Adjectives to Include on a Resume that Stand Out – ZipJob

Jul 31, 2017

Written by Caitlin Proctor

Written by Caitlin Proctor

Career Expert, ZipJob

An average of 250 resumes are sent for a single opening. See how Zipjob uses professional writers and technology to get your resume noticed.

When it comes to your resume, word choice can be as important as the detailed information you present. Even the best skills and accomplishments can seem lackluster if they’re presented in a dull, uninspiring manner. Chances are, you already understand the importance of using powerful action verbs to connect with your audience. However, those verbs aren’t enough by themselves. To be truly effective, you also need to know the best adjectives to include on a resume.

The Benefit of Knowing Which Adjectives to Include on a Resume

For most people, writing tends to be a straightforward process that tries to convey information in the simplest way possible. Clarity is a good thing, of course, but when you are so focused on clarity that you ignore the need to inspire, the results seldom inspire the reader.

Adjectives can help you to break out of that dull pattern and create a resume that separates you from the crowd. Use the right power adjectives, and you’ll soon have more interviews than you ever dreamed possible.

Great adjectives breathe life into an otherwise dry and mundane presentation. That’s important, since most hiring managers see so many resumes that it’s easy to dismiss most of them.

To spark their interest, make sure that yours paints an inspiring picture. That will elicit the right kind of response and ensure that your resume is given the consideration it deserves. And when you choose the right adjectives, you can better demonstrate who you are as a person and an employee.

Keep in mind not to include resume buzzwords that hiring managers hate seeing on a resume. Here is a list of resume buzzwords never to include on a resume. 

Start with the Job Posting

The first step to choosing your adjectives involves a search of the employer’s job posting. Any adjectives included in that ad are likely there for a reason.

Moreover, companies that utilize applicant tracking systems often have the software screening resumes based on those job descriptions. You already know the importance of including that job description’s keywords in your resume. You can bolster your chances of surviving the ATS process by including those adjectives as well.

Naturally, that reliance on the job posting will also help to keep the rest of your resume focused as well. Once you can discern the key points in any job description, you will be able to tailor your resume to that employer’s needs. That tailoring process is necessary to ensure that your resume properly emphasizes the value that you can bring to that company. Your use of powerful and descriptive adjectives will help to drive that message.

Select Adjectives That Fit

Of course, adjectives shouldn’t be used in a haphazard way. You must ensure that the adjectives that you use fit your skills and accomplishments. There are certain adjectives that seem to work better with specific skill sets and work history.

For example:

Finance-Related Adjectives to Include on a Resume

If your profession is finance-related, then there are certain words that will stand out to employers.

They include adjectives like:

  • Trustworthy
  • Reliable
  • Thorough
  • Honest
  • Organized

These adjectives tend to describe the qualities that employers look for when they’re hiring someone to look after their money or financial records.

Technology-Related Adjectives to Include on a Resume

You will want to focus on different types of adjectives if you’re in a tech-related field. With technology jobs, things like creativity and efficiency are valued above most other qualities.

You can use adjectives like:

  • Meticulous
  • Challenging
  • Proficient,
  • Innovative
  • Efficient

Customer Service Adjectives to Include on a Resume

Many jobs require some level of interaction with customers or business clients. Fortunately, there are adjectives that describe the skill set needed for these types of jobs. You will likely want to describe yourself as patient and courteous. Sociable, cheerful, and pleasant are also good descriptive adjectives to spruce up any customer service resume.

Management-Related Adjectives to Include on a Resume

Don’t just rely on dull terms to describe your management skills. Break out some powerful adjectives and watch your skill descriptions come to life. Try using words like organized and disciplined to describe your ability to manage a team or project and keep people and processes on target. Decisive, strategic, and proactive are all powerful adjectives that can convey your leadership style and vision.

Other Adjectives That May Fit Your Unique Skill Set

Obviously, there are far too many worthwhile adjectives to include in this brief format. The thing to remember is that you just need to find the right descriptive terms to bring added flare to your descriptions. Words like flexible, determined, committed, dynamic, enthusiastic, persistent, loyal, logical, methodical, consistent, and professional are just a few of the many adjectives from which you can choose.

Be Careful Not to Overdo It

As important as adjectives can be during any resume improvement process, it’s still important to avoid using too many. There is a fine line between using the right number of well-placed adjectives and overuse. Read through your resume when you’re done with it and ask yourself one question: do the adjectives enhance the message or detract from it? If you find yourself lingering over the descriptive language, then chances are that you went too far. Have several other people read the document as well and ask them how it makes them feel. That can help you to better assess your adjective use, and provide insight that can help you revise the piece.

Show, Don’t Tell

Finally, don’t forget our most basic rule for resume word choice: always provide examples to support your claims. If you claim to be determined, for example, cite an example of a time when your determination provided tangible benefits to a past employer. Don’t just describe yourself as creative; explain what that means, citing examples from your previous jobs. You get the picture. Always provide clear examples that show how those qualities manifest themselves through your achievements.

Adjectives to Include on a Resume

The important thing is to ensure that you use clear and powerful adjectives to convey your skills and accomplishments. Those adjectives, along with your power verbs and other carefully-chosen words, will help you to convey exactly the right message to any potential employer. In the end, your ability to effectively deliver that message could be the key to convincing that employer that you’re the perfect candidate for the job!

An average of 250 resumes are sent for a single opening. See how Zipjob uses professional writers and technology to get your resume noticed.

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