En Route: A Career Blog

Choose Your Words Carefully When Designing Your Resume

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
CATEGORY: ,
POSTED: September 12, 2013 at 1:32 pm

 

The hallmark of a quality resume is that it delivers sufficient information without being overwhelming. That can only happen if you choose your words carefully. Select words that express your meaning in simple, clear and concise terms.

How Creative are You, Really? 

When it comes to the use of adjectives, many people sprinkle them freely throughout their resume, without giving sufficient thought to their meaning. Using a laundry list of descriptive terms to describe yourself, such as “a highly creative, self-motivated, detail-oriented accountant,” does little to advance your purpose, especially if you are merely reusing the same words found in an employer’s post. Employers frown on the use of empty buzzwords because they hold little meaning.

Instead of telling a potential new employer you’re creative, demonstrate it. Describe your experience in creative ways and tell of actions you’ve successfully undertaken that demanded your creativity. Don’t just say you’re detail-oriented; show it by creating a stellar resume, free of typos, bad grammar and wordiness. Whichever words you choose to describe yourself, make sure to explain why.

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Saying Less, Gets You More 

Recruiters and hiring managers, like everyone else, value their time. They don’t want to spend endless hours reviewing resumes trying to find hidden information.

Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for them to see your skills. The ones they’re looking for. Don’t try to fill up every inch of white space. Simply include enough details to grab their attention by demonstrating you possess the experience required to do the job. Nothing more; nothing less. 

One of the best ways to sell yourself in a short amount of space is to quantify your accomplishments – your results. As freelance writer and human resources consultant Deborah S. Hildebrand suggests in her post, “Use Numbers to Quantify Your Work Experience and Get a Job”:

She writes, “The fact is that numbers further define your work experience and help to tell the complete story about your skills and abilities. Utilizing numbers allows you to communicate to hiring companies what you are truly capable of achieving and why they should hire you.”

Darlene Z.

Darlene Zambruski is a resume writing expert and CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) with more than 13 years of industry experience. She has authored 10,000+ resumes in every industry and at every career level.

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