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Resume Vocabulary

Posted on 05-Feb-2016 05:49 PM

The Value of Simplicity and Clarity

If you want people to read your CV, your language must be simple and clear:

  • Use short words and short sentences.
  • Do not use technical vocabulary, unless you are sure that the reader will understand it.
  • Talk about concrete facts ("I increased sales by 50%"), not abstract ideas("I was responsible for a considerable improvement in our market position").
  • Use verbs in the active voice ("I organised this exhibition"), not passivevoice ("This exhibition was organised by me"). Generally, the active voice is more powerful, and easier to understand.

The Power of Action Verbs

Certain words are used frequently by recruiters in their job descriptions. You can study recruiters' advertisements and job descriptions and try to use these words in your CV and covering letter.

The most powerful words are verbs. And the most powerful verbs are actionverbs. (Action verbs describe dynamic activity, not state).

  • verbs of action: sell, manage
  • verbs of state: be, exist

So you should use plenty of action verbs matched to your skills, and use them in the active form, not the passive form. Which of these two sentences do you think is the more powerful?

  • active form: increased sales by a hundred percent.
  • passive form: Sales were increased by a hundred percent.

Power Words to Use

Here are some typical action verbs categorised by skill:

Communication skills

  • address
  • arbitrate
  • correspond
  • draft
  • edit
  • lecture
  • mediate
  • motivate
  • negotiate
  • persuade
  • present
  • publicise
  • reconcile
  • speak
  • write

Management skills

  • assign
  • attain
  • chair
  • coordinate
  • delegate
  • direct
  • execute
  • organise
  • oversee
  • plan
  • recommend
  • review
  • strengthen
  • supervise
  • train

Research skills

  • collect
  • critique
  • define
  • detect
  • diagnose
  • evaluate
  • examine
  • explore
  • extract
  • identify
  • inspect
  • interpret
  • investigate
  • summarise
  • survey

Technical skills

  • assemble
  • build
  • calculate
  • devise
  • engineer
  • fabricate
  • maintain
  • operate
  • overhaul
  • program
  • remodel
  • repair
  • solve
  • upgrade

Creative skills

  • conceptualise
  • create
  • design
  • fashion
  • form
  • illustrate
  • institute
  • integrate
  • invent
  • originate
  • perform
  • revitalise
  • shape

Financial skills

  • administer
  • allocate
  • analyse
  • appraise
  • audit
  • balance
  • budget
  • calculate
  • control
  • compute
  • develop
  • forecast
  • project

Sales skills

  • sell
  • convert
  • close
  • deal
  • persuade
  • highlight
  • satisfy
  • win over
  • sign

Teaching skills

  • advise
  • clarify
  • coach
  • elicit
  • enable
  • encourage
  • explain
  • facilitate
  • guide
  • inform
  • instruct
  • persuade
  • stimulate
  • train

 

Source: englishclub