A hiring manager typically spends 6-10 seconds on their first review of a resume. If they don’t see the keywords they’re looking for in that first glance, your resume probably won’t receive any further consideration.

So what keywords are managers looking for? Of course they are looking for your experience with the particular position and job responsibilities, but they are also looking for specific adjectives that describe what you can accomplish.

Many buzz words are overused on resumes, to the point of being meaningless. These words have become stale and generic, and often simply describe attributes that are already expected of most employees:

  • Flexible
  • Highly qualified
  • Hard worker
  • Innovative
  • Effective
  • Competent
  • Team player
  • Responsible/Reliable
  • Problem solver
  • Expert

Rather than detailing the personality traits you believe you offer, showcase what you’ve done. The best words to use on your resume will show an action taken and an end result, and will more specifically describe your previous accomplishments and the talents you’ll bring to a new employer:

  • Achieved
  • Improved
  • Trained
  • Increased/decreased
  • Launched
  • Negotiated
  • Maximized
  • Facilitated
  • Strengthened
  • Developed

With dozens, sometimes hundreds, of applicants applying for job openings, it’s very important to stand out from the crowd. Highlight your accomplishments, focus on keywords, and avoid overused verbiage to get your resume to the top of the pile!