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There are dozens of novel creative ways to make your first professional impression on an employer – putting a letter in a bottle, designing a 14-by-48-foot billboard with the slogan “Hire me,” etc.
However, when it comes to a job search, there is no better way to grab a potential employer’s attention than by drafting a concise but thorough one-page resume.
A resume is by far the best approach because businesses can maximize information gathering on potential employees in minimal amounts of time.
On average, any given company receives 250 resumes per job posting, so a clean but powerful resume is essential for garnering necessary attention. This is why you should always write a targeted one-page resume – a simple yet ubiquitously important document.
However, it’s not always easy to write words for your resume that are interesting and eye-catching amongst hundreds of other resumes – particularly when you may not yet have plentiful work experience in your field of interest.
Regardless, there are four key rules to keep in mind:
- Always target one resume to one particular job ad;
- Write about the results you have obtained, not just your work duties;
- Include numbers, not just words, along with your work results;
- Begin all of your sentences with an action word.
One highly common mistake candidates make is beginning resume sentences with I was responsible for…“ instead of action verbs like „Achieved…“ The meaning of the entire sentence changes when it is based on a direct accomplishment instead of a simple task description.
In fact, beginning a message with an action verb is a classic advertising strategy used ineffective marketing and promotions, so using it in your targeted resume gives you both a decisive tone and positively emphasizes your accomplishments.
Below are the 9 most professional action verbs to use when beginning your experience statements:
Concrete and direct verb demonstrating the ability to obtain results.
Short example: Achieved a record of zero defects in all warehouse jobs.
This verb demonstrates leadership and organizing skills, and should definitely be considered for inclusion on your resume.
Short example: Managed various teams (up to 30 people) to perform daily tasks.
This action word indicates dedicating plentiful time and effort to a specific task, resulting in positive outcomes.
Short example: Developed a highly successful business model resulting in a 6.4% profit increase from 2015 to 2016.
Companies searching for new employees most definitely seek candidates who can solve particular business challenges.
Short example: Solved multiple internal financial business challenges, reducing project costs by 25%.
This verb demonstrates originality, a trait that will help you stand out amongst the crowd.
Short example: Created, designed, and presented 6 novel marketing ideas that helped increase project profitability by 15%.
Numbers often speak louder than words for your resume: if you have experienced increasing profit margins or percentages, begin your achievement with this action verb.
Short example: Increased unit sales goals by 260% in the first 6 months of employment.
Analytical skills are one of the pivotal employee skills in the age of big data. If you have demonstrated such skills, utilize this verb to tell your potential employer about your experience.
Short example: Analyzed business intelligence models to measure ROI, totaling a $5 million budget.
This is a popular verb because it can describe not only achievements but also tasks and duties.
Short example: Generated and maintained 12 specific end-to-end marketing projects.
This is a more concrete verb which is not suitable for every position, but if you have any relevant sales experience, definitely use this verb.
Short example: Sold high technology products with an average price point of $800 and achieved top-seller status.
These are the 10 most popular verbs to utilize when describing your accomplishments with targeted resume statements. If you’d like to start your sentences with more unique words, there is a bigger list of 398 action words.
Choose your favorites and present your experiences as the professional you truly are.
After all, a resume is nothing more than a short description of your skills and abilities – not some letter in a bottle or crazy billboard advertisement. Choose the right words for your resume and write it in a professional and eye-catching manner, and you will be guaranteed to receive that interview call.