Three little words can make a big difference when it comes to upping the wattage of your resume.

by Kristen Fischer


Here’s some advice from a gal who writes resumes for a living: verbiage is important.

That’s why I’d like to talk about a few words that can help make your resume sparkle. Use these as you freshen up your resume and give it the power words necessary to help you land the gig you want.

1. Responded

I like this one best for recent grads because it offers a fancy way to detail how you answered calls and memos. And we all know that during your internships or summer jobs, you managed a lot of busy work. Instead of stating that you answered telephone calls, you can use it to say you responded to customer inquiries. It shows that you can leverage even the most piddly experience into a diplomatic document.

2. Generated

This is another great word for grads to use to help make busy work jobs sound a little more appealing. Did you put together executive reports while you rotted away at that much-required internship? Don’t just say that you compiled reports—state that you generated them. It’s a power word that shows you can make things happen.

3. Innovated

I love this word because it goes beyond what “created” can say. Use this one to highlight what you did that went above and beyond. For example, did you create a new spreadsheet that helped to better organize employee training schedules? Say that you innovated it! Again, it’s just a simple synonym, but it offers a bit more powered than the standard “I made that.” Use it for little things—anything—that you did to improve business processes; this shows that you work to improve corporate objectives.

Here’s something to remember: It’s okay to jazz up your resume with fancy words and action verbs that state what you’ve done and what you’re capable of. But it’s not cool to lie about things. So, for example, if you only took part in paper-shuffling, make sure your resume makes it clear that you didn’t invent the company’s next strategic plan—even though just by stapling it you did get some real-world work exposure!

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