The difference between a great resume and a passable resume often comes down to the verbs you use in your bullet points. Strong action verbs are key to conveying your skills and experience. This is pretty basic; however, many candidates think they're using strong action verbs when they're not.
For instance, "responsible for," "tasked with," "participated in," "charged with," and "worked on" are not strong action verbs. Starting a bullet with these terms indicates what was expected of you, but not what you did or achieved.
Instead, use the cheat sheet below to find action verbs for your resume -- note that some verbs can be used in different contexts to mean different things, but do your best to avoid repeating verbs in your resume.
To show leadership: led, managed, supervised, oversaw, spearheaded, initiated, hired, recruited, shepherded, drove, directed, trained, delegated, guided, piloted, conducted
To show written communication skills: wrote, drafted, created, noted, transcribed, edited, proofread, communicated
To show verbal communication skills: corresponded, pitched, presented, demonstrated, interviewed, solicited, communicated
To show interpersonal skills: interfaced, collaborated, liaised, negotiated, cultivated, fostered, partnered, communicated
To show creative skills: developed, produced, edited, created, ideated, brainstormed, innovated, conceptualized, designed, generated, crafted, constructed, formulated
To show organizational skills: organized, maintained, handled, coordinated, tracked, monitored, logged, compiled, updated, assembled
To show administrative support skills: assisted, provided, supported, coordinated, facilitated, performed, prepared, covered
To show project management skills: planned, executed, managed, handled, oversaw, allocated, secured, sourced, scouted, built, obtained, facilitated, streamlined, procured, budgeted
To show research/analytical skills: researched, assessed, analyzed, reviewed, evaluated, critiqued, identified, pinpointed
To show achievements/results: grew, increased, initiated, spearheaded, negotiated, boosted, generated, launched, exceeded, sold, signed, implemented, established, delivered, completed
As you write your resume, make sure you're using words that reflect the specific nature of your experience. Take ownership of your contributions to your previous company -- tell the hiring manager what you accomplished and how!
-- Angela Silak and Cindy Kaplan
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