Ever have trouble finding the right words to manage your resume and cover letter information? You’re not alone. Many people aren’t comfortable using buzzwords. Others aren’t too sure about how to use effective expressions.

There’s another problem – Writing a resume often makes people very self-conscious, which makes finding the right expression a bit harder. “This is me I’m talking about!” is a pretty understandable perspective.

Strong verbs, defined

Verbs, in particular can be problematic. Finding the right word out of thin air is a typical problem for professional writers, let alone people trying to write resumes. When you’re writing a resume, you have to describe the things you do and things you’ve done. That means using verbs.

The best way to manage your verbs is to consider alternatives and compare them. You can use synonyms, for example. You’ll usually find a few words which will be in the ballpark, and look a lot better than repeating the same words.

“Strong verbs” are those which express well and look good. A word like “advocate”, for example, implies a formal process and level of expertise. You can see the logical connections in relation to a resume.

Strong verbs also have some other associations. “Negotiate”, for example, relates to your status as a negotiator, a key role in some of the most important jobs in the world. These words create an image, as well as describing your work and roles.

Using strong verbs in your resume

If you’re doing a complex job, or managing a challenging situation, how you express that situation really matters. Strong verbs are often the most appropriate words. They deliver more value, more emphasis, and more definition to your actions.

When describing your actions, the expressions you use are the basic values your readers see.

Consider these two expressions:

  • Manage customer complaints
  • Client relations management

They’re not synonymous expressions. These two expressions can involve quite different situations, although they can obviously overlap. There’s a big difference. Client relations management is a very broad role, where “customer complaints” is a very limited role. You can see why your choice of words on your resume matters so much.

Another example of the meaning of verbs which is very important, managing meanings:

“Moderated” and “negotiated” don’t mean the same thing. They’re actually very different, but both are extremely important.

  • “I moderated…” means you acted as a middle person between two parties.
  • “I negotiated…” can only be on behalf of a party. You can’t negotiate for both parties in a dispute.

This is leading to a point – When using strong verbs for your resume make sure your usage is correct.

When choosing verbs for your resume always check that your usage is in context and appropriate. Use of expressions depends on them being correct, as well as interesting.

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