The words you utilize on your resume matter. Don’t you wish there was another word for utilize? It sounds so multi-syllabic.
Regardless, the words you use on your resume matter.
Oh, that’s better! Use, not utilize!
Write As You Speak
I like the first sentence more than the second sentence.
Why? Because use is simpler and easier to say than utilize.
When we speak, we say used. We don’t say utilized.
So why do people frequently use, I mean utilize, no, I mean use, the word utilize on their resume when they can utilize, I mean use, the word use? I have no idea.
Strengthen Your Resume by Exchanging Utilize with Use
A quick way to power up your resume up is to find the words utilize and utilized and replace them with use and used.
You can use Word’s Edit/Find/Replace commands like this:
View all my “how to” videos on my Donna Svei YouTube Channel.
But wait, there’s another, often better option!
Don’t Even Ask, “Utilize vs. Use?”
Rewrite the sentence.
“Use” is a sorry, weak, little verb.
You don’t have to be stuck on the horns of the use vs. utilize and utilize vs. use dilemmas.
You can sidestep confusion by avoiding both words.
Is it Utilize or Utilise?
Yeah, see. Now we don’t even have to go there.
Let’s Rewrite Some Real Resume Language
Example 1 (as received)
Utilize my skills in a senior administrative role to provide leadership and direction for all fiscal areas as well as office administration, human resources, and technology.
Example 1 (as re-written)
CFO with record of significant contributions to business operations, earnings, and growth.
Example 2 (as received)
Over 15 years of supervisory experience utilizing strong team development skills.
Example 2 (as re-written)
Recruited, trained, and motivated high-performing staff members who function collaboratively as an effective team.
Placing Keywords, A Good Use of the Word Use
Example 3 (as received)
Utilized PRISM to create modifications to contracts.
Example 3, (as re-written)
Used PRISM to create contract modifications.
This example is a good place to choose the word “used.”
Because PRISM, a software application, was a keyword that the ATS was searching for to identify qualified candidates.
“Used” is often helpful in placing a keyword or phrase in a resume.
Have you searched your resume for the words utilize and utilized? How many times did you find them? None? Fantastic!
One or more?
First, ask yourself if you can eliminate “utilized” and “used” altogether by re-writing the sentence to describe results.
If not, swap in “used” for “utilized” to make your resume read more naturally.
Updated August 2018
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