10 Words You Should Have On Your Resume But Probably Don’t

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10 Words You Should Have On Your Resume But Probably Don’t

Having just finished a list of the worst words to use on a resume, I thought I’d share my list of best (and favorite) resume words. Because let’s face it, standing out from the crowd is not just hard – it’s hard work, too.

Let’s start with a few rules about what makes a word “good” vs. horrid. First, the word in question shouldn’t repeat more than once or twice throughout the document. Second, the word shouldn’t be boring! And finally, if you see a lot of other folks using it, avoid it. I personally dislike following the crowd and am not a rule follower. The one exception is if you see a word repeated by multiple job ads, then jump on board. I realize that this might seem contradictory, but there is a difference between evaluating an ad for keywords and being a lemming and conforming to the crowd.


  1. Rescued – I love this word because not only does it convey action, but it clearly portrays you as a change agent.
  2. Produced – When talking about something quantifiable (such as revenue), this is a great alternative to the word “generated.”
  3. Immediately – Using an adverb to begin a bullet is a great alternative to traditional (and overused) verbs.
  4. Redefined – Another of my favorites, it implies purposeful planning and strategy.
  5. Promoted – If you’ve recently earned a promotion, then say it! I especially like beginning a bullet with “Promoted to take over xyz and successfully….”
  6. Overcame – Immediately putting you in the “win” column, it implies that there was an inherent challenge – that you handled it – and ended up on top.
  7. Took charge – So this is more of a phrase than a single word, but it still lands at the top of my list. I love how it leaves an impression of true leadership.
  8. Sped up – Also a phrase, I like this as an alternative to the overly used resume word “accelerated” which I consider as old, tired, and canned.
  9. Crafted – This is hands-down, one of my favorites. I love this word. I use it frequently in place of more common words like “created” or “designed.”
  10. Rallied – Implying a strong sense of teamwork and collaboration, I’ll begin a bullet with “Rallied internal support” or “Rallied a diverse community behind….”

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but just some of my favorites. And did you know that the Oxford Dictionary contains more than 171K distinct words? There’s even more reason to never repeat a word on your resume.


By | 2017-07-05T18:58:39+00:00 March 25th, 2017|Resume Writing|0 Comments

About the Author:

I'm a professional resume writer, recruiter, and job search guru who works with clients from every walk of life - CEO to software engineer, advertising executive, teacher, mechanic, doctor or even mortician (true story). My specialty is crafting individualized documents, telling my clients' stories - and making them shine.

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