Active Resume Verbs Can Get Your Resume Noticed and Read

Your resume must present you in the best possible light. The best way to accomplish this is with dynamic writing that catches attention and shows the hiring manager how accomplished and qualified you are without stimulating a yawn. This can be a difficult task, but good action verbs can help.

Good Resume Verbs Communicate Power and Influence

Every word carries a special meaning that can either work against you or for you. Try to choose words that imply power and influence people. A good example is “led meetings.” By itself this is a rather boring situation, especially for an executive position. Better choices would include chaired, orchestrated or piloted. All three convey a sense of being in charge while influencing others.

Another example of a weak word choice might be “oversaw.” This is a word that finds its way onto many resumes and conveys responsibility, but it also implies that you supervised, but did not take part. A better choice might be shepherded, guided, or commanded. These are powerful words that imply responsibility and participation.

It can be difficult to choose the right words for your resume, but examine each verb carefully. Are there more powerful or more active versions of the words that would be a better fit? If you are not sure, use a thesaurus to find synonyms then evaluate each possibility.

A Resume Verbs List to Get You Started

You will find a list of resume verbs on resume tips websites and these may give you some good ideas. Many of the words that have been traditionally used on resumes are rather passive and more active verbs are a better choice. This list is provided to help illustrate the difference between passive words and more active choices:

  • Instead of: presented; use more active choices: demonstrated, addressed, exhibited, broadcast
  • Instead of: ordered, filed; use more involved choices: catalogued, controlled, operated, arranged
  • Instead of: organized; choose: coordinated, classified, executed, accomplished, monitored,
  • created systems

It is important that you use each verb only once, choosing a different action verb for each action. Repetition is also boring and destroys all the hard work you have done in choosing action words. Here are some more action verbs to get you started:

  • Advertised
  • Arbitrated
  • Authored
  • Collaborated
  • Consulted
  • Convinced
  • Developed
  • Diagnosed
  • Designed
  • Evaluated
  • Engineered
  • Executed
  • Focused
  • Formulated
  • Guided
  • Influenced
  • Interviewed
  • Instructed
  • Judged
  • Marketed
  • moderated
  • Motivated
  • Negotiated
  • Resolved
  • Responded
  • Scheduled
  • Supplied
  • Supported
  • transformed
  • Updated
  • Volunteered
  • Won

Resume Words to Avoid

Make sure that you can back up the resume verbs you choose to include and avoid using cliché’s that are found on every resume. For example, you may be dependable, but almost every resume makes the same claim. Likewise, claiming to be hard-working, results-oriented, or an expert on a topic are all meaningless unless you can prove them. Instead of claiming to be an expert, list your education and accomplishments in the subject area.

Look at the words you have used to describe yourself and determine whether you can prove them within the resume. If you can, eliminate the claim and emphasize the proof; if not, the words are meaningless, strike them.

Your resume needs to be a positive marketing document for your skills, but it must also be accurate and avoid sounding like you are bragging. Avoid using words like best and most effective. Instead, use resume verbs and adjectives that tell why you are the best.

When to Hire a Professional

In most cases, your resume can be greatly improved by a professional resume writer. If you are having trouble writing your resume or you are not getting the response you expected, consider hiring the service of a professional. It will probably be the best career investment you ever make.

At Resumes Land, we have a staff of professional resume writers available in almost every profession and job category. We have researched the most effective ways to format and write a resume, along with the most noticed verbs and adjectives to use. We keep track of our success and know that our resumes get more interviews and hires than the average resume written with the use of an online template.

In almost every instance, it is wise to hire a professional resume writer with the experience, training and credentials that prove his expertise. Your resume is one of the most important documents you will ever need, and it can make a big difference in your job success and ultimate salary. Make sure you do it right.

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