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Home > Blog: Resumes > Using Power Verbs to Get the Interview

Using Power Verbs to Get the Interview

Verbs are the action of a sentence; they are the part that packs all of the punch. And if you want to get the interview, you’d better have power and impact.

But most job seekers brush through their word choice, sticking with commonly used and passive verbs, which practically put hiring managers to sleep. So, today, we are going to give you the power to change that!

Word choice - and specifically verbs - signify more than just what you accomplished. Verbs signify the perception of your education (or lack thereof), your intelligence and even how much ownership you take over your work. Don’t believe me? Check out these examples:

Example One: The Sales Guy

I was responsible for the Pacific NW Territory

I grew the Pacific NW territory by 20% YOY or
I opened 4 markets in the Pacific NW, each reached profitability
in less than 7 months

Example Two: The IT Guy

I managed online software development

I owned the deployment of 26 games to a base of 269,00 users
I improved the game deployment process, cutting time and costs by 5%

Which person would you hire?
Lucky for you, there are two simple steps to using great, powerful, impactful verbs on your resume. So, let’s walk through them one at a time. But, before we get started, I need you to think of one line on your resume to use as an example. Thinking... thinking... got it? Good!

STEP ONE: Identify the Accomplishment
To really make a verb pop, they should highlight an accomplishment, rather than a responsibility. In other words, they should focus on the outcome of your work, rather than the process of getting it done. This is a key differentiator on your resume and the verbs you chose to go along with an accomplishment exude ownership and action, rather than a passive job description.

STEP TWO: Pick a Verb with Impact
So now that you know what you want to say, we need to figure out the best way to say it! Test out a few verbs for each line, making sure that NONE of them are passive -- responsible for is the biggest culprit in the category. To help, you can find a (free) list of 297 active verbs here!

How will you know when you’ve found the right one?
You’ll know because you’ll be impressed with your own accomplishment. It is great that you owned that project or that you lead that conference, or that you increased the revenue! So keep trying, until you impress yourself!

About the Author

Rebecca Rapple is the founder of The Resume Revolution – the fast track to your dream job! She dishes out a weekly dose of inspiration and practical wisdom each Monday through her newsletter – The Fast Track – join today!


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