Awesome resumes use power words to offer something new and exciting, differentiating them from the dreary bland grey of your bog-standard resume. Resume power words engage the reader, drawing them in, encouraging them to keep reading. Even when the underlying message is found in every other resume, the best resumes find different and interesting ways to say it. And there is a very good reason to do this…
Imagine you are a resume reviewer. Imagine you have to read through dozens, if not hundreds of resumes. You quickly find that most of them use very similar phrases and terminology. You are bored.
Suddenly you come across a resume that reads a bit differently than the rest. It has the same type of things as the others, but it’s a bit more dynamic, more vibrant. You find you can better visualise what is being described, and get the strong feeling that the person who wrote it really took charge of what they were doing and owned it.
Back in the real world; our brains are wired to spot patterns and will quickly pick out the common words and phrases that 90% of resumes use. Repeatedly reading similar script quickly becomes boring. So, if you can offer something a bit more interesting and emotionally stimulating to bland rhetoric churned out in every other resume, you’ll stand out as someone with something extra to offer. Someone worth interviewing.
Power words can also subtly change the meaning of a sentence, from one where you were a passive participant to one where you took charge and shouldered the responsibility. While it might be noble to give others the credit at work, modesty has no place in a resume, make sure your actions speak loudly.
Resume Power Words List
Analysis / Investigation
Bringing Things Together
WARNING: Resume Power Words Overkill – Proceed with Caution
It is possible to take power words too far. Sprinkling them in here and there is no problem and helps to keep the readers attention (especially if used in titles). However, if your resume starts to look like internet click bait, then you’ve taken it too far.
Also, make sure that any power words you use in the resume, you can easily defend in interview if challenged. After all, it’s one thing to write “I wrote an AWESOME report!!” in the resume, and another having to explain just how a report can be ‘awesome’ during an interview.
Before you go…
Have you checked out the extra resume writing advice on these pages?