These Power Words Can Take Your Resume From Good To Great!


You finished your resume, but something is missing. Your final product seems flat, uninteresting and even boring. It’s time to bring power words to the rescue!

If you want your resume to stand out from the crowd (and you do), consider making some of the following word substitutions.

Keywords From the Job Description

More and more companies are using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to screen resumes before a human even looks at them. And, what is an ATS looking for? You guessed it. It is scanning for keywords and key phrases. So, which keywords should you use? Start by highlighting relevant terms straight from the job description. Next, look through the company’s website and social media channels for phrases related to corporate values and culture. Finally, consider adding industry-related lingo and skills, as well as recognized licenses or certificates. Used correctly, keywords will make your resume look like a good fit at a glance. However, don’t repeat words or overuse key phrases. Keyword stuffing won’t fool an ATS or a hiring manager.

Action Verbs

Many job hunters apply the same basic, standard verbs. Of course, this is easier and requires less thought. Unfortunately, weak, vague and overused words also will make your application materials less inspiring. Create a resume that lives up to your full potential by choosing attention-grabbing and creative words. For example, swap out “organized” with “executed,” “advanced” or “pioneered.” Or, change “presented” to “publicized,” “persuaded” or “authored.” Are you having trouble thinking of the right words? Search online for word lists and additional resources such as 185 Powerful Verbs That Will Make Your Resume Awesome or Resume and Cover Letter Action Verbs.

High-Impact Words That Tell a Story

Each year, LinkedIn releases a top 10 list of the network’s Most Overused Buzzwords. In 2017, words like “leadership,” “experienced” and “creative” made the list. Make your resume different from everybody else’s by highlighting your accomplishments with interesting vocabulary, specific examples and real-world data. “Good leadership skills” is a meaningless phrase. Whereas, “Chaired a finance committee that reduced corporate travel expenses by 35 percent.” explains why and how you demonstrate good leadership. Hiring managers will probably want to learn more about that experience.

Are You Struggling to Write a Great Resume?

FirstStaff may be able to help. Our job placement professionals can offer advice on improving your application materials and streamlining your employment search. We have offices in Benton, Fort Smith, Hot Springs and Little Rock, Arkansas. Take the first step in finding the right job today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *