International recruitment website Glassdoor recently published a list of words to never include on your resume, including overused clichés such as “Rockstar” and “Synergy” which will more often than not see a recruiter immediately trash a CV.
While “what not to do” has increasingly become public knowledge, it has become more and more difficult to actually decide which words to include when drafting a CV and whether they will actually increase your chances of employment.
With that in mind, Glassdoor has released a follow-up report on the must-have words you should include in your CV based on feedback from hundreds of recruiters around the world
“If you want to show that you’re results oriented and hard working, share the numbers. As they say, the proof is in the pudding,” according to job coach Angela Copeland. “For example, rather than stating that you’re an “excellent digital marketer,” prove it. Say something that reflects your actual results, such as, ‘Grew online sales and revenue by 200% in one year.’
Include verbs that show leadership and transformation. “‘Redesign’ demonstrates problem-solving skills as well as the ability to think big picture and reduce process inefficiencies.”
If cliches are a no-no, simple yet powerful words are your go-tos, according to Glassdoor columnist Anish Majumdar. Launched, solved, transformed, and optimized are all examples of action verbs that make you look good without resorting to cliches.
“Modernised” along with “conceived and metamorphosed” powering up the candidate’s story, showing how they’ve improved, envisioned and transformed their work environments, and therefore, gained revenue, customer growth, reputation, etc. traction for their company.
5. “Value” or “Valuable”
“These words show that the candidate is thinking about their own activities in terms of how they’ll improve the business. “Terms like ‘hard-working’ don’t do this because working hard doesn’t necessarily produce better results.
The verb ‘orchestrated’ shows, versus just telling, the hiring manager what was accomplished. Orchestrated, by definition, means to arrange and direct. The key is to make a resume better than any great piece of fiction by embracing the storytelling aspect and showing readers your true qualifications.
7. Get specific
Instead of looking for the 2017 buzzword, job seekers are better off being specific in their resume. In lieu of hard-working, consider saying what hard work was done, e.g. did a candidate work tirelessly to reach an impossible deadline? It is important to use verbs that really pinpoint what was accomplished, i.e. influenced, improved, achieved, etc.
8. “Create, lead, managed”
“I like to look for candidates who have had a role in shaping something from idea all the way through execution,” says executive coach Kate O’Sullivan. “One of the main qualities I look for is someone who can take a vague idea or strategic goal and see it through to completion, rather than someone who executes on a plan that’s already been decided.
9. Provide examples
“In general, it’s very hard to convince a resume reader that you possess various soft skills, e.g. team player, just by listing these on your resume,” said O’Sullivan. “If you put yourself in their shoes for a minute you will understand why. The most powerful thing you can do is give examples.
10. Be skimmable
A resume should be impactful while still skimmable, or able to easily be skimmed by recruiters and hiring managers. Hiring managers don’t sit down the day before an interview, pour a glass of wine, and meticulously read through each resume they’re considering.
According to Angela Copeland, a resume —and the job search, in general— is not the time to be shy. “Use strong words that emphasize your level of involvement. This isn’t the time to minimize yourself or your contributions.
Show that you’re dedicated to your work, start to finish.
13. Edit expertly
“Word choice is incredibly important. You only have a limited amount of real estate on your resume, so every single word counts,” says O’Sullivan. “Focus on achievements, quantify where possible, and make an effort to tailor your experiences to your target job.
It’s more effective to talk about fewer projects and responsibilities more in-depth than to list every single thing you’ve ever done. Along these lines, concentrate on your most recent experience. Edit with the mindset of “does this piece of information directly help sell my experience for this role? If not, take it off.”
“The easiest way to improve your choice of words is to read your resume out loud to yourself,” advises Copeland. “This can catch many of the potential issues before anyone else sees it.
Then, ask a friend or family member who works in another industry to read it. If they find your resume to be confusing, consider updating the wording, so that it’s more clear.”