Your resume only has a short while to grab the attention of the reader. For this reason, it is important to choose your words wisely. Instead of using business jargon or clichés, focus on resume power words. These will guarantee your resume is attractive and easy to read. Moreover, these powerful action verbs can show the reader you are the right fit for the job straight away.
What are resume power words?
Resume power words are action verbs that will make your resume stand out. How? These verbs describe your experience in an active voice, grabbing the reader’s attention. Moreover, power words can highlight your strengths and essential qualifications. All these can help you present yourself as the ideal candidate.
Why use resume power words?
Using resume power words will improve the look of your resume. More specifically, strong action verbs can help you achieve the following:
- Increase readability – Most hiring managers will briefly scan resumes before reading them. By using attractive verbs for skills and experiences, you can stand out from the rest. These verbs will catch the eye of the reader and quickly convince them you have what it takes. Moreover, for many hiring managers, a quick scan is all it takes to make a decision. And needless to say, using resume power words will bring you one step closer to an interview.
- Change up the language – Reading the same phrases over and over again gets boring. It is, however, likely that your job tasks and experiences will repeat on your resume. Use resume power words to describe the same activities in a hundred different ways. This will make your resume more attractive to read.
- Make it through the ATS – The ATS (Applicant Tracking System) is a software that companies use to sort through applicants. The system looks for keywords in resumes. By using strong verbs that align with the job listing you increase your chance of making it through the sorting process.
Types of power words
Not all action words are suitable for resume power words. The relevant power words fall into one of four categories. These are skills, buzzwords, action verbs, and job- or company-related keywords.
- Action verbs – When speaking of your responsibilities in the past, use strong action verbs. These will describe your accomplishments and hard skills. But, try to avoid repeating the same verbs. Instead, have a variety of resume power words ready to make your resume more attractive.
- Keywords – Read the job description more than once. Then, decide which requirements align with your skills. Finally, use the keywords used in the job listing on your resume. These may include words like “designed”, “programmed”, or “taught”. Both applicant software and hiring managers will look for keywords first. Thus, adding them is crucial to your success.
- Popular verbs for skills – There are many skills that are useful in any field. These may include soft skills like responsibility or teamwork. Although these will not set you apart, you should still mention them in your resume. Show your potential employer that you have these essential characteristics.
- Industry buzzwords – Without getting too technical, using industry jargon can show off your professional knowledge. Avoid overusing industry-specific words to a point where the hiring manager may not understand your resume. Instead, sprinkle a few industry keywords into your resume where appropriate.
- Values – If the job listing mentions company values, be sure to repeat some of them in your resume. For example, mention how this value reflects in some of your accomplishments. Similarly, you may put down a soft skill that correlates with the company values.
Highlighting job-related power words
When putting your resume together, focus on relevant experience first. Also, only include power words that relate to the position you are applying to. For example, including your experience with gardening will hardly help you land a sales position.
To identify relevant power words, read through the job description a few times. Focus on the requirements and company values and pay attention to how they are worded. Then, use similar language to describe your experience or skills. For example, the job description may include: “Develop and track performance and compile reports.” On your resume, you should then tweak that and relate it to your specific skills. You may describe your experience as “Monitored and compiled staff performance and sales reports.” By including job-specific power words, you will prove your field knowledge and make your resume stand out.
List of resume power words
Words for administrative
Words for leadership
Words for teamwork
Words for customer service
Using resume power words can improve the first impression your resume makes. Choose from the list above to make your resume come alive and become more attractive. Remember to replace most repetitive or generic words with strong action verbs. This can make the difference between getting lost in a pile of other applicants and getting invited for an interview.