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Over the last couple months we have covered various topics related to the resume. We’ve covered types of resume layouts and templates, how to be succinct and keep your resume at a shorter length, and now this month we will go over how the usage of powerful language can truly enhance the way a potential employer views your experiences.

When the hiring managers of any given company are given a stack of resumes to look over and screen, the harsh reality is that the time spent reviewing each one is limited. If at first glance the applicant doesn’t draw them in with their resume and list of experiences, then the hiring manager will simply pass them by and move on to the next. It’s absolutely imperative that when you’re writing your resume to boost any of your past work with exceptionally powerful language. You can have years of accumulated experience managing a team or creating a brand or developing a tool, but if you don’t highlight those accomplishments in a way that demonstrates how enormous it was, an employer may fail to deduce that from your resume.

One example might be to use the words created or cultivated or produced instead of the word “made” when detailing the ways in which you improved a system or aspect of your job. Another example of powerful language is to use the words orchestrated or directed or pioneered instead of the word “led.” Of course, you’ll have to use your best judgement when deciding which word to utilize as not every synonym of a word will necessarily be appropriate to insert in its place.

There’s a lot of thought and preparation that goes into putting together your resume. Next time you sit down to update your current one, or perhaps to create a new one, keep in mind the language that you’re using to illustrate the amazing work you’ve accomplished. Not only is it in your best interest to get in the habit of streamlining your resume to make it easier to gauge your experiences, but also to do an overhaul of the words you use to describe what it is you’ve accomplished. The more descriptive and powerful your word choice, the more clear it will be to any given hiring manager that you are the one for the job! If you’d like to learn about the many, many powerful action words out there, check out this great article I came across. As always, be sure to check out our informative Digital Tip on this topic, too. Until next month, have a great start to the Fall. See you in October!

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Comment by Sammy Abeje on September 20, 2018 at 4:34pm

Thanks for the very important info!  As a college student, I find myself constantly tweaking my resume and these tips will definitely be added to mine.  It is incredibly beneficial to have this information so I can ensure that my resume can make an impression on a hiring manager.

Comment by Nikki Abramson on September 17, 2018 at 6:08pm

Resumes are always tricky for me as I have so many jobs, but have descriptive language is so key. I appreciate your tips and tricks. I also think having others look at it is helpful before sending it to someone is helpful. 

Comment by Katie Burger on September 13, 2018 at 2:28pm

This is really great advice to highlight. I think it's easy to focus on getting every detail of what you've done into your resume and overlook the importance of the wording you use! I'm adding a link below to a PDF that I've referenced before when writing resumes (and other documents)! Thanks so much for sharing, Adrienne :) 

https://careerservices.uni.edu/sites/default/files/docs/resume_verb...

Comment by Erika J. Kluge on September 11, 2018 at 11:57pm

Great advice Adrienne- I too think word choice is an essential component. I enjoyed your links. Thank you!

Comment by Janet - Great Lakes ADA Center on September 11, 2018 at 1:12pm

This is great advice Adrienne.  I checked out the article you linked to and it is really useful not just for your resume, but any type of report, cover letter, or even email to create a more dynamic impression.

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