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When it comes to applying for jobs, looking good on paper is important. After all, you’ll only get to the next step-an interview-if your resume grabs the attention of hiring managers. If you’ve already done the basics of crafting your resume, it’s time to move on to the next phase: making each individual position shine with the work experience section.
But how? We’ve rounded up tips and tricks that’ll help make jobs sound impressive on your resume-without going too far, and making yourself appear boastful or silly.
Which sounds better? Option 1: “Served tables at busy restaurant” or Option 2: “Served 15 tables simultaneously at busy restaurant.”
You’ll probably pick option number two, which is just a bit more descriptive thanks to the use of numbers. It’s surprising how meaningful metrics can be-and that’s true even for positions that are English-major friendly. If your position is staff writer, your resume can list how many articles you write each month or how many page views you receive online, for instance.
Go ahead and quantify your job descriptions with numbers, whether it’s tables served, customers helped, or percent of growth in sales.
You probably thought about formatting, from font choice to margin size, at some point during your resume creation. But take a second look at each job description that you have listed, with an eye toward how easily each description can be absorbed. Consider the readability from both a copy and a design perspective.
If it’s a bit too take in, consider cutting some copy or using less jargon. (Some jargon is good, but using all buzzwords and acronyms can make a resume hard to read.) And, make sure there’s plenty of white space-you can add this by using bullet points or paragraph breaks.
Of course, it goes without saying that having typos or grammatical errors in your job description is detrimental to their readability. Use this resume proofreading checklist to help guarantee your document is error-free.
Talk Accomplishments, Not Tasks
It’s tempting when describing a job on your resume to create a bulleted list of tasks, essentially writing down your day (or week’s) to do list when you were on the job. But most likely, that’s information that hiring managers already know from looking at the job title. Instead of a to-do list, share accomplishments and achievements.
Rather than write, “Designed window display on monthly basis,” you might write, “Increased customer walk-in rate by 10% with themed window displays, updated on monthly basis.”
If you led a meeting, talk about what happened during that meeting, how you steered it, or what got done as a result of your leadership. Or, if you create a monthly report, talk about why the report matter-did it help keep the budget on track, prioritize sales efforts, or engage customers? See more tips for sharing accomplishments on your resume.
Choose Powerful Words
A caution: Don’t go over the top with your word choice. No need to break out the thesaurus on a hunt for zany, unusual words! But be aware that some words are just more exciting than others-here are some recommended power words to use on your resume.
Review your job descriptions for words that get re-used throughout the document. Try to vary them more. Instead of “managed,” for instance, try “supervised” or “coordinated.”
There are some words that often come up on resumes. Think: “team player” or “detail oriented.” These words and phrases can feel stale to hiring managers. Consider ways you can show off that you have these skills rather than stating you possess them. For instance, instead of saying “detail-oriented” maybe you can have a bullet point about “Releasing clean code and helping others track down small code errors.”
One cautionary note: There’s making your job sound impressive and meaningful-and then there’s boasting. If you puff up recognizable positions with over-the-top language, it can really backfire and make you seem silly. The hiring manager will know what it means if your job title is “assistant” or “manager” and aggrandizing the position’s responsibilities with inflated language won’t help you land an interview.
And definitely, do not be deceitful or dishonest. Lying on your resume can cost you a job opportunity and is even grounds for dismissal if the lie is discovered after you’re hired on-here’s more on why it’s important to keep your resume honest.
Make Your Resume Stand Out With Action Verbs
It’s always a good idea to use keywords and action verbs in your resume and cover letters. Using the right words not only shows what you have accomplished in previous jobs. These words also help your resume, cover letter, and other application materials get selected by the software and hiring managers who screen your documents.
What Are Resume Action Verbs and Keywords?
From the job seeker perspective, keywords are the words job seekers use to search for available positions. For the employer, keywords are the terms that hiring managers use to screen resumes and cover letters to find applicants that are a good fit for a job.
There are different types of keywords. Job keywords are words that describe your skills and qualifications. They describe the hard skills you have that qualify you for a job.
Action verbs show your ability to succeed. For example, words like accomplished, developed, managed, and handled describe what you have achieved.
Keywords are used to match an applicant with an available job. The closer the keywords in a resume are to those in a job description, the better a candidate’s chances of being selected for a job interview.
Why and How to Include Action Verbs in Your Resume
The keywords in your resume will help you get selected for a job interview. Hiring managers search by keywords to find resumes that match the job qualifications they established when they listed the job.
In addition to listing keywords specific to your occupation (like software or sales skills) include action words that show you what you have accomplished. Rather than just stating a list of duties, including action keywords in your position descriptions.
Here’s an example:
Proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel
Specialized in product order management
Helped manage associates on the sales floor
Alphabetical List of Action Verbs
Review these tips for how to get your resume past the applicant tracking systems employers use, and this list of action keywords to use to get your application noticed when applying for jobs.
BBudgeted, built, brainstormed, balanced, blended, boosted
CCompiled, combined, challenged, chaired, committed, communicated, coordinated, calculated, contributed, commissioned, confirmed, customized, created, challenged, critiqued
DDecided, developed, disclosed, documented, discovered, designed, determined, demonstrated, deferred, distributed, directed, devoted, drafted, doubled, diversified, designated, dedicated, discussed
EExercised, expected, earned, elected, engaged, entered, engineered, employed, edited, evaluated, entertained, eliminated, exchanged, ended, estimated, exempted, endorsed, expedited, experienced, enforced, explained
FFacilitated, focused, financed, fueled, figured, fit, formed, fortified, functioned, formulated
GGuided, grouped, gave, garnered, granted, generated, guaranteed, gathered, graphed
HHired, handled, helped, headed
I Improved, identified, installed, inspired, interviewed, issued, invested, illustrated, implemented, incurred, innovated, inspected, invented, interpreted, inaugurated, informed, induced, instilled, incorporated
JJudged, joined, justified
LLocated, lectured, launched, litigated, lobbied, led, listened
MMastered, managed, merchandised, modified, met, minimized, modeled, measured, moderated, motivated, multiplied, marketed, maximized, moved, mediated
NNegotiated, noticed, navigated, networked
OOperated, owned, observed, oversaw, organized, obtained, oriented
PParticipated, printed, proposed, pursued, persuaded, perceived, preserved, processed, produced, promoted, planned, performed, pioneered, passed, prioritized, proficiency, provided, profiled, polled, presented, procured, purchased, placed, permitted
QQuoted, qualified, questioned, queried
RRanked, resolved, received, rewarded, revised, revitalized, revamped, responded, restored, rejected, reinforced, reinstated, rehabilitated, remedied, redesigned, recruited, recovered, recorded, reduced, replaced, retained, retrieved, reversed, ran, raised, reached, reviewed, researched
SSaved, secured, stabilized, scheduled, screened, settled, separated, sent, selected, shaped, shortened, showed, signed, simplified, sold, specialized, staged, standardized, steered, stimulated, strategized, surveyed, supported, supplied, substantiated, set goals, supervised, studied
TTrained, tabulated, took, traveled, transformed, tested, transferred, tailored, targeted
UUtilized, uncovered, united, updated, undertook, unified, upgraded
VVerified, valued, validated, visited, visualized
WWitnessed, worked, weighed, wrote, won, welcomed
This is an example of a resume with action verbs. Download the resume template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.
Resume Example With Action Verbs (Text Version)
Notable Sales Achievements PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE EDUCATION
153 Power Words To Make Your Resume Stand Out
When an employer reviews your resume and cover letter, you have a limited amount of time to leave a lasting impression. Often, recruiters are tasked with reviewing many applications at once, and it’s not uncommon for them to see the same ‘standard’ verbs used on most resumes. A great way to stand out and effectively capture their attention is to include resume power words.
What are resume power words?
Power words are action verbs you can use to highlight your skills and experience to help your resume stand out and increase your chance of moving on to the next step in the hiring process. These words add quick and effective context to your resume, helping employers better understand your value as an employee.
What are the benefits of using resume power words?
1. Improved readability
While you’ll likely need to use some industry terms when describing previous job experiences, it’s important your resume still makes sense to someone outside your job role. Power words can help you get your point across while still using industry terms.
For example, instead of saying:“Refactored core component libraries from Ruby to Node.js.”
You could say:“Simplified code library from Ruby to chúng tôi to increase development team productivity.”
2. Varied language
Sometimes it can be challenging to describe similar duties in a role without repeating the same verb. Having a list of strong resume words to reference will help you add variety to descriptions, and make the language more compelling.
For example, instead of saying:
Responsible for managing team of five sales representatives
Responsible for hitting monthly sales goals
Responsible for communicating weekly with clients to ensure success
You could say:
Manage, mentor and develop a team of five sales representatives
Consistently attain and exceed monthly sales goals
Lead weekly client meetings to foster open communication and ensure ongoing success
3. Stronger descriptions
Including power words in your bullet points can make your responsibilities and accomplishments sound more impactful. The descriptive nature of power words allow the recruiter or hiring manager to get a better feel for the efforts and effects of you put forth in that position.
Resume Format1. Name and contact information2. Summary or objective3. Professional historya. Company nameb. Dates of tenurec. Description of role and achievement4. Education5. Skills6. Optional (Awards & Achievements, Hobbies & Interests)
Related: 139 Action Verbs to Make Your Resume Stand Out
How to decide which power words to use
Some words will be more effective than others in describing your specific skills and experiences. First, take the time to review the job posting and identify which requirements align with your strengths and experiences. Then, look for power words that describe those accomplishments and attributes.
For example, if you’re applying for a customer service manager position and the employer has included “Experience leading and training new customer service agents,” in the job posting, you might describe your experience like this:
“Educated new customer service representatives on best practices, coached new hires through their first calls and acted as team mentor.”
Next, review the company page for clues about the organization’s culture and values to find ways to incorporate those descriptions in your resume and cover letter. For example, if the company describes itself as ” Seeking employees with a strong work ethic who take ownership and responsibility, ” you might describe your experience like this:
“Sought opportunities to grow my experience and develop my skills, happily accepting challenging projects and working hard to exceed company goals.”
Here are several power words you can use to share your experience, divided by type of role:
Describing a leadership role
Describing a sales or customer service role
Describing a communication or creative role
Describing a technical role
Describing a project management role
Describing an achievement
Related: Words to Avoid and Include on a Resume
If you’re not sure where to insert power words in your resume and cover letter, highlight each verb and find a strong synonym to replace it from the above lists. This will give your resume an instant boost and ensure employers take notice of your valuable experience.
How To Make Your English Strong? Base Adjectives Vs Strong Adjectives
Complete Lesson Transcript –
You know what; in English there are some words that are called base words. What’s that? And some words that are called strong words, yes. And they are used to punch away other words, like very, absolutely, too much, so much. If you have been using many of these words lately and you want get rid of them, then please join me, Michelle your tutor for the day.
Let’s start this lesson with a vocabulary check. So let’s look at the words on the board. Base adjectives. The word base here means that these words do not have the idea of very, do not have, very and these words here, strong adjectives already have the idea of very. For example, very scary. Here scary is a base adjective but if we have a strong adjective instead, we do not need to use the word, very. We are punching it away. So cool, isn’t it? They have the idea of very. We need to know one more word and that is intensifier. Have you ever heard about the word amplifier that increases the volume? Yes, the same way intensifiers increase or add on to the meaning of a word, add to the meaning. So the way very here is adding to the meaning of scary, so something that is double scary or triple scary, is very scary. So you’re adding to the meaning and very is an intensifier but this lesson is all about kicking away and punching away the intensifiers. So we’re gonna cut this very and use another word, to talk about something that is, very, very, very, very scary. Okay let me give you a situation first. So if you’re late for a meeting at office or at work, how do you feel? You feel terrified. Yes, that’s the word, terrified. So terrified means something that is very, very, very scary. But we don’t always get rid of intensifiers. We’re getting rid of boring intensifiers but we also have some interesting intensifiers like when you are late at work, you feel utterly terrified. Utterly, here gives the idea of even more. So you’re scared, you’re terrified but you’re even more terrified. That means utterly terrified.
Let’s look at the next one. Really crowded. So your favourite mall on a Sunday how is it? Is it really crowded, isn’t it? Yes and if you don’t want to use the word really, you can instead say, that my favourite mall on a Sunday is, packed, yes, packed. Here as well, you can use another intensifier, like completely packed, yeah. So completely packed means there is just no space, you can’t move around in the mall and there are just so many people on that day.
Okay, let’s look at the next one, very dirty. How does your mom like your room? Very dirty? No, my mom hates my room when it’s very dirty. She likes my room spotless, that means absolutely clean but that would be an opposite. We are talking about very dirty here. So if you wanna talk about something that is very clean, we’d rather say spotless. Something that is very clean. I’ll change this for you, would be called spotless. So let’s say if this board was entirely clear and there was not even a single spot on the board, a spot of ink, no spot of ink at all, well that’s spot. so it would be called spotless. you can also say, it’s perfectly spotless. yes, that’s a nice intensifier that you can use. it’s perfectly spotless.
Okay with that we move to the next one. very fat, yes fat is a rude word and I don’t think anyone would like to hear that, even if they are very fat. so you could instead say to them, obese. now if you think, you are very fat, a better way of saying it is that, I’m a bit obese, I think daily exercise will help me overcome it. obese, quite obese, the word quite here gives the idea of even more obese, yes.
With that we move to the next one, unusually hungry which means very hungry. unusually is also another intensifier that you can use, which has the same meaning as very. but when you are really unusually hungry then you can use a much better word that has the idea of very hungry and that word would be famished. when do you feel famished? think of it, I’ve always felt very famished or I’ve always felt exceptionally famished in a classroom when the teacher is teaching. I really feel famished then or starved, yes. starved as well. famished or starved. exceptionally famished.
Let’s look at the next one, particularly ugly. we have another word of saying this and that is awful. what do you think about a red shirt and yellow pants? Oh they’ll look completely awful. completely, that’s an intensifier and you can also use the word, so awfully has a negative connotation when you’re talking about something ugly but it can also be used not so literally to say that may be I’m awfully in love with you means too much in love with you. there, it has a positive meaning. so be careful about that connotation.
Let’s look at the next one, really messed. Okay, I’ve something for you, stay there, just stay there. okay so when you wear a hat or a cap, what happens to your hair? oh they are all messed up or they are really messed or maybe you can say they are utterly filthy, which means messed or dirty, utterly filthy. instead of utterly, you could also say, they look absolutely filthy. utterly or absolutely.
Now let’s look at the last one, very surprising. what do you think about a beautiful landscape with lovely hills and horses running in the meadows, it’s really astounding for me, really astounding, astounding. but if we don’t want to use the word, really because that’s exactly what we’re trying to get rid of, then you could say, it’s remarkably astounding, remarkably astounding. now have you seen something in this particular section? we have used certain words very often and which are those words? words like really, very, really very. so these are some common intensifiers that you can use with base adjectives if you at all have to use them and these are some of the common intensifiers that you can use with strong adjectives. there’s something you need to very careful about. you cannot use the word very with both a base adjective and a strong adjective. just try, it looks hideous. very clean and very packed, doesn’t sound correct, isn’t it? that’s why we’re using the word completely in place of very because this is the correct word that you must use and how about really? really messed, really astounding, that’s okay. so really is one word that you can use both with base adjectives and strong adjectives. isn’t that fun? now I’m really tired, no I think I’m utterly exhausted, so I’m gonna leave you with all of these words, so that you can use them and punch away all the boring base adjectives and use some interesting strong adjectives. I’ll miss you, you take care, see you very soon with another fun learning lesson, bye.
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