When you sit down to update your resume, do you start by jotting down a few points about your duties and responsibilities in your current role? While this may seem like a logical place to start, it’s rarely an approach that creates a winning resume.
On your resume and in an interview with a hiring manager, it is your achievements and results that really count. In other words, employers don’t want to read or hear about what you think of yourself; they want proof that you did your previous jobs well. After all, anyone can say they are innovative, but not everyone can say they designed and delivered a new online sales booking system that increased sales by 15% in the first six months.
Action verbs are the answer
One of the simplest and most helpful ways to ensure you add and quantify accomplishments in the career history section of your resume is to use action verbs. Verbs force you to include your results and achievements. This is a simple trick that ensures you prove your strengths, rather than simply list them one by one.
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How to successfully use action verbs
So next time you update your resume, consider using some of these verbs to bring your successes to the forefront. For example, instead of writing that you managed a team, try verbs such as ‘directed’, ‘guided’, ‘motivated’, ‘recruited’ or ‘united’.
Example sentence: “I united and motivated a team of five under performers. After one year, our customer service scores increased by 55%.”
- Rather than stating you have strong communication skills, use verbs like ‘wrote’, ‘published’, ‘edited’ or ‘swayed’.
- As opposed to writing that you have good organization skills, try ‘facilitated’, ‘programmed’, ‘coordinated’, ‘allocated’ or ‘arranged’.
- Instead of writing that you always achieved your target goals, try ‘reached’, ‘surpassed’ or ‘accomplished’.
Bring your achievements to life on your resume with the help of these action words:
- Demonstrate your creativity: built, crafted, devised, implemented, pioneered, initiated, established
- Demonstrate your efficiency: enhanced, advanced, capitalized, maximized, leveraged, improved
- Demonstrate your leadership skills: headed, coordinated, executed, managed, operated, organized
- Demonstrate improvements made: refined, remodeled, strengthened, upgraded, transformed
- Demonstrate your management skills: guided, fostered, motivated, recruited, enabled, united
- Demonstrate bottom line contributions: reduced, decreased, consolidated, saved, yielded, increased
- Demonstrate overall achievements: awarded, exceeded, outperformed, surpassed, earned, granted
Remember, these verbs are your prompt to provide an explicit example of a success you’ve had. It is this proof that will help your resume stand out and show you have the potential to succeed in a new role.
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