13 Must-Have Words to Include In Your Resume


If clichés are a no-no, simple yet powerful words are your go-tos, according to Glassdoor columnist Anish Majumdar.  "Simple, practical words that denote responsibility have the most impact. Launched, solved, transformed and optimized are all examples of action


verbs that make you look good without resorting to cliches."

Value or Valuable

"These words show that the candidate is thinking about their own activities in terms of how they’ll improve the business," says expert and author of Fearless Salary Negotiation Josh Doody. 


"If you want to show that you're results-oriented and hard-working, share the numbers.  As they say, the proof is in the pudding," says job coach Angela Copeland. 


For life & career coach Jenn DeWall, action verbs are a must on any resume. But not just any action verbs.  She advises clients to include verbs that show leadership and transformation.


According to master resume writer Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, this word, along with "conceived and metamorphosed" are "like a switch, powering up the candidate's story, showing how they've improved, envisioned and transformed their work environments, and therefore, gained


revenue, customer growth, reputation, traction, etc. for their company."


Show that you're dedicated to your work, start to finish. This word, says DeWall, does just that. "If you disregard diction and word choice and think that they don't carry any weight you're wrong.  Managers can gauge aptitude, readiness and even your leadership skills from paper," she adds.


According to Copeland, a resume — and the job search in general — is not the time to be shy. "Use strong words that emphasize your level of involvement. This isn't the time to minimize yourself or your contributions. If you were instrumental in a project, replace the word "helped" with the word "spearheaded."


"Anyone can say they 'led' a team. Instead, use verbs that really explain what happened in that specific task," insists Joyce. "Consider the verb 'orchestrated' and how it shows, versus just telling, the hiring manager what was accomplished. Orchestrated, by definition, means to arrange and direct."

Get specific

Rather than looking for the latest buzzword,  Joyce says job seekers are better off being specific in their resume. "It is important to use verbs that really pinpoint what was accomplished, i.e. influenced, improved, achieved, etc. This way, there is no miscommunication about a candidate's qualifications."

Create, led, managed

"I like to look for candidates who have had a role in shaping something from idea all the way through execution," says executive coach Kate O'Sullivan.  "One of the main qualities I look for is someone who can take a vague idea or strategic goal and see it through to

Create, led, managed

completion, rather than someone who executes on a plan that’s already been decided."

Provide examples

"In general, it’s very hard to convince a resume reader that you possess various soft skills, e.g. team player, just by listing these on your resume," says O'Sullivan. "The most powerful thing you can do is give examples."

Be skimmable

Doody insists that a resume should be impactful while still skimmable, or able to easily be skimmed by recruiters and hiring managers. "I coach my clients to assume the hiring manager won’t even look at their resume until they’re already in the process of interviewing them," says Doody candidly.

Edit expertly

Word choice is incredibly important. You only have a limited amount of real estate on your resume, so every single word counts. Edit with the mindset of 'Does this piece of information directly help sell my experience for this role?' If not, take it off .



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