Your resume has a lot of work to do. It needs to introduce you to potential employers and impress them enough to help you get an interview. In addition, your resume must do all of that in a very short amount of time. For this reason, you should ensure that you give your resume the best chance of success by using the right language.
Finding the perfect words to use in your resume will vary by the job because every employer is looking for a different set of keywords for each of the positions that they need to fill. Working those keywords into your resume will help it to stand out in employers’ eyes. Focus on nouns, such as the names of processes, specific hardware and software tools, or skills and certifications that align with the needs of the employer. You can learn a lot from studying an employer’s website and job description. Inserting keywords near the top of your resume can also help it to stand out in the eyes of human resources personnel and computerized resume searches.
Once you have your keywords in place, look over your employment history to ensure that it’s as legible as possible. If the official titles of your previous positions are non-standard, they may not articulate your experience in the best way possible. If you have non-standard job titles on your resume, consider using standard terms instead.
Moreover, you can do a lot stylistically to make your resume stronger. Try not to use many adverbs and adjectives. Rather than stuffing your resume with words like “effectively” and “dynamic,” let your accomplishments speak for themselves. Respect the hiring manager’s time by sticking closely to the facts and using quantitative language like “increased sales by 50 percent” whenever possible.
Moreover, when describing your previous responsibilities and accomplishments, use powerful verbs and an active voice. Words like “oversaw” trump phrases like “duties included.” Utilizing the active voice means using phrasing like “I created reports” rather than “Reports were created by me.”