The Right Resume Words to Get You Noticed and Hired

Your resume needs to quickly grab attention while making a good first impression. You won’t do that using cliché’s and vague writing. Instead use action words that convey information about you and why you are the right person for the job.

Best Resume Words to Make a Good Impression

The best resume words to use are those that describe your accomplishments and success at your former positions. Employers want specifics such as “increased participation by 15% while reducing advertising costs by 10%.” Don’t make vague or unsubstantiated claims like “helped reduce costs.”

Use action words that clearly communicate your experience and accomplishments and avoid unnecessary words. “Achieved” makes a better first impression than “Worked to achieve.” Keep it concise. Here is a resume word list to include where possible in your resume:

  • Achieved
  • Improved
  • Lead/Headed
  • Trained/Mentored
  • Managed/Supervised
  • Generated
  • Created
  • Saved
  • Built
  • Resolved
  • Negotiated
  • Volunteered
  • Launched
  • Examined
  • Influenced
  • Designed/Redesigned
  • Won
  • Facilitate
  • Maximized
  • Organized/Reorganized
  • Delivered
  • Developed
  • Increased/decreased
  • Ideas
  • Under budget
  • Revenue
  • Profits
  • Wrote

Resume Words to Avoid: Cliché’s and Negativity

You should always avoid negativity when writing or speaking about previous positions. Hiring managers want to hire positive people, not complainers. Everyone has had bad experiences in the past, but avoid mentioning them and try to be positive.

Another big mistake is using the cliché’s of the past. Phrases like “think outside of the box” imply that you are not thinking for yourself, but relying on these standard phrases to make the point. You want your resume to stand out as better than the rest, but it cannot be better if it uses these same old cliché’s from the past. While many of these are good qualities, you need to find a more precise way to describe the quality or result. Here are some resume words and phrases to avoid:

  • Best of the Pack/ Best of the Breed
  • Go-getter
  • Thinks outside the box
  • Capable
  • Hard-working
  • Go-to Person
  • Results-driven
  • motivated
  • Problem-solver
  • Bottom line
  • Team player
  • Strategic thinker
  • Detail-oriented
  • Self-motivated
  • Creative
  • Innovative
  • Communication skills
  • Skillful

Another pitfall might be relying too heavily on a resume words template. You want your resume to stand out as the best, not be recognized as a different version of a common template. It is hard to stand out from the crowd when you are using the same template that the crowd used.

Use Numbers Whenever Possible

Employers like specific, measurable success. By quantifying your results, you are giving them the specifics they need to make an informed decision about you. Vague claims such as “saved money” are worthless without specifics. By using numbers and specifics, “reduced operating costs by 15%”, you are backing up your claim and putting it into perspective. If you give numbers, you not only back up your claim of saving money, but you also point out that you know the numbers and their significance.

Focus on Resume Words for Skills

By focusing on the skills and accomplishments that are important to the desired job, you will be more likely to attract attention to your resume. The skill section should be tailored to the job you are applying for, designed to catch the HR manager’s attention.

You can create a specific section of the resume for skills, or work the skills into the experience section. The skills are often keywords that employers use to identify the most qualified candidates. If you do not list the right resume words for skills relevant to your desired job, your resume may be overlooked, even though you could be the best qualified candidate. If you do not know which skills to include on your resume, there are many webpages listing the skills for each job type.

Consider Professional Help

If you are having trouble writing your resume, or if you are not getting the desired response from employers, consider hiring a professional resume writing service. At Resume Land, we know the right resume words to use and how to best present you for your desired job. The cost of a professional resume service is negligible compared to the time you might waste sending out an ineffective resume. When you work with us, you will receive a professionally written resume tailored to your industry. We will work with you to recognize, document and highlight your skills, results, and accomplishments. Your resume has only a few seconds to make a favorable impression. We can help you make those seconds count.

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