“Open Sesame,” “Speak friend and enter,” and even “Swordfish”… These magic words open doors to all kinds of adventures in the movies. Wouldn’t it be nice to find something like that to put in your resume and open doors in your career?
Just as conjurors once used magic words to suggest their connection to mystical sources of power, effective use of resume words can show that you’re connected to the essence of what potential employers seek.
While there aren’t any guarantees, there are words you can use on your resume to make the sort of impression that lands you an interview.
Write for skimmers – Resume expert Dr. Sander Marcus, writing at www.top7business.com, encourages job hunters to spell out numbers, so a $2,000,000 budget doesn’t come across as $2.
Use powerful words – Are you wondering which action verbs suit you best? Let the thesaurus be your friend and don’t repeat yourself – Achieved, Obtained, Delivered, Attained, Completed, Secured, Negotiated, Effected, Enhanced, Produced, Increased… And there’s a lot more.
Be specific – Instead of saying you managed the sales staff, say how many people you managed, the area they covered and note that they met or exceeded their quotas every quarter under your supervision. In fact, numbers are frequently the best words you use on your resume.
Match your words to their position description – Many employers use keywords to filter out resumes, so study ads carefully and make sure you describe your relevant experience with the same nouns and phrases they use.
Avoid words that raise red flags – Hiring managers like to be the ones to evaluate an applicant’s abilities, so don’t use terms like “skillfully” or “adept” that sound like you’re bragging. When you say you “assisted” at something it sounds like you didn’t really do it. Focus on your accomplishments.
Keep in mind that although words are very important in determining whether or not your resume gets read, they’re basically only the slipcovers for the furniture of your career. Before you start writing your resume, make sure you’ve thoroughly reviewed your work experience and training, and made note of all the potential furnishings.
If you do this analysis every time you apply for a position, you’ll generate a more comprehensive list of achievements, specifically targeted for each potential employer. Dress these activities up just right in a powerful and punchy resume, and you’re on the way to opening a magic door in your career.