume objective (the adjectives have been highlighted):
What makes this example outstanding is that the candidate quickly showcases their qualifications, and uses resume adjectives to emphasize the skills they can bring to the company. Used well, strong adjectives can reinforce your point and help you communicate more information with fewer words.
Work Ethic Adjectives
If you need some good resume adjectives to highlight your work ethic, look no further.
Here are 28 powerful work ethic adjectives to describe yourself and your work:
Employers are always looking for candidates who can think of creative solutions to problems. Demonstrate your talent for innovation with these strong resume adjectives:
Team Player Adjectives
Team players keep companies running smoothly and make work more enjoyable for everyone else. These words will help you demonstrate your teamwork credentials to the hiring manager:
If you’re emailing clients, closing deals, and helping customers, strong communication skills are a must. These resume adjectives can highlight your ability to communicate effectively and keep clients happy:
Organizational Skills Adjectives
Whether you’re in management or just an intern, keeping your work organized is vital.
Are you the kind of person who color codes your files and never misses an appointment? Then these strong organizational skills adjectives are for you:
Interpersonal Skills Adjectives
Offices composed of employees with strong interpersonal skills often perform better, and hiring managers are always on the look-out for candidates with a high degree of emotional intelligence.
Use these resume adjectives to highlight your interpersonal prowess and show that you’re a good fit for any office:
Interpersonal abilities are just one of the many soft skills employers value. These strengths are sometimes difficult to quantify, but hiring managers are always looking for them because they signal a strong employee.
The modern workplace is changing faster than ever. So how do businesses keep up? With highly adaptable employees.
Show you can cope when a sale doesn’t go through and adapt when a new, system-wide change is implemented with these powerful resume adjectives:
How to Use Resume Adjectives
As long as you avoid the generic clichés that are common on bad resumes, strong adjectives are an effective way to highlight and emphasize your experience throughout your job application.
But to make the best use of adjectives on your resume:
Avoid using bigger words just to sound impressive.
Your resume has limited space to showcase your accomplishments. State things succinctly and pack more substance into your application rather than filling your resume with stylish fluff.
Use adjectives to enhance your experience, not replace it.
Adjectives should be combined with actionable examples of accomplishments on your resume. All too often, job seekers simply describe themselves as “detail-oriented” or say something they did was “great” with no context. This doesn’t demonstrate how you’re detail-oriented, or what made your action great.
To make your resume adjectives effective, attach them to a larger point about your specific qualifications or accomplishments. Here’s an example:
When you go into an interview, you want to wow your interviewer so that they give you a job. They have already read your resume, so they know your skills, experience and education. Now, they are looking for the personality and person behind the resume.
Good Words to Describe Yourself in an Interview
Words for Leadership Positions
If you are applying for a leadership position, then these are some good words to describe yourself in an interview. Often, words like engaged and organized work well. Companies like problem solvers who are proactive and assertive in dealing with issues, so these words will also work well. During your interview, consider using some of the following words from this list.
Words for Entry Level Positions
Words to Describe Your Personality
If you are struggling to find the right words to describe your personality, the following lists of ideas can help you get started.
Words to Describe Your Attitude at Work
Words You Should Avoid Using in an Interview
Make Sure That You Have the Best Chance in Your Interview
Finding good words to describe yourself in an interview is a start. You also need to find a way to incorporate them naturally into your answers. The best way to do this is to start practicing your answers to interview questions. You don’t want to seem like you are boastful or just listing qualities that you may or may not have. One way to incorporate them naturally is to use them in a story. When you answer an interview question, use an example from your past job to show that quality instead of just saying that you have it.
There are a number of articles online that can help you find interview practice questions. While an interviewer will often look for unique or job-related questions, a number of the interview questions will be quite similar. Practice answering the questions that you find online in front of the mirror or with a friend. You can also practice variations of each questions, so you can naturally pivot during the interview to your practiced answers. With the right descriptive words, good answers and a lot of practice, you can make sure that you are ready for your big interview and can do your best.
Most hiring managers spend an average of 6 seconds scanning through a resume. If your resume doesn’t grab their attention, you won’t get an interview.
There are over one million words in the English language. It would seem next to impossible to know the best words to describe yourself on a resume. You want to capture attention, set yourself apart, drive interest, and communicate with clear commanding language.
So how do you beat the odds and capture their interest?
Here’s how to use power words to create an attention-grabbing resume that helps you get hired.
Do you want to be Joe Schmoo or do you want to be a celebrity in your field? The words you use on your resume and cover letter make all the difference.
If you want your resume to have more impact, you need to use action verbs. What is an action verb you wonder? Action verbs describe what the subject of a sentence is doing.
For example instead of saying “Responsible for planning and holding weekly meetings.”
Use a more powerful action verb, “Arranged and organized weekly team meetings.”
Responsible for is very weak. It doesn’t show your strengths.
Arranged and organized are strong, action verbs that show you achieved something worthy.
Here are some ordinary verbs and some compelling ways to power them up.
Cut costs: decreased, streamlined, economized, reduced expenses, controlled costs
Led: orchestrated, conducted, directed, spearheaded
Created: designed, crafted, developed, formulated, conceptualized
Boosted: increase, accelerate, drive, improve, optimize
Trained: facilitated, educated, instructed, taught, guided, coached
What tips would you give to optimize a resume?
Top Words By Industry
Start by thinking about the industry you are in. These words are a list of skills and experiences employers are seeking.
Here are a few examples.
Sales – relationship building, negotiation, persuasive communication, prospecting, closing, territory development
Management – leadership, supervisory skills, coaching, mentoring
Marketing – SEO, conversion optimization, email marketing, content marketing
Finding these industry-related keywords is easier than you think. Just do a quick Google search for the job openings in that industry. Read the job descriptions and look for any keywords that stand-out. Jot down any that describe the qualifications and skills that you have. Then include these keywords in your resume. When you know what your potential employers are looking for, it’s easy to reverse engineer your resume to show you are a perfect match for their needs.
Rev Up Your Resume With Powerful Adjectives
When you are writing your resume you want to come across as a rock star, but not sound like a commercial. You need to strike that perfect balance between strong and enticing and blatantly promotional. Choosing the right adjectives for your resume summary statement and the body of your resume will help you find that sweet spot.
Employers are looking to attract and retain top talent. Leadership shows that you have initiative and can drive results for their organization.
You don’t want to use the word leadership over and over. You want to vary it a bit. Here are some words to describe your leadership qualities. Below are a couple of examples.Leadership Adjectives:
If you are having a hard time thinking of the right word to use, a thesaurus can be a huge help. For example, if you don’t want to say “write” for the 3rd time, you can find other words like develop, craft, and create to mix it up.
Tips For Incorporate Power Words
Prefer brevity. Short pithy sentences beat longer sentences. Simple direct sentences have more power.
One line. Try not to have bullet points wrap around. Shorten them to one line if possible.
Eliminate any widows. A widow is a single word that is wrapped around and is alone on the next line. Don’t do this
Spearheaded initiative to go green and eliminate delivery truck gas emotions by August2021
Include ATS Friendly Words in Your Resume
You may have the best resume in the world, but if your resume is not ATS friendly, it may never be seen by the potential employer. ATS stands for applicant tracking system and is the robo filter that companies use to handle large amounts of resumes – you need to make it past the filter to be seen.
If you want to get your resume seen, you’ll want to include the right ATS keywords. You write resumes both for people and for the applicant tracking system. Many bigger companies scan and search through resumes pulling top applicants to the top. If your resume doesn’t make it through the ATS system, it may never be seen by a recruiter or hiring manager.
The keywords that the ATS system checks for are determined by the future employer. That’s why it’s important to closely read a job description, look for keywords, and include these keywords in your resume.
Job-seekers: if your resume is a match for the criteria, it will be passed through for viewing.
If your resume is not a match for the criteria, then it will be rejected.
Cover Letter Power Words
What’s your opening line? A clever pick-up line has the power to impress someone you want to meet at your favorite night club. The same is true of an opening line on your cover letter.
You want to grab the attention of the hiring manager so that they keep on reading.
Start the cover letter with a greeting. Dear Mr. Robinson. It’s always best to get the hiring person’s name rather than using the Dear Hiring Manager as an opener.
Tell your employer what position you are applying for in the first sentence and where you saw the job listing.
In the body of the cover letter, you’ll want to highlight your top accomplishments and relevant experience for this position that enable you to succeed in this role. Don’t just rehash everything on your resume. Use this space to share your personality, passions, and how you can make a difference at their company.
Share a call to action in the last paragraph and how and when you can move forward to further discuss your qualifications for the role.
Sign the letter “Sincerely” and your name.
Resume Killing Phrases to Avoid
You know the feeling you get when your parents try to use phrases to be cool? Like when your mom is hanging out with you and your friends and says something is “sick”. It’s kind of icky, inappropriate, and disgusting. That’s how hiring managers feel when you use buzzwords on a resume.
Are resume buzzwords worth it? Many of these phrases were cool in their day, but now, these cliches have seriously lost their staying power and it’s time to retire them.
Are you guilty of using any of the following outdated terms?
Here are the resume buzzwords and things to avoid putting on a resume.
If you don’t want to make recruiters cringe, explain what you mean in engaging conversational language. Don’t lean on these overused terms.
Stand Out At Your Job Interview Using Power Words Too!
Hiring managers want to know how your skills and experiences can translate into results for their company. But fluffy self-flattering words don’t carry much weight. They are listening for traits that will make a difference for their bottom line.
Here are some powerful words and phrases to use during your job interview.
Explain how you took leadership in your previous positions.
Tell them the measurable results you achieved in your accomplishments.
Reveal projects where you took initiative.
Share what makes you passionate and motivated about your work.
Tell them about any management and supervisory job experience you had.
Add examples of where you led strategy or planning for a project.
Tell about situations where you influenced, persuaded, or negotiated.
Show them where you have been a team player and collaborated.
Discuss how you resonate with the company values and culture to show you are a fit.
Tap into the Power of Words to Help Your Resume Stand Out
The devil they say is in the details. After you write your resume take time to carefully review it. The little touches you add can help your resume and cover letter to really shine. Do your research to find important keywords for your industry. Add strong verbs.
Rock your resume out with some attention-grabbing adjectives. Scan for buzzwords that you can eliminate. Then make sure it’s ATS friendly.
Follow these steps and you’ll have a job-winning resume in no time flat! Good luck with your search for your dream job.
Recruiters do like to see a touch of modesty. There’s something about a know-it-all that sets anyone’s teeth on edge. The company will also want to know how you’ll fit in with bosses and colleagues. They’ll be looking for qualitative information that isn’t to be found in your resume. Here are some statements that recruiters love:
“I am eager to learn.”
“I am determined.”
“I never give up until I get something right.”
“I get on well with all kinds of people.”
“I like to keep a positive attitude.”
“Hard work doesn’t bother me. I actually like it.”
“I enjoy facing challenges.”
“I like everything I do to be well-organized.”
Of course, if any of these statements don’t apply, you shouldn’t use them. If you get the job, people will soon see you weren’t being truthful. The above statements apply to any job and they indicate you’ll be a cheerful, hardworking employee. But there are a few extras you can mention in specific types of jobs.
Best Words for Customer-Service, Sales or Marketing Interviews
Let’s be frank, not everyone is suited for customer service. No matter what company is interviewing you, they will want to know you’ll be good for their image. That means looking neat, but not overdressed, having good posture, being pleasant, and being well-spoken. Try these lines to describe yourself if questions arise where you can utilize them.
“I can keep my cool under pressure.”
“I don’t easily lose my temper.”
“I’m good at multi-tasking.”
“I enjoy meeting new people every day.”
“I love making people’s day.”
“I believe customers are the most important part of any business.”
“If necessary, I can be assertive without being rude.”
Do you get where this is going? Recruiters want to know you can handle having two people waiting for you while the phone is ringing, and another customer is being unreasonable and rude, while still being unruffled.
They also want to know you’re an organizer. Can you keep track of several tasks for specific customers in a disciplined way? For example, a sales rep may get a call, have to get information, call back, record the order, get the order dispatched, correctly invoiced, and call the customer again to follow up. They must do this for several customers at once, so things can get pretty chaotic unless they’re smart organizers.
In marketing, they also want to know you’re people-oriented and organized, but they’ll want to know more about the creative aspects too. Try these options for describing yourself:
“I love turning great ideas into reality.”
“I’ve done a few freelance projects, and I’ve brought my portfolio.”
“I find people and their opinions fascinating.”
“I really enjoy reading about and learning from marketing success stories.”
Best Words for Accounting or Administrative Interviews
Apart from the things we looked at in the generic statements, there are some extra statements recruiters like.
“I’m a perfectionist.”
“Organizing data so that it makes sense is rewarding for me.”
“I’m a methodical person.”
“I like working systematically.”
As you can see, you’re demonstrating a different set of qualities. You like getting things done in a calm and organized way. You crunch away at your work according to a specific system, and you like being part of that system because it results in useful, condensed information of some sort.
Best Words for Management Interviews
I’m going to be brutally honest here. Most of us do not walk out of college into highly-paid managerial jobs, and if you don’t know what to say at the interview, you’re not ready. Besides, there are more kinds of managers than you can shake a stick at, and each of them requires different personal qualities.
I’ve interviewed a lot of people for minor managerial posts, and all I can say is it depends on your skill, experience, expectations (salary, etc.) and whether you’ll fit into the organization’s management style. How you dress for your interview matters a lot. Play safe and stick to understated, yet smart clothing. Ladies, not too much makeup or perfume please; my apologies if this offends you, but this is the real world.
Be true to Yourself
If you don’t feel you can honestly say any of these things, don’t. You must be able to back your statements up with evidence from your life. “I’m very determined. For example, I….”
You should also ask yourself whether you’ll be happy in a job where you have to pretend to be someone other than who you really are and whether you’ll even be able to do it. You probably won’t. What do you get? Short service and a bad reputation are the two things no future employer is going to like. Look to a field you’ll enjoy and excel at instead.
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