All words have meaning, but not all words have the power 

35 action words to add to your resume and 12 phrases to remove immediately

Did you know that 80% of resumes are rejected in less than 12 seconds, and over 43% of resumes are discarded because they are written in a passive voice? You need to add the right action words to your resume and remove boring, overused words.

The following is a list of 12 common words and phrases that you should avoid using in your resume, and 35 actions words you should include as much as possible.

Phrases to avoid in your resume

35 action words to add to your resume and 12 phrases to remove immediately

  1. Responsible for

Beside being ordinary and overused, this phrase makes it seem like you only did exactly what you were told. This isn’t the picture you want to portray to a potential employer.

  1. Duties included

Your resume should highlight how you went above and beyond in your past work experience.

  1. References available upon request

It’s assumed that a potential employer will ask for references when you’re being seriously considered for the position. Take this phrase out of your resume and save valuable space.

  1. Hard worker

Everyone loves a hard worker, but saying you’re one isn’t very convincing. In your resume and at the job interview, provide examples of the results of your hard work instead.

  1. Team player

Everyone thinks they’re a team player but labeling yourself as such is inappropriate. It’s better to demonstrate this in the interview.

  1. Seasoned

It sounds like you’re talking about what you served for dinner, not how you can contribute to the company. Take it out of your resume.

  1. Best of breed

Unless you were a dog trainer, remove this bizarre-sounding buzzword from your resume.

  1. Add value

Your resume is all about showing how you can add value to the company, so there’s no need to specifically state this.

  1. Ambitious

Being ambitious is a double-edged sword. While you obviously want to display some level of ambition in the hiring process, focusing too much on this attribute can make an employer think you will jump ship the first time a better opportunity comes around.

  1. Honest

You should be honest in describing your accomplishments on your resume, but there’s no need to specifically describe yourself this way. Would a liar freely admit to being one?

  1. Punctual

Showing up on time is a basic part of having a job. This  is an unnecessary resume addition.

  12. People person

Similar to team player, describing yourself as a people person is vague and hard to prove. If the job requires someone who is bubbly and outgoing, show this by highlighting accomplishments where you frequently worked with the public, clients or colleagues

35 action words to use on your resume

Power words should be on your resume. Here are 35 strong, confident and truly descriptive action resume words that hiring managers want to see on your resume:

Resume words for leadership
  1. Directed
  2. Managed
  3. Spearheaded
  4. Supervised
  5. Trained
Resume words for teamwork
  1. Collaborated
  2. Contributed
  3. Joined
  4. Integrated
  5. Synchronized
Resume words for achievement
  1. Accomplished
  2. Completed
  3. Delivered
  4. Established
  5. Formulated
Resume words for communication
  1. Authored
  2. Connected
  3. Defined
  4. Illustrated
  5. Presented
Resume words for improvement
  1. Advanced
  2. Boosted
  3. Enhanced
  4. Increased
  5. Maximized
Resume words for research
  1. Assessed
  2. Identified
  3. Mapped
  4. Tested
  5. Verified
Resume words for creativity
  1. Built
  2. Constructed
  3. Designed
  4. Developed
  5. Inspired


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