The importance of drafting a compelling resume cannot be overstated.
The following two hiring statistics demonstrate just how little time an applicant has to catch and keep the attention of a recruiter or hiring manager. First, on average, each corporate job offer attracts 250 resumes. Second, recruiters take an average of six seconds to scan a resume.
With only several seconds against voluminous competition, an applicant has little time to stand out. Fortunately, there are several, effective ways you can earn and keep the attention of a hiring manager or recruiter and by extension, improve your resume success rate.
Improve your resume with action words
One of the best ways to catch and keep the attention of a hiring manager is through resume action words. Resume action words are essentially powerful verbs that increase the gravitas of your resume’s content. These action words not only communicate your skill and experience, but they do it in a powerful and compelling manner.
After all, resumes are no Pulitzer prize winners. So anything you can add to make them more exciting and enjoyable to read will go a long way, especially if what you are adding is in line with what your prospective employer is looking for.
But be careful, not all action verbs are created equal. And so, your first step is to avoid using common and generic words. Afterall, you want your resume to be compelling, not cliché. Here are some examples of overused action words:
When drafting your resume and looking for the right action word, the key is to swap out generic sentence starters with fresh attention grabbers. A great way to find the right attention-grabbing words is to spend time online looking for action words commonly used within your industry or by your prospective employer.
For example, litigation attorneys are expected to know how to conduct legal research and find relevant case authority. And conducting research is commonly referred to as “shepardizing.” And so, if someone was applying for a legal position, they should use the word “shepardize” instead of just “research.”
Here are some other industry- or position-specific keywords.
More and more employers are relying on ATS software to screen applicants. Using the right keywords in your resume, like resume action words, can help you pass the ATS test and get through to the next level in front of human eyes.
Helpful action word examples
Still struggling to come up with the right words? Here are 15, powerful action words that may assist you as you tailor and update your resume.