The one sheet of paper that exemplifies your skills, your career path, and your first impression with a hiring manager.
“Please send over your resume and cover letter for consideration.”
“Uh oh, is my resume up to date? Does my current resume highlight my attributes? Will my lackluster resume cost me the job?”
It’s time we stop becoming overly concerned with our resume and start building confidence.
Without a doubt, your resume is vital to helping you get your foot in the door. It’s imperative for that resume to be flawless in all regards for that hiring manager to call you in for a job interview.
The most influential and top resume “words” will help your resume stand out from a sea of competition. When hiring managers are sifting through seemingly endless piles of resumes, they are going to yawn a few times when they come across the same old resume wordage such as “great team player” and “highly dedicated”.
You have got to snap them out of their funk and have your resume say HEY! I’m here, and here’s why I’m that awesome!
Motivate, stimulate and inspire the hiring manager with power and influential words instead of those clichés and lazily chosen words that are often vague.
These blah words will have the hiring managers pressing delete right away. Let’s change that notion, NOW.
What’s In a Influential Resume?
Your resume needs to highlight your skills. You need to connect your skills to your career interests and goals. How are your skills going to get you the job you want, and help you reach your career goals?
TheLadders.com did some extensive research that shows that hiring managers only spend about 6.25 seconds scanning a resume before they decide to either shred it or put it on a shortlist. We’re talking about six seconds here. Count it: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 – done! Yikes!
That is all of the time a hiring manager will spend scanning through your resume. Are they going to delete it or short list it? What would you do? You really have to nail your resume to get the hiring manager’s attention so they short list your resume and keep it away from the shredder. How did the pros at The Ladders find out this information?
They used eye-tracking software with 30 hiring managers for over a period of 10 weeks. The eye-tracking software helped them study not just how long they spent looking at resumes, but more importantly what exactly they were looking at. Haven’t you always wished you had this information? Thanks to these researchers, now you do. It’s as close as we will ever get to getting a peek inside the mind of a hiring manager. How cool is that?
TheLadders.com study also found that 80% of that 6.25 seconds is spent just scanning your name, current title, current company, previous title, previous company, current position, start and end dates, and your education.
The good news is that these same hiring managers spent 20% of their time scanning resumes for words that match the job’s description. That is why you must utilize the job description to customize your resume for each application/company.
If these hiring managers are seeking those specific keywords you need to have them in your resume to be found. It’s so important for your resume to have the top resume words in it. They also found that LinkedIn profile resumes were too distracting for hiring managers due to advertisements and images on the website. It’s better to send your own customized resume instead of linking to your LinkedIn profile for your resume. Less distraction gives you a better shot at landing a resume. Now, what top resume words do hiring managers like to see in resumes?
Powerful and influential resume words will help your resume stand out from the rest and boost your chances of getting that call back.
Top 200 Most Influential Resume Words
- Under Budget
There you have it! The top resume words you need to add. Of course, you shouldn’t just stuff these 200 words into your resume. That wouldn’t read well, and would guarantee your resume gets deleted right away. What you need to do is get your resume out (open up your word program or print it out) and see where you can add some of these power words.
A great way to start is to print this article and carefully read through all of the words listed here. Highlight the ones you like and think you can use. Then go back to your resume to see where you can use or add these resume words.
You should be able to find some places where you need to replace a word with one on this list. It’s going to take some time and effort, but it will be worth it in the end.
Think about your objective, your skills, your experience, your education, your professional affiliations, and your awards. Where can you add these powerful, influential, top resume words so your resume will stand out from your competitors?
This is a competition for a job position and you can win with a stellar resume and a remarkable job interview. Blow the hiring manager away with both. An outstanding resume will get you a call back for a job interview, and then you can use your learned skills to nail the interview and land the job of your dreams. You can reach your career goals and make a living doing what you love, what you are passionate about.
You just have to have the drive and perseverance to get there, because if you don’t, someone else will, and they will be the ones loving their job and reaching for the stars.
Resume Words to Avoid
Along with top resume words you need to include in your resume there are some words you most likely need to delete from your resume. These are mostly clichés and just bad word choices. The words to avoid are any that are vague, unclear, ambiguous. How are you a team player? What makes you the go to person? See how those are vague terms? Show, don’t tell. Avoid these horrible resume words brought to you from a CareerBuilder survey:
- Best of breed (What? I don’t know where this resume term came from. Have you ever used this one?)
- Think outside of the box (this is a cliché)
- Go-to person (for what?)
- Thought leadership (huh?)
- Value add
- Results-driven (another vague term)
- Team player
- Hard worker (prove it!)
- Strategic thinker
- Detail-oriented (another cliché)
- Track record (This one is also on the top 200 most influential resume words, so I guess there are some hiring managers that like the term and some that do not. It may be best to simply avoid the term altogether just in case).
Avoid words that imply you have done something such as some of the words and phrases listed above. Other words you need to avoid are those that self-praise. You can see them in the list above: hard worker, strategic thinker, etc. So what? The hiring manager is not going to care what you think about yourself. She wants to see what you have accomplished.
She wants proof and results, just like your last employer wanted – results. What have you done that will match you to the job position you are applying for. When you need to show what you can do for this company you can do so during your job interview. The resume and application is just your first step to getting you the interview, and then the job. Focus on one task at a time.
Prove Your Skills, Show Your Accomplishments
So, what do you need to include in your awesome resume? Results. Proof. Show what you have done within your resume. What have you accomplished as an employee for other companies?
How have you made your managers’ jobs easier for them? How have you improved the workplace?
Have you resolved company issues? What have you done otherwise? Are you actively involved in your career’s industry? How so? Include anything like this such as increasing sales, decreased expenses, implemented a successful project or plan, resolved a conflict in the office, sold a good percentage of products or services, published a book, received extra training, or negotiated an amazing deal.
Whatever you have done for your previous employers, include it in your resume and talk about it during your job interview. Remember to show what you have accomplished, and avoid using vague terms in your resume. You only have an average of 6.25 seconds to impress the hiring manager or hiring manager so make your resume words count. When taking another look at your resume ask yourself, so what? This will help you read your resume as a hiring manager will and help you get rid of the terms you don’t need and add content to your resume that you do need.
Imagine if the hiring manager is having a bad day, is tired or bored, is distracted, or just wants to go home for the day. They are just like we are. They might have a kid that is sick, they might be ill, maybe their neighbors kept them up all night, or someone in their life is making their life difficult.
There are numerous reasons as to why you might have a non-personal resume rejection from the hiring manager. While no hiring manager would admit to doing this (probably) they probably have deleted resumes that they should have short listed all because of a bad day.
Customize Your Resume
The resume you have saved on your computer right now is only a start. Revise it thoroughly using this article. Seek out words you can add to your resume, and check for some you in all probability need to delete.
Now think of this new and shiny resume as your template. When you see a new job opportunity you want to send in an application for, don’t send your template resume! Remember that hiring managers and hiring managers are looking for words within your resume that match the job description.
Read the job description and see which words you can add to your resume so yours gets noticed. Customize your resume for each and every job opportunity so when you send in a new application somewhere you will increase your chances at getting an interview dramatically.
The economy is improving, albeit slowly, but it is getting better. An increasing number of companies anticipate hiring more staff to fill current and new job positions. New small businesses are opening up all over the country and will be hiring new employees to fill their needs. You just need to step up and find those job openings in your industry that fit your career goals.
It’s not always going to be easy, because looking for a job, applying for a job, and interviewing for a job is all work in and of itself. You might not like this job seeking work, but keep your eye on the end result. Your career goals. Where do you want to be in the near future? Where do you want to be working?
Respect the Hiring Manager’s Time
After all of your hard work in job seeking, have some faith. While the economy is slowly improving you must be patient. Don’t pester the hiring manager with phone calls and emails.
One simple and short follow-up email or phone call about two weeks after you have sent your resume is enough. Annoying the hiring manager will surely get your resume deleted. Just shoot over an email or make a quick phone call to make sure that the hiring manager has received your resume. Some people even wait four weeks to make that follow up contact.
It depends on the company and how many resumes they are likely to receive. Sometimes the hiring manager will put a note directly in the job description saying, “please do not send follow up emails or call for an update”. These people are very busy. Respect their time.
The bottom line here is to dramatically improve your resume to include these top resume words. Now you know you have an average of 6.25 seconds to really impress the hiring manager. You also now know that they are scanning your resume for words and phrases that match the job description. Include those words from the description. It really is vital that you do this so you get a call back for an interview.
You can’t simply send the same resume to each different job opening along with your application. You need to put in the extra work to read through the job description and customize your resume for that particular company.
You also need to use this list of the top 200 most influential resume words (and the worst resume words to avoid) to make your resume the best that it can be. Get to work on your resume and you will start seeing some results in no time.