You may be wondering why you never seem to make it to the interview stage of the recruitment process. Well, just imagine eating the same kind of food every day for weeks, you’ll eventually get bored.
This is exactly what happens when you join thousands of other applicants in using the same old, boring and repetitive words in your resume.
Recruiters are tired of scanning through CVs that look the same and if yours falls in this category, they won’t spend 10 seconds before tossing it in the trash.
You need to learn how to jazz up your resume with attention-grabbing power words that will make yours stand out from the rest.
Luckily for you, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of such words. This article will be focused on providing detailed information on what power words are, their types, benefits, and how and where you can use them in your resume.
What Are Power Words?
Power words are also referred to as action verbs and are used to highlight your experience and skills to make your resume stand out. Power words help to highlight your strengths and emphasise why you’re right for the job. Using power words in your resume and cover letter increases your chance of moving into the next phase of the recruitment process.
What Do Power Words Do?
Power words are important for several reasons. Here are some of the things you can achieve with power words-
Many recruiters are faced with the task of going through large volumes of applicants’ cover letters and resumes. A great number of them use repetitive and boring language. It will be hard for you to stand out if you’re using the same language as everyone else.
These power words can easily catch the attention of the recruiter, showing them that you have the right qualifications and skills to get the job done.
For example, instead of saying “Responsible for marketing at Company X”
You can say “Spearheaded content marketing operations at Company X’
The difference between these two statements is that the second one makes you seem a lot more competent.
Using industry terms while describing your previous job experiences is important. But more importantly, is making sure that your resume is readable and makes sense to someone outside your job role. If you use industry jargon to mention your skill and achievements, an employer who does not under such terms might not be unable to fully understand how qualified you are. Power words can help you explain better in clear terms while still sounding professional.
You may find yourself repeating certain words, especially when describing similar duties in a role. Replacing them with power words can add variety to your description.
For example instead of saying ” Responsible for managing a team of five customer service representatives”.
You can say ” Managed and mentored a team of five customer service representatives”.
Making it through the ATS
A type of power word, which are keywords, is necessary when you’re applying to a company that makes use of an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
The ATS works by eliminating resumes that are missing special keywords. This tracking system helps the employer to screen applications so that they only have to focus on the top candidates.
Your chances of successfully passing through the ATS and having your application read are greatly increased when you add these keywords (power words) to your resume.
Types Of Power Words
There are four types of powers words and we’ll explain them in detail below:
1. Action Verbs
Action verbs are words that highlight the skills you have used to achieve success in your previous job. This type of power word shows the employer that you have the abilities needed to perform well in the position you’ve applied for. Some examples of action verbs are:
2. Company Values
This is another type of power word that helps present you as a great fit not just for the job but for the company too. You need to use key terms that the company uses to describe itself in your resume. For instance, if the company describes itself as being innovative, you can incorporate the power word “innovate or innovative” into your resume. You can learn about these company languages and terms in the job listing or the “About Us” page on the company website.
3 . Popular Skill Words
Almost every employer wants to hire passionate employees, who have good leadership skills and are responsible. These are some examples of the skills that will always be in demand by employers. Try to use the kind of language that indicates that you possess these essential skills.
4 . Keywords
These are words that relate to the job requirements. Pay close attention to the words in the job listing or description, you’ll find certain keywords that you can incorporate into your resume or cover letter. Adding these words will tell the recruiter, at a glance that you have the requirements for the position. Some examples of keywords are:
Industry buzzwords and jargon
There are certain words and terms unique to every industry. Knowing and accurately inserting these industry buzzwords and jargon into your application tells the recruiter that you have the necessary hard skills.
More like keywords, you can learn about them in the job listing and use them to highlight your most relevant skills in your resume. Scatter these buzzwords all over your resume to show that you’re part of the industry. But be careful not to overdo it. Some examples are:
Where to use power words on your resume
Power words can be used all through your CV including the resume summary, job descriptions, experience and achievements section, skill and qualifications section, bullet points and statements.
However, just because they are called power words doesn’t make them immune to overuse. It’s advisable to limit usage to one or two power words per sentence. Repeating these power words will turn off recruiters. Instead, spice things up with a variety of terms that you are familiar with and that best describes your accomplishments.
100 power words you can include in your CV today
Resume power words for Leadership
1 . Authorize
2 . Delegate
3 . Critique
4 . Coach
5 . Assist
6 . Foster
7 . Inspire
8 . Oversee
9 . Enforce
Example: Lead a team of 3 social media marketers to increase company visibility and brand awareness on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Resume power words for Achievements
13 . Yielded
14 . Decreased
15 . Complete
16 . Conserve
17 . Exceed
18 . Reach
19 . Succeed
20 . Surpass
Example: Reduced monthly expenses by 35% by outsourcing smaller tasks and projects.
Resume Power words for Management
21 . Execute
22 . Establish
23 . Coordinate
24 . Track
25 . Handle
26 . Represent
27 . Manage
28 . Solve
29 . Report
30 . Inspect
Example: Coordinated data integrity in the firm’s applicant tracking system
Resume power words for Communication and Teamwork
31 . Informed
32 . Persuaded
33 . Clarified
34 . Facilitated
35 . Advised
36 . Collaborated
37 . Supported
38 . Guided
39 . Mentored
40 . Aided
41 . Publicized
42 . Instructed
Example: Mentored and instructed new employees on work duties and expectations
Resume power words to highlight your creativity
43 . Designed
44 . Drafted
45 . Formulated
46 . Spearheaded
48 . Built
49 . Modified
50 . Revitalised
51 . Pioneered
52 . Originated
53 . Conceptualise
54 . Adapted
Example: Built a sales funnel to drive organic traffic and increase conversion rate
Resume power words for Research, Planning and Analysis
55 . Discovered
56 . Detected
57 . Experimented
58 . Organized
59 . Conducted
60 . Assembled
61 . Examined
62 . Reviewed
63 . Assessed
64 . Analysed
Example: Organised meetings and handled all correspondence for the company
Resume power words to describe sales or customer service roles
65 . Boost
66 . Correspond
67 . Capture
68 . Convince
69 . Deliver
70 . Generate
71 . Earn
72 . Increase
Example: Generated 20% more sales in 2 months
Resume power words for describing technical roles
Example: Created an automated message response system for customer service.
Resume power words for problem-solving
85 . Calculated
86 . Budgeted
87 . Inventoried
88 . Projected
89 . Recorded
90 . Crafted
91 . Verified
92 . Audited
93 . Fixed
94 . Rectified
95 . Debugged
96 . Lessen
97 . Reconciled
98 . Corrected
99 . Rebuilt
Example: Debugged company’s internal operating systems, reducing cost by 10%
Power words are important additions to your resume, as they can help spice up and add variety to ensure that you do not get eliminated at the application screening stage either by the hiring manager or the applicant tracking system.
You can use these words in your resume summary, when stating your qualifications, skills and achievements and in your cover letter. All you need to do is carefully scan through the job listing to identify those key responsibilities which the employer is looking for and use them to your advantage. But remember, do not use more than one power word per sentence and avoid repeating the same sets of power words throughout your resume, so it doesn’t get boring or lose its value.