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  • Ryan Buxbaum

Resume Pro Tip #20 (Add action verbs, avoid useless descriptors)


Action verbs subtly, or not so subtly, imply that you are a candidate who literally takes action.  Consider the phrase “I met my sales initiatives” compared to “ I continually crushed my sales goals.” Both can be true but the second example sounds like an employee who is taking action and possibly exceeding goals rather than simply doing the status quo. Action verbs give the impression that you are a doer and will be a instantaneous contributor.  They don’t necessarily have  relate to sales or metric based goals, and can be verbs like: tracked, taught, streamlined, supervised, developed, initiated, created, and guided. These words will help your resume stand out as a candidate that can truly “get it done.”

Useless descriptions such as detail oriented, self sufficient, hardworking, proactive, and self motivated are so commonly found on resumes they have become completely obligatory.  Hard-worker of course you are, everybody who’s looking for a job is. Remember that your resume is being read or more likely skimmed for content and facts and peppering it with useless words will take off the polish.  Instead focus on skills that are unique to you and your experience that will set your resume apart. 

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