Are Wimpy Words Hurting Your Resume?

Monica T

Are Wimpy Words Hurting Your Resume?

I worked with a really talented guy who I thought would never leave the company where we worked … not because he didn’t want to leave … he did. I thought he would never leave because he sold himself so short in his resume, no one would hire him.

In a valiant attempt to not overstate his qualifications, he instead painted a picture to prospective employers that he wasn’t as good as he really was.

To improve his chances of being hired elsewhere, I encouraged him to use power words and quantitative results in his resume and to boldly state what he did and why it mattered. You can do the same. Here’s how:

Power up your resume

Instead of stating wimpy words in his resume, I encouraged him to use power words and phrases that stated what he had really accomplished.

WEAK: “Helped edit magazine articles.”

STRONGER: “Managed the award-winning editorial content of Blank magazine, the flagship publication of XYZ Company, the largest widget company in the world.”

Because I had worked with him, I knew both of the above statements were true, but the revised version captured the essence of why his contributions were so valuable.

Career Overview provides an excellent list of resume power words on its site.

ACTION STEP: Review the Career Overview list and then pump up your resume using the right power words and by stating as boldly as possible why what you did for past companies mattered.

Impress with numbers

It’s also important to include quantifiable statements in your resume to showcase the measurable contributions you made at various companies.

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Such statements could involve how your efforts:

  • increased sales or donations by $X or Y%.
  • brought about $X cost savings due to improved processes.
  • trained X employees in a new program, which resulted in a Y% increase in customer satisfaction, etc.

Job seekers often believe they have no quantifiable results, but that’s because they often forget that they may have been part of a team that brought about impressive results. In this instance, it’s perfectly acceptable to say something like, “Played a significant role in improving our department’s monthly sales results by XX%. Specifically, I grew sales by handling inside sales calls.” offers several examples about how to write quantifiable statements.

ACTION STEP: Add one to two quantifiable results to each of your past positions under the work history section of your resume.

Stamp out wimpy writing!

Pump up your resume with power words, quantifiable results and impressive statements that accurately relay how what you did made a difference at your past jobs. Doing so well can help you Get a Job!

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