Landing a job interview is no easy task, but it all starts with your resume. Whether you need to spruce up your old resume or start from scratch, you’ll need to focus on the correct word choice. Choosing the right resume buzzwords helps you look smart, professional, and unique. Alternatively, choosing the wrong words could have the opposite effect.
While the most important part of any resume is highlighting your skills and experience, word choice can really help you stand out from other applicants. So, what are the best resume buzzwords to use? Just as importantly, what are some resume buzzwords to avoid?
Top Buzzwords to Include in Your Resume
It doesn’t matter if you’re applying for college or job hunting, the person reading your resume will want to know what you have done. This means that you will need to use the right resume action words (i.e. verbs) to demonstrate exactly how your actions and experiences make you stand out.
10 Action Resume Buzzwords
Before we take a look at these resume buzzwords, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t just stuff these words into your resume at random. You should only use terms that are relevant to you, your experiences, and the position you want to get. In any case, here are 10 action buzzwords that will help improve your resume:
“Launched” is a great alternative to more simplistic terms like “started” or “created.” It also helps put emphasis on projects, businesses, or ideas that you had a hand in developing.
Though “managed” is a pretty common verb on resumes, it really draws the attention of recruiters and hiring managers. Managing a team, project, or process is impressive. It also implies that you possess a wide range of useful skills.
“Improving” anything is inherently positive. Use this verb to discuss anything (a process, idea, product, etc) that you made better with your knowledge and expertise.
While this term may not be applicable to everyone, “negotiated” is a great way to show authority and expert communication skills. It is best to use it in conjunction with a positive result.
Though we recommend focusing on concrete actions and accomplishments, “influenced” is a good (albeit somewhat vague) way to describe your impact on something. “Influenced” can show that your actions have a positive effect.
At the end of the day, most of the people reading your resume want to know about concrete results. While terms like “increased” or “decreased” may seem simplistic, they also get the point across quickly and effectively.
“Designed” shows that you have the skills to plan, build, and execute a given project. It also implies that you possess creativity and ingenuity.
“Surpassed” is a great way to show that you exceeded expectations in some way. It naturally implies that you can go the extra mile in your work or studies.
Most positions require you to interact with others, which means that you need to be able to communicate effectively and, potentially, resolve disputes. “Mediated” is another term that implies a wide range of skills — from conflict management to ethical decision-making.
“Learned” may sound a little basic, but sometimes it is better to be direct. Unlike “studied” (which does not specify if any new knowledge was acquired) or “mastered” (which sounds grandiose and overconfident), “learned” is the perfect way to show that you know how to hit the books and acquire a new skill.
10 Descriptive Resume Buzzwords
Now that we’ve covered the right verbs to use, it’s time to look at the best descriptive buzzwords (i.e. adjectives) to describe yourself and your skills. But again, note that you should only use terms that actually apply to you and the job you want. So, here are 10 descriptive buzzwords to help you land the interview:
Though you should generally avoid using overly broad or vague terms, the person reading your resume is looking for value. Value can mean different things to different people, but describing yourself as “valuable” lets the reader know that you have something of quality to provide.
“Well-versed” is a better way to say that you are “knowledgeable” about a certain subject. The reader will naturally infer that you are skilled and have relevant experience.
Companies and other organizations want to choose applicants who will be determined and loyal. “Committed” is a great way to show both of these qualities.
Though the person evaluating your resume will ultimately decide if you are “qualified” for the position, it doesn’t hurt to sprinkle in a few hints. It is especially helpful to use “qualified” in relation to technical skills or uncommon talents.
“Proficient” not only means that you are qualified to do something, but it implies that you know how to do it well. Needless to say, you should only use “proficient” when referencing skills with which you have extensive knowledge or experience.
Being able to analyze information effectively is useful in just about any field. Therefore, describing yourself as “analytical” is a great way to express a positive feature of your personality or performance abilities.
Sometimes, resumes can come across as dry, boring lists of information. A word like “enthusiastic” reminds the reader that your resume comes from a lively, interesting person.
“Diligent” can help you compose one of those resume power phrases that will draw the reader’s attention. Plus, diligence is something that every recruiter or hiring manager wants in an applicant.
Describing yourself as “collaborative” is a better way to say that you are a team player. Most positions will require you to work with other people, so this is one of several essential resume skills to include.
This term shows that you know how to solve problems. Describing yourself as “resourceful” is also a great way to show versatility.
20 Resume Buzzwords to Avoid
Finally, even if a word sounds positive, it may not be the right fit for your resume. The truth is that many words are outdated, generic, vague, overused, cliche, or simply irrelevant. So, here are 20 resume buzzwords to avoid:
We hope you found this list on the top resume buzzwords to use (and ones to avoid) helpful! If you’d like to learn more about how to write a resume in English or find a highly qualified English tutor online to help guide you, visit Magoosh Speaking today to try an introductory lesson!