In an extremely competitive job market, candidates need to be clinical and clever in making their resumes stand out from the crowd and including high impact phrases and keywords is one way to do it. Recruiters and human resources personnel assessing possibly hundreds of CVs in support of job applications will look for standout phrases that tell them this candidate understands what the job entails. It’s vital that you continually refine and polish your resume, editing out those weak and passive phrases that will fail to attract the right attention. Instead, go for high impact resume phrases.
Don’t be vague – your resume needs to be action-packed, to sell you as a forward-thinking, dynamic individual who would be an asset to any organization. So bin the passive words and phrases that are bland and add nothing about you, your experience or your ability. Include industry specific words that relate both to your experience and the job you’re applying for.
Stock and over-used phrases to avoid include “responsible for” or “duties included”. Instead turn these statements into active phrases, such as “managed” or “directed”.
While soft skills are certainly part of the all-round ability that employers look for in candidates, these sort of skills are not as important as ability and experience and neither are they particularly unique to you – for example, every applicant will claim to have excellent communication skills or a strong work ethic. Your resume should focus more on providing examples of exactly where you showed excellent communication skills or proved your work ethic was strong. Think of the obvious words you would normally use to describe your skills and experience – and bin them.
Don’t say you’re a problem solver. Do say you are proactive, a strategic thinker or troubleshooter.
Every employee should be results driven so instead say you’re performance driven – you’re telling employers that all aspects of the role are important to you, not simply the end result. And that brings us on to the phrase “team player”, as hackneyed a claim as any out there. Don’t use it but provide examples of where you worked as part of a team or led a team – accomplishments are much more impressive.
Don’t write out your proven track record. Your achievements and accomplishments do that for you. And for the same reason, it’s simply redundant to tell potential employers that you’re successful at what you do. They can read, they can see what you’ve done and can judge for themselves how successful you are.
Your resume should be a constant work in progress, updated regularly with new achievements and experience, and ruthlessly edited to remove dated or outmoded practices. If you do that and use action phrases and keywords that attract attention, your CV will definitely catch the right attention.
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