You may have seen on various jobsites the expression “power words” when you are searching a job. At first glance, this looks like a buzzword, but for a change, an expression like this actually has real meaning. Power words are words which create and expand additional meanings within your resume information.
Power words overview – A couple of examples
Power words are not buzzwords. Buzzwords come and go, but power words retain their value.
For example –
One long-standing power word is the word “accelerated”. This work can be used in relation to a range of business operations, responsibilities, and achievements in a resume. The word accelerated also relates to performance. This is a very straightforward but very useful example of a real power word at work.
Another, seemingly innocuous, but very potent power word is the word “built”. If you consider the possible uses of the word “built” in context with organizations, projects, business operations, you can see its value. The word “built” relates to structural factors within a role or job. That’s what makes it a very powerful word. It means that the use of the word relates to an individual’s performance in relation to a very important type of business or operation or function.
Choosing power words for your resume
Not every power word will do for your resume. Some powerful words for resume are useful alternatives to other expressions. Fortunately, you can use synonyms for power words almost as effectively in many cases. Alternatively, you can use alternating or reciprocal power words in your resume.
For example –
You can use the words “built”, “structured”, “constructed”, and similar words in context with each other. You don’t lose the value of the power word by replacing with words which have a similar meaning.
When choosing your power words, look for the word which is most appropriate, most relevant, and most expressive. The power of expression is important. One word may look very bland and boring, where another looks highly expressive. Even if the words mean basically the same thing, how and where these words are used is very important.
Writing and editing your resume using power words
Best practice when writing resumes is to target your resume to the job application. That means that your power words will have to be adapted to the job in question. When searching for powerful words for your resume, consider at least a couple of words if you’re not sure which word is the best. Don’t use power words “on principle”; use them where they will have the best effect.
Be very conscious of the appropriateness of your choice of words, too. A word like “enriched” is a good power word, but only in the right context. If used in the wrong context, the word may look ridiculous, or arguably worse, pretentious.
Some of the best advice which has ever been given to anybody is “Think before you speak.” In this case, the advice is “Think before you write.”
For some good examples of power words, the meetings and uses, see this link.