Whether you realize it or not, your resume is your own personal marketing tool. And you need to evoke excitement for the reader so they ultimately call you.
Just like corporations are strategic with their word choice in commercials, print and web advertising, you need to be selective with the verbiage you use to sell yourself in your professional resume.
This may seem trivial, but companies don’t spend millions of dollars on marketing for no reason. They are in business to sell – just like you’re in business to sell your skills and expertise when job searching.
A well crafted resume that intentionally articulates your value, puts you in control of your marketing narrative. When hiring managers are reading your resume, you want there to be an overwhelming call to action that they can’t resist. One that says, interview me now!
When it comes to marketing you can ask any marketing expert, “What’s the best way to gain customers over the competition?” One of the most common answers you’ll receive is engagement. Your resume needs to do just that, engage the reader to not only get you through the door, but blow it off the hinges.
Professional resume writers craft your documents to essentially mold the thought patterns of everyone who reads it. We convince them that you are the person they want to interview and eventually hire above anyone else. But you don’t have to be a trained professional resume writer to give your resume a face lift.
There are numerous ways to add powerful language that will make your resume stand out against the competition. One of the easiest ways to do that is through the use of action verbs. The simple act of adding action verbs will help give the edge you need to soar above the competition. This won’t be a boring grammar lesson I promise, so keep reading!
- Action verbs add excitement.
Starting your bullets with action verbs like discovered, overhauled, motivated, or generated will give your resume that much needed excitement. You can imagine how a hiring manager feels getting 100 resumes for one position. They’ve read so many resumes that they start to look exactly the same to the point where those “amazing” sentences that you spent hours crafting have lost their luster. When you’ve seen organized or maintained once, you’ve seen it 1,000 times and it puts you to sleep. The key is to stand out. You will not be able to do that without action verbs starting every sentence.
Don’t go picking random action words; you need to start each bullet with words that are skill-specific. For instance, if you want to show your management skills, use action verbs like approved, analyzed, and controlled. Want to show off your financial skills? Include action verbs like assessed, calculated, or audited.
- Action verbs validate your achievements.
It’s very easy to fall into the trap of simply rewriting your job description. Beware! Your goal is to make hiring managers see you as a person of action, and not a passive employee only doing what they are asked to do. The words “responsible for…” should never (and I mean never) make it to your resume. The use of action verbs can tighten up your resume and put your accomplishments front and center.
For example, “responsible for creating new file system…” versus “designed database system….” We just went from regular worker to a game changer, just by using the action verb developed. And, we went from 6 words to 3 and maximized your readability. In the resume world, every second counts, you only have about 6 seconds to make an impression, but that’s another story for another day.
- Hiring managers love them.
Don’t just take my word for it. This national survey was conducted on behalf of CareerBuilder to see just what hiring professionals thought about action verbs. The survey included 2,201 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company size, and it was stated that:
“Hiring managers prefer strong action words that define specific experience, skills and accomplishments,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “Subjective terms and clichés are seen as negative because they don’t convey real information. For instance, don’t say you are ‘results-driven’; show the employer your actual results.”
Also, according to the survey some of the worst phrases to use in your professional resume are go-getter, results-driven, detail-oriented, and team player. Some of the best include negotiated, resolved, volunteered, and influenced. Do some research and find the ones that work best for your industry and the position you’re seeking.
Before you go action verb crazy on your cover letter and resume, remember to use a soft brush. There is such thing as overkill. You definitely don’t want to come off like you’re trying too hard. You’re not reinventing the wheel here and there’s no need to pop a blood vessel trying to find action verbs that are extremely rare. Start with adding action verbs at the beginning of each bullet point and go from there.
Even the biggest companies need help creating the perfect marketing campaign. We’re here to help enhance your job search strategies by providing you with a optimized resume packages and offering industry insider tips and tricks that will give you the edge you’re looking for; action verbs and all.
Resume-Evolution is a professional resume writing service that takes pride in delivering L.I.V.E TM resumes that Look Good, are Intentional, Value-based and Enticing. Our team of elite certified resume writers provide entry-level, mid-level and executive resume writing services to brilliant professionals who are ready to level-up in their career.
Visit www.resume-evolution.com for more details on our services. While you’re there, download your free 5-minute resume checklist to reveal exactly why your resume isn’t working, so you can stop struggling in your job search and start lining up interviews today!