The purpose of writing a resume is to convey the skills, knowledge, and experience of a job applicant. The job marketplace is competitive, so it's important to make sure a resume is as effective as possible. One of the ways to increase its effectiveness is by using power words.
Also known as "buzz" words, power words or phrases add to the appeal of a resume by invoking a positive feeling in the reader. In more technical terms, they are usually verbs - action words, or adjectives - noun modifiers. They are used to describe the action taken, or to "powerfully" describe what was accomplished.
They're also known as key words by staffing departments responsible for the electronic processing and scanning of resumes. In order to provide a better match against a job description or requirement, electronic scanning helps staffing associates to quickly screen a large number of resumes; looking for key words appearing in the document.
The style used when writing a resume is different than that used when composing a white paper, report, letter, or email. The action word, or power word, typically appears at the start of the sentence, helping to draw attention to the action taken when describing what was accomplished.
The following examples demonstrate how power words appear on a resume:
At this point it should be clear what a resume power word is, and the examples above demonstrate how it's used. The list below has over 300 words from which to choose, listed alphabetically.
Accomplished, achieved, acquired, adapted, addressed, administered, advised, allocated, analyzed, applied, appointed, appraised, approved, arbitrated, assembled, assessed, assigned, assumed, assured, audited, authored, awarded
Briefed, broadened, budgeted, built
Calculated, chaired, changed, charted, coached, combined, communicated, compiled, completed, composed, computed, conceived, conceptualized, concluded, conducted, consolidated, constructed, consulted, contracted, controlled, converted, convinced, coordinated, corrected, counseled, created, cultivated, cut
Debugged, decreased, defined, delegated, delivered, demonstrated, designated, designed, detected, determined, developed, devised, diagnosed, directed, discovered, dispatched, distributed, doubled, drafted
Earned, edited, effected, elicited, eliminated, empowered, endorsed, engineered, enhanced, enlarged, enlisted, ensured, entered, established, estimated, evaluated, examined, exceeded, executed, expanded, expedited, explained, explored, expressed, extended
Filed, filled, financed, flagged, focused, forecast, formulated, found, founded
Gathered, generated, granted, guided
Halved, handled, headed, helped, hired
Identified, ignited, implemented, improved, incorporated, increased, indexed, influenced, initiated, innovated, inspected, installed, instituted, instructed, insured, interpreted, interviewed, introduced, invented, inventoried, invested, investigated, issued
Launched, learned, leased, lectured, led, licensed, lobbied
Maintained, managed, manufactured, matched, measured, mediated, met, modified, monitored, motivated, moved
Named, navigated, negotiated
Obtained, opened, operated, ordered, organized, overhauled, oversaw
Participated, patented, perceived, performed, persuaded, placed, planned, posted, prepared, presented, presided, processed, procured, produced, proficient, programmed, prohibited, projected, promoted, proposed, provided, published, purchased, pursued
Qualified, quantified, questioned
Raised, ranked, rated, received, recognized, recommended, reconciled, recorded, recruited, redesigned, reduced, referred, regulated, rehabilitated, reorganized, repaired, replaced, replied, reported, represented, rescued, researched, resolved, responded, restored, revamped, reviewed, revised
Saved, scheduled, screened, selected, served, serviced, shaped, shared, showed, simplified, sold, solved, sorted, sought, sparked, spoke, staffed, started, steered, streamlined, strengthened, stressed, stretched, structured, studied, submitted, substituted, succeeded, suggested, summarized, superseded, supervised, supplied, surveyed, systematized
Tackled, targeted, taught, terminated, tested, toured, traced, tracked, traded, trained, transcribed, transferred, transformed, translated, transported, traveled, treated, trimmed, tripled, turned, tutored
Uncovered, understood, understudied, unified, unraveled, updated, upgraded, utilized
Vended, verbalized, verified, visited
Waged, weighed, widened, won, worked, wrote
About the Author - Resume Power Words (Last Reviewed on February 18, 2017)