Power words. They belong on executive resumes. We know they’re mostly verbs.
We know they’re embedded in your descriptions of your responsibilities, skills, and accomplishments.
However, we don’t know which words deliver the best results — interviews and job offers.
Power Words That Won Jobs
Last year, several of my resume clients got new jobs very quickly. For example, I sent one client a draft of his resume and then didn’t hear back from him. Odd. After a month, I emailed him a “What’s up?” and he replied that he had a new job. Best answer!
Given this, I decided to review the resumes of my most quickly hired clients and pull together a list of market-proven power words.
It’s no surprise that clients who showed their ability to make things happen at work landed new jobs quickly.
My study revealed that resumes that emphasized “what,” the change, progress, and results my clients obtained, quickly won interviews and job offers. 72% of the words on this list are “what” verbs.
“How” my clients achieved their “whats” mattered too. Resumes that highlighted classic managerial and situational awareness skills got attention. In addition, resumes that described “how” my clients related to and led people got the nod. 28% of the words on this list are “how” words.
Compare Your Resume to the List
Check your resume. Look for about a 70/30 distribution between “what” and “how” verbs. If you want a better balance between “what” and “how” verbs, the lists below give you market-proven performers. They helped my clients get interviews and six-figure jobs very quickly. I hope they’re helpful to you too.
Updated September 2018.
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