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Get Your English Resume Noticed with These Power Words

Use these words on your English resume that show you are worth hiring.

The purpose of a resume is to communicate to the reader that you are someone who has achieved results in your previous jobs and that you will be able to achieve results for your next company too. The best way to do this is choosing verbs that signal real, meaningful action.

Firstly, it's important to know that a common way of describing your responsibilities and achievements in your previous jobs is to use a list with bullet points. When you use a bullet list, it is easier for someone to read and get the main points quickly without needing to read long sentences and paragraphs. This is important because most managers and recruiters need to read a lot of resumes when looking for a new employee, and they don't want a resume that requires a lot of time to read.

When you use a bullet list to describe your responsibilities and achievements in your previous jobs, you don't need to use the pronoun "I" at the beginning because it is a bullet point and not a sentence (so the subject can be removed). Instead, you can start with just a verb in present or past base form. If you are describing any job that you are not doing anymore, you want to use past base form (past simple tense).

Look at the following list of verbs and see if you can use any of them to describe what you achieved in your last job. Each verb is in present simple tense and past simple tense.

Lead/Led: use this if you were responsible for a department, team, or group of people. When you are talking about people, it’s better to say “lead” than “manage” because leadership sounds more powerful.

  • Led a team of 25 sales representatives…

Improve/Improved: use this if you made a process better, either individually or as part of your group. The object is something that is better now because of you.

  • Improved communication and coordination between departments….

Achieve/Achieved: use this if you had a target or goal and you were able to successfully reach it. The object should be a result that was your goal.

  • Achieved an 80% client satisfaction rating….

Train/Trained: use this if there were new employees and you were responsible for training or helping them develop their skills. This is valuable because the ability to teach others what you know is needed in any kind of company. You can also use the verb “mentor” if you were given the specific task of being an example to a new employee.

  • Trained new team members as part of the onboarding process…

Resolve/Resolved: use this if there were problems that you needed to fix in your job. The object should be some kind of problem. This is valuable because companies like people who can fix problems.

  • Resolved client problems at the branch level…

Contribute (to)/Contributed (to): use this if you added your ideas, information, or skill to a common goal with your team. This will express that you were an important part of this team effort. The object should be a task or goal that involved other people.

  • Contributed to team projects, including the development of…

Boost/Boosted: this verb is similar to “increase” and can describe something that increased because of your work, like sales or productivity. It helps to have numbers to support this to prove that it’s true.

  • Boosted revenue by 15% and operating profit by 12% at our business unit....

Reduce/Reduced: use this if something was bad and you were able to make it happen less often. The object should be something that happened too much in the past (a problem) and you were able to make it decrease. Again, it helps to have numbers to prove that this is true.

  • Reduced staff turnover each year between 2017 and 2020…

Coordinate/Coordinated: use this if you were able to get different groups to communicate and work together successfully. It’s difficult to get everyone “on the same page” so this is an important skill.

  • Coordinated the efforts of employees from three teams to successfully produce…

Facilitate/Facilitated: use this if you made a process easier. The object should be a process or action.

  • Facilitated the integration of a new CRM program which…

Implement/Implemented: use this if you put an idea into practice. The object should be a strategy, plan, system, or policy.

  • Implemented an emergency COVID-19 preventative action plan at our main office…

Earn/Earned: use this if you received recognition, a reward, a promotion, or anything else positive as a result of your hard work and success.

  • Earned three promotions from Junior Account Specialist to Director of Accounts over five years with the company.


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