Key Words, Buzz Words, Action Words, Oh My!
Lost in the sea of wordsmithing? I will cover 3 major word topics related to resume writing.
1. Key Words
Any words related to the specific role can be considered keywords. They can be job requirements, credentials, hard skills, or soft skills. For example, if a recruiter is searching for someone fully versed in Microsoft Excel, only those who have Microsoft Excel listed on their resume will populate. Whether a recruiter or robot (ATS) is performing the search, ensure your resume makes the cut. How? Start with the job posting, and insert words and phrases directly from the job description. Don't go overboard by copying the exact wording. Paraphrase and give specific examples of your experience. By embedding keywords within your resume, you will demonstrate that you are fit for the job.
2. Buzz Words
Perform a quick Google search for "buzzwords to use on resume". Now run the opposite search. I bet you came up with a lot of the same words. There is no right or wrong, but many buzzwords are industry specific. Being detail-oriented in the world of architectural design may not mean the same thing in the world of sales. The most important rule of thumb when using buzzwords, is to provide proof by example. Rather than stating that you are an innovative thinker, provide validation by explaining how you've created and implemented new ideas or processes. Whether or not you will receive a huge eye roll for being a self-starter is truly dependent upon the "how and why". Please avoid the obvious and tacky the phrases (e.g. hard worker, go-getter, and best of breed). Sadly, I have seen a resume with the term Best of Breed (and yes, my eyes reached the back of my skull).
3. Action Words
There is nothing worse than a resume riddled with the phrase, "Responsible for". Instead, use strong action verbs that pack a more powerful punch. Instead of "Assisted with", use the phrase, "Contributed to." If you perform an internet search on what action words to include in your resume, you will find a pretty large list. To simplify things, I have selected a few of my favorite go-to action words:
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