So it’s time to refresh your resumé.
And your mind is racing with all your current tasks and responsibilities.
Utimately, you know you have to create something that will dazzle hiring managers to call you for the interview.
But in the back of your mind, you are wondering “How can I make sure this resumé stands out amongst all the other applicants for the same job?”
Well what if I told you that if you started each responsibility with the right word, it could make all the difference?
One word! And voila! You have a resumé that gets shortlisted instead of trashed.
In this post, we’re going to reveal some exceptionally simple yet powerful words to boos your resumés conversion rate:
- The Top 5 power words to start each line
- Before and after examples of what these would look like.
- More power words that adds variation with quality
- The worst words that need to be removed
One of the most common questions I get asked is “How do I make my resumé more results driven?” These words will show you how.
Top 5 Power Words
According to research conducted by Career Builder on over 2,000 hiring managers, these are the top 5 power words to use on a resumé:
Look at your own resumé.
Does the Responsibilities section start with any of these words?
On typical resumés that I’ve reviewed, they typically don’t. Candidates simply list out their responsibilities one after the other starting with words like:
- “Responsible for…”
- “Worked with…”
Here’s the reality.
Hiring managers don’t care about seeing a simple task list of responsibilities. Of course you did these things, you wouldn’t have the job if you didn’t.
But all you done is repeated the job description back to them. Worse yet, you’ve made yourself sound like every other candidate that they are reviewing.
So what do hiring managers want to see? Three things:
- What were the results/accomplishments of each responsibility
- What new thing did you create for the team
- How much money did you make/save the company (where applicable)
The top 5 power words help you accomplish one of more of the above.
Let’s dive into each of them individually.
Here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to use the exact same wordings from a resumé for a technical lead position in the telecommunicaitons industry, that I recently redesigned to show you the before and after.
This is my favorite one. It forces you to think about how you made a difference to your team. Or how you made life easier for your manager.
“Responsible for planning the execution across various geographical locations, initiating and leading daily conference call with the customer for discussion regarding the progress.”
What’s wrong with the above? All you’re telling the hiring manager is that you get on Skype calls and start meetings with customers and give a progress updates. Nothing special about that at all.
“Achieved high customer satisfaction and project completion rates by constantly engaging with project stakeholders. Daily conference calls allowed me to focus on mitigating risks, fast-track critical tasks and accurately bridge expectations between customers and back end support teams.”
See the difference? Now you’re showing the manager how you manage daily status calls differently from others.
One of the expectations our managers have of us is to continuously improve processes. Well, if you’re a good at your job and highly employable, that’s what you would be doing.
And those improvements must shine through your resumé. Let’s take a look at how I did that for our technical lead.
“Performed system testing, application testing, heuristic/exploratory testing, new feature testing, worked with local connectivity testing like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.”
“Improved testing efficiency by 34% on the application, heuristic, exploratory and new feature testing processes. I collaborate closely with engineering and development teams to understand and participate in advance training to accelerate the process up front.”
Not only are you showing you work well with others, you also demonstrate that you take initiative. See how all these wonderful traits come out when you force yourself to start with the right word?
One of the needs a hiring manager has when hiring you is whether you can get along with them and their team. What better way to bond with a colleague than when you show them how things are done.
“Handled teams of dynamic sizes (3–4 and 20–25 engineers)”
Trained 25 engineers on executing testing and project related processes. I created training videos and documentation to improve knowledge retention, and mentored them on average for 3 months before they were completely self-reliant.
Here, you express additional skills in documentation and video creation, and also quantify a timeline of how long it takes for an employee to be self-reliant (a key result for any manager).
Be careful of this one.
The hiring manager doesn’t want to know how many people you managed. They want to know which functions and processes you managed.
Do not to overuse this word on every responsibility either.
“Involved in work order management, team handling, technical training management with tracking daily issues, updating JIRA with new information as a part of defect management to bring resolution to the issues raised during the field testing.”
“Managed work orders and defects and reduced backlog in JIRA by 25% in 3 months. By collaborating with engineering and testing teams, and persistently tracking and following up on open incidents and defects, critical issues were prevented before going into production.”
Not only are you now showing that you managed a process, you are also stating how you improved and how you did it.
Notice how providing that little bit of context helps you stand out.
Everybody needs to bring something new to the table.
“Experienced in SIM Card testing with Comprion SIM Testing Tool”
“Created a Comprion SIM Testing video and documentation that saved 3 hours of training time per engineer and ensured process compliance for SIM testing across the department.”
Once again, you provide context. Earlier, you just said you are “Experienced”. Now there’s proof. You actually created an instruction manual and video, demonstrating your experience and other skills sets as well. Not to mention, quantifying and identifying the benefits.
More Power Words
As you can see, by forcing yourself to start with these power words, you automatically start to express yourself in a way that impresses a hiring manager.
And an impressed manager will call you for the interview.
Hiring managers don’t care about seeing their job description repeated back to them. They want to know how you specifically made a difference in that role.
Here are some more power words that were uncovered from the Career Builder research:
The Worst Words…
Now that you know the right words to use on your resumé, go back to your resumé and give it a refresh.
According to the same survey, below are the list of the worst words that hiring managers hate to see on a resumé.
If you’re resumé contains any of the words below, remove these right away:
- Hard worker
- Think outside the box
I know what you must be thinking – “But I saw these words on the job description.”
So what? The job description is not a marketing document. Its purpose is not to try and convince you apply for the job.
But your resumé is the most important financial and marketing document you will ever own. And to get the reader to take action to call you, you must use the right words that convinces them to do so.
If you’ve not been getting calls for job interviews, chances are your resumé is not standing out from your competition.
Give your resumé an uplift with these power words, and you’ll definitely see a nice boost in your conversion rate.