December 30, 2007

Adding pizzazz to your resume with power words!

Okay, I know I’ve been falling behind with my posts. Returning to the world of retail work has been a lot harder than I originally thought – I was working an insane amount of hours and coming home really late at night.

But now that work is getting back to normal, I’ll be updating my blog more often – hopefully at least three times a week. And with that, here’s my last post for 2007 …

In my last entry, I talked about phrases that you can use to add some extra oomph to your resume. But what if your resume is more a chronological style as it emphasizes your work history? Or what if you’ve added these phrases but still think your resume needs something more?

Well you can use power words. And what is the difference between a power word and power phrase. Simple – a power word is an action verb that you use when describing your job/volunteer duties, whereas a power phrase describes a skill that you have. Alone or together, they both pack a lot of punch because they make your resume really stand out.

So when using a power word in your job duties, remember that when you are listing your job/volunteer duties, you always want to start with a verb in the PAST tense. Using the present tense, even for your current position, just doesn’t have the same impact.

And I can’t stress this enough. Do not start any of your job duty descriptions with “I”. The last thing an employer wants to see is a long line of I’s all down the page – it’ll look like a tacky pattern. But you can use a power word for each of your job duties if you want – and that’ll really make your resume stand out in the applicant pool.

So using materials I adapted from Workopolis, here is a list of verbs you can use to describe your job duties. I personally use this list all the time because there’s a word for every single job duty/responsibility you could imagine. And you might even find a word that makes your job sound much different than it actually is – and this will work in your favour if you’re going for a job that is outside the scope of your experience.

The list is in alphabetical order and I’ve added ones that I use all the time.

- Accomplished, achieved, acquired, adapted, added, adjusted, administered, advised, aided, allocated, analyzed, answered, anticipated, appeared, applied, appointed, approved, arbitrated, argued, arranged, assessed, assigned, assisted, assumed, attained, audited, authorized, awarded.

- Began, boosted, bought, briefed, broadened, budgeted, built.

- Calculated, catalogued, changed, chaired, checked, closed, coached, collected, combined, communicated, compared, compiled, completed, composed, computed, conceived, conceptualized, concluded, condensed, conditioned, conducted, confirmed, conserved, considered, consolidated, constructed, consulted, continued, contributed, controlled, converted, convinced, coordinated, corrected, counselled, counted, created, critiqued.

- Delegated, delivered, demonstrated, described, designed, developed, devised, diagnosed, directed, discovered, discussed, dispensed, displayed, dissected, distributed, documented, doubled, drafted.

- Earned, edited, educated, elected, eliminated, encouraged, endorsed, enhanced, enlisted, ensured, entered, established, estimated, evaluated, examined, excelled, executed, expanded, experimented, explained, explored, expressed, extended.

- Facilitated, familiarized, fashioned, filed, filled, financed, finished, focused, forecast, foresaw, formulated, forwarded, fostered, found, founded, fulfilled, furnished.

- Gained, gathered, gave, generated, guided.

- Halved, handled, helped, highlighted.

- Identified, illustrated, implemented, improved, improvised, incorporated, increased, initiated, influenced, innovated, inspected, installed, instituted, instructed, insured, integrated, interpreted, interviewed, introduced, invented, invested, investigated, involved, issued.

- Joined, judged

- Kept

- Launched, learned, leased, lectured, led, located, logged.

- Maintained, managed, maximized, measured, mediated, met, modified, monitored, motivated, moved, multiplied.

- Named, navigated, negotiated, netted.

- Observed, obtained, officiated, opened, operated, ordered, organized, oversaw.

- Participated, perfected, performed, persuaded, planned, pooled, prepared, presented, processed, procured, produced, programmed, projected, promoted, proof-read, proposed, provided, published, purchased, pursued.

- Raised, ranked, reached, received, recommended, reconciled, recorded, recruited, redesigned, reduced, reformed, reorganized, repaired, replaced, reported, represented, rescued, researched, resolved, responded, restored, restructured, retrieved, revamped, reversed, reviewed, revised.

- Saved, scheduled, secured, selected, separated, served, serviced, simplified, sold, solved, sorted, sought, spearheaded, spoke, started, streamlined, strengthened, studied, submitted, succeeded, suggested, summarized, supervised, supported, surveyed.

- Taught, tested, took, toured, tracked, traded, trained, transferred, transformed, translated, transported, traveled, treated, trimmed, tripled, turned, tutored.

- Uncovered, updated, upgraded, used, utilized.

- Validated, verified, visited.

- Welcomed, won, worked, wrote.

And so thank you for reading my blog in 2007 – hopefully you learned something. And I hope to see and hear from more of you in 2008 – if not, I wish you all the best in your job search and in whatever career/vocational path you choose.


The Job Jumper ... a.k.a. Andrew Hercules

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