Are you’re sending out your résumé and getting little to no response?
It could be that it’s not engaging the reader to continue reading past the first few lines.
The burning question is, why?
There could be many reasons, but a boring résumé ranks as one of the top turn-offs.
That means, if you’re like the vast majority of job seekers, your résumé is chock full of over-used, generic terms like:
…..plus my personal all-time faves, the equally ubiquitous and wonton:
Your choice of verbs can kill your chances of landing the interview
The aforementioned generic verbs do absolutely NOTHING to communicate the true awesomeness of your key contributions.
They don’t elicit enough of a feeling in the reader that prompts them to call you for the interview, so they don’t. In fact, they probably delete your résumé and move on to the one that is more clear and compelling.
Strong verbs gets the reading mojo going
One proven way to get people to actually want to read your résumé is to add context and scope by using a variety of strong action verbs. This helps to paint a colouful picture of the value of your contribution that’s not only really obvious, but engaging as well.
You need both to make the content juicy enough so the reader continues, well…..reading.
Being specific and drilling down to the very essence of the exact kind of action you took with a particular activity is super important.
Variety is the spice of life
Ditto for résumé writing.
Don’t get lazy and find a few verbs only to use them over and over in the same document.
Also, make sure that the verbs you use are an accurate portrayal of the kind of action you took.
Were you a sole contributor or did you collaborate with others on an initiative? The kind of verb you use to describe your personal contribution will be different.
If you took the initiative with projects or tasks, the kind of verbs you could use are:
If you contributed to the activity but did not initiate or lead it, the kinds of verbs you use might be more along the lines of:
Verbs that will help you stand out as the best-match candidate
Here are some sure-fire verbs that will inject much-needed life into your résumé:
Instead of managed, try:
Instead of handled (people), try:
The psychology behind strong action verbs
Can you feel the different energies of managed versus navigated and drove?
There’s more movement and momentum with the latter. Managed is pretty vague with no movement.
Use verbs that convey “success” energy
Yes, it’s good to manage something (i.e. not lose ground).
But more than ever, employers want to hire people who can move things in a desired direction, not just maintain the status quo.
The same applies to the verb Handled. Handled how exactly? Advised and Engaged imply more energy and are more specific.
Don’t be boring and add some context
Just an FYI….. You don’t need to delete the word Managed (and the other ones I mentioned) from your résumé, but don’t overuse them.
When you do use them, you should define how you managed/handled/dealt with things/people by adding relevant scope and context to paint that picture.
Other great reasons to boost your verb usage
Employers want to hire people who communicate well. Using more eloquent words appropriately shows you have those required “superior communication skills”.
Employers want to hire people who show they care. When you submit a résumé that looks like it took some time and effort to create, it gives the impression that you will likely make an effort to do a quality job if you were to be hired for the position.
Employers want to hire people who have keen attention to detail. When you use a variety of strong action verbs correctly, it shows the employer that you have good attention to detail.
Make friends with the thesaurus
If you’re stuck for alternative verbs, then refer to a thesaurus. There are plenty of them on the internet, so just google it and get going.
You can also search for top résumé verbs online and there will be plenty of lists to choose from.
Résumé and interview help is only a click away!
Grab the 32-point Résumé Inspection
If you’re not sure how well your résumé will pass through the computer filters and attract the interest of hiring managers, you can grab the 32-point Résumé Inspection.
This is a a comprehensive assessment of your entire résumé, personalized feedback (from me!), links to more help, and downloadable resources to help you make improvements if that’s what you want to do. Click on this link to learn learn more.
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Hi! I’m Diana.
I leverage over 10 years recruitment and sales/marketing experience to create attention-grabbing résumés, cover letters, and Linkedin profiles that help job seekers stand out, get noticed, and get hired. You can learn more about my story here and about how I can help you here.
Need help? That’s what I’m here for!
Are you in the midst of a job search and not getting the results you want? Or are you’re thinking of making a change and want to make sure you get started off on the right foot? Then I recommend you reach out for some help. You can contact me directly here!
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