Chances are, if you’re reading this, you already know the competition is fierce when it comes to the job market. But did you know that, on average, corporate job postings receive around 250 resumes? You also may have heard that you have just about 7 seconds to make an impression. That’s right. 7 seconds. So what’s going to make a hiring manager care about your resume and set it aside in the “possibility” pile instead of the trash can?
Well, there’s lots of resume advice out there. Some good, some dated, and some bad. But a key concept has always been that you will need to stand out. Not in a weird way like by putting an awkward headshot on the front of your resume, but more like a, “Hey, this person actually seems to be good at this” kind of way. So how do you get that kind of reaction from a hiring manager within 7 seconds?
We’re here to tell you that whether you have 10 minutes of job experience or 10 years, the thing that can make all the difference on your resume are the words.
You might be thinking, “Well, duh, I wasn’t going to hand the manager a picture book.”
Sure. Everyone uses words on their resume. But, trust me, if your hiring manager sees “Attention to detail” one more time, they might consider a career change themselves. Two mistakes that so many resume-writers make are 1. Pointing out even the most basic of skills that literally any company would want an employee to have (ie. attention to detail) and 2. copying and pasting their past job descriptions under the “experience” section of their resume.
What employers really want to know is what you can do. What can you do for their company?
See that word there? That word, “do”? “Do” is a verb. Some synonyms of “do” are words like “undertake,” “execute,” “perform,” “accomplish,” “achieve.”
These are the things a hiring manager really wants to know. What did you accomplish at your old job? What were some projects that you undertook? Did you execute any new ventures for your old company? Did you help to achieve any goals? Whatever these things might look like for you and your past job experience, these are the things your future boss will want you to carry over to their company. Copying and pasting old job descriptions really doesn’t say much about how you can actually make a difference in your job.
While you don’t have to copy and paste these words and force them into your resume, take a hard look at your resume and ask yourself if it really tells a hiring manager what you can do for them. And if you feel inclined to some word inspiration to help spruce up your resume, take a look at the list we curated below and feel free to glitter your resume with words that will show a hiring manager that you’re a game changer. You don’t just show up and do a job, you show up and make a difference.
Awesome action words to use in your resume:
- Which (a great word to transition what you did into what it meant for your company. “I managed a team which lead to growth in this department”).
- Led (/lead)
Have some words to add to our list? Leave your favorite action words in the comments below and share with a recovering copy and paster!