What language to use when writing your resume

What language to use when writing your resume

When it comes to writing a great resume, most guides explain the general format it should be in, for example, what sections to include, and where to include them. But when it comes to what language to use, the vast majority of guides fall short. That’s why, in this short article, we have listed some of the key ways to use language in your resume in order to impress and persuade your recruiter. Also, we were lucky enough to get in touch with the writer over at CVGuru.no, Ingvild Aagre to have some better insights into what’s actually important when thinking about language in a resume (she has already written over 1200 resumes for their clients this year!).

Verbs that pack a punch!

By using stronger and more vivid verbs to describe your accomplishments, you are able to magnify them beyond the dry “happenings” most people write about in their resumes. Let’s take an example: I was the manager of an organization that achieved its goals.

Naturally, this is something anyone would want in their new manager: someone who can help their organization reach its goals. However, the way in which it is said is not very convincing or impressive. Utilizing verbs that pack a punch, it would look like this: Synergized and developed an organization that surpassed its goals.

It’s clear that, if you just use a few of these verbs that add a little more force, the whole idea sells much better. Try to see if you can insert some of the following verbs into your application: directed, led, empowered, energized, inspired, trained, encouraged.

Statistics and numbers

If you really want to convince your recruiter employer that you’re done some amazing things, simply add statistics and numbers to your statements. If you do this, the recruiter becomes aware of what specific accomplishments you’ve had, and can therefore relate better to it. Continuing with the same sentence as above: I was the manager in an organization that achieved its goals. This turns into Synergized and developed an organization that surpassed its goals by 200%. Think about whether you can add any percentages, numbers, calculations, or other statistics and numbers to showcase the scope of your achievements.

girl reading a book about grammer

A young schoolgirl reading the Oxford dictionary

Referring to the past

When you apply for a job, most of your accomplishments will have happened in the past. Therefore, you don’t write that “I synergize and develop an organization that surpasses its goals by 200%,” since no one can tell whether you can replicate that achievement. You simply state it in the way it has already happened. If you’re currently working somewhere, however, you should of course describe the job responsibilities (using powerful verbs and statistics whenever you can). A present tense statement would look like this: I synergize and develop an organization to accomplish its goals.

Adapt the application

One of the major mistakes people make when sending out their resume to employers is using the same generic text for everyone. In order to separate yourself from the crowd, more is required. By adapting the application to each specific employer, you’re able to show how your unique set of skills and experiences can help their unique organization to achieve their goals. It doesn’t make much sense to tell a store manager how you can save their clients from drowning if you’ve previously worked in a pool, right? Or to tell a pool manager that you’re always happy to show customers the way to the dairy section?

Finishing touches

This is a point that shouldn’t even need to be mentioned. Recruiters abhor seeing blunders in your application. To make sure this doesn’t happen, go through your text several times, reading it silently in your head as well as out loud, so you can be absolutely certain that there are no faults in your document.

If you apply the simple points in this article to your own resume, you’ll be well on your way to impressing and persuading recruiters to call you in for an interview and ultimately hire you.

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