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Power words to perfect your resume


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Power words to perfect your resume

  1. 1. MONITOR ARTICLE Power Words to Perfect Your Resume By Chelse Benham “Any human anywhere will blossom in a hundred unexpected talents and capacities simply being given the opportunity to do so” – Doris Lessing Most people feel a bit uneasy when it comes to talking about what they do well. The fact is, you probably take for granted many of the things you do well or better than others, but, you haven’t developed your “skills language” - the descriptive terminology that best illustrates your capabilities. A “skills language” is made up of power words and phrases that turn mediocre resumes into job magnets according to advice given at Power words are verbs which help you construct active descriptions of your duties and accomplishments. They should be used to strengthen your resume and bolster your talents., a career resource website, recommends that each statement on a resume begin with a power word – not the pronoun “I” when describing work history. Targeting your resume to an employer requires absolute clarity as to the direction in which you intend to take your career. “The biggest problem that students and recent graduates have, putting together their resumes, is not putting enough detailed information about themselves, their experiences and their skills,” said Lourdes Servantes, placement specialist at The University of Texas-Pan American’s Career Placement Services Office. “Here at the Career Placement Services Office we impress upon students that every job matters and that they need to account for their experiences to sell themselves in the competitive job market.” Resume writer, JoAnn Nix on commented that “A resume should be accomplishment oriented, not responsibility driven.” This is especially true of a student with relatively little or no work experience. So how do you talk about experience when you don’t have any? Creatively. Consider experience gained in other ways through internships, special projects, community involvement and even traveling abroad. “When I review a resume I always look at the experience of the candidate. However, if the person is a recent graduate with little to no experience they shouldn’t be penalized for not having it,” said Sandra Quintanilla, director of the Office of University Relations at The University of Texas-Pan American. “When they don’t have work experience I look at what they did in their field while in college. For example, if they studied journalism I would look at related activities
  2. 2. such as working for the school news paper or participation in organizations affiliated with their chosen profession.” Employers are looking for success stories. At Quintessential Careers,, a list of questions can be found to help brainstorm those things that you did and forgot about doing that would beef-up your resume. Consider the following: • Have you ever participated in seminars, workshops or professional development programs? • What computer skills do you have and how does that enhance your capabilities? • Do you have any certifications? • Do you speak a second language? • Which professional or career related organizations are you involved in? Once you have determined your experience and your unique talents, highlighting these items is synonymous to perfecting your resume. At, whole lists of power phrases and words can be found to help strengthen your resume to create vivid impressions about your qualifications. Think of using these eye- catching phrases when describing your experience: • Took charge of… • Mapped out, drew up, promoted to… • Expertise and demonstrated skills in… • Successful in /at… • Direct control over… • Initially employed as… • Competent in, knowledgeable in, proficient in… • Qualified… • Self-motivated… It is also wise to include words that are relevant to your particular job and professional field. Such words are called keywords. Keywords are constantly entering the occupational vocabulary and industry jargon has become increasingly specialized. Remember to keep your resume up-to-date with the latest buzz words circulating in your field or industry. Some general keywords are: analysis, analytical, management, committed, insightful, personable, resourceful, strategic and supervise. These are just a few words. Many other words found in particular fields for finance, accounting, sales, marketing and operations can be found at Accomplishments are the points that really help sell you. Virtually every job opening will require a resume by the employer. When you’re hunting for a job, your resume and cover letter become your introduction. So it is not surprising that the decision to interview you, by a potential employer, is based on the overall first impression left by your resume.
  3. 3. The resume is a strategic presentation of your work history in a descriptive narrative of accomplishments and aptitudes. The resume must clearly and concisely present your qualifications, and show how you can help employers solve the problems they currently face in their business. In short, remember this little ditty – “To get to the interview stage, you have to past the review phase.” Therefore your resume has to convey three things: 1. You have the skills, talent and personal qualities to accomplish those things that are important to an employer. 2. You have a history of training or experience to substantiate this claim. 3. You will be an asset to the organization, have a positive work attitude and get along with others. Remember employers are hiring you, not a piece of paper. Your resume is your personal advertisement, which promotes you and what you can do. Invest in the time to explore your talents and experiences to rise above the fray and claim the job you want.