Resume Writing Tips – Resume Action Verbs

Verbs are a very important part of the human language.  They describe things you are doing, will do, or have done.  SO, it’s not hard to understand that when talking about your skills, verbs are crucial.    On a resume, you want to communicate your experience, or what you have done, and you want to show that you will use those skills if you are hired for a new position.

The best way to communicate what your abilities are is to use appropriate verbs.  These action verbs should show a potential employer that you are capable of delivering work and handling responsibilities, so choose your words with care.  Every industry has certain “buzzwords” they love to see on a resume.  These verbs relate to skills that employees in that industry should have.  For instance, a medical researcher should know how to grow cells, mix reactants, and use the tools of the trade.  And the verbs used to describe those abilities are much different from the words you’d use to describe a sales job, in which the worker should be able to handle customer disputes, promote sales, and interact with other people.

So, take the time to think of the buzzwords in your profession.  You may even want to do some online research.  Once you know what skills your employer is looking for, you can use the right words on your resume.

The tense of your verbs is also important.  In general, you want to use the same tense throughout your resume.  Don’t write one section in the present tense and another in the past.  Usually, the past tense is used because you are communicating skills you have learned and practiced before.  But even in the past tense, writing can be weak.  Many people are tempted to use the word “had” in their resume.  (E.g. I had managed the sales floor.)  This construction is weak, and the removal of had usually leads to more concrete writing, which communicates confidence.  So, instead of saying, “I had managed” or “I had increased,” say “I managed” and “I increased.”  Be direct when talking about your abilities.

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