Good descriptive words for resumes

Written by denise brandenberg
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Good descriptive words for resumes
Avoid overused buzz words in your resume. (resume image by Danil Vachegin from

Resumes are often the first impression you make on a prospective employer. Good resumes can lead to in-person job interviews and ultimately to job offers. Choosing the best descriptive words to describe both yourself and your abilities is imperative to your job hunt. Make sure you are using the right words and that your resume represents you in the best light.

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Adaptive Behavior Descriptors

Most employers are looking for job candidates that have the necessary skill sets and appropriate work and educational backgrounds. Besides these hard skill sets, they are looking for someone who will learn quickly and fit in with their established company culture. Use descriptive words that communicate your ability to be a team player and contribute to the organisation. According to the Job Seeker Tips website, some of these types of descriptive words include "professional," "punctual," "versatile" and "problem solver." Some job seekers use "mature," "motivated," "responsible" and "industrious" to make the best first impression on recruiters. Other good adaptive descriptors are "leader" and "productive."

Personality Descriptors

Some potential employers would prefer to hire someone who has less experience, but the perfect personality rather than someone with the perfect background but a less-than-stellar attitude. Make sure your resume is advertising your natural strengths and personality traits that are often transferable from job to job. For example, use words including "energetic," "enthusiastic," "courteous" and "helpful" to describe how you normally treat your peers and your overall attitude.

Specific Position Descriptors

If you are applying for a creative position, consider using "expressive," "imaginative," "intuitive," "original" and "resourceful" to describe yourself. If you are applying for a more serious, analytical position, use descriptors such as "conscientious," "dependable," "intelligent," "well organized" and "methodical."

Descriptive Words to Avoid

Many job seekers add empty buzz words to their resumes in an attempt to stand out in keyword-scanning resume scans. However, this often leads to cliché resumes that can actually make a bad first impression on recruiters. Rather than adding overused descriptive words, make sure you're using specific examples of your past accomplishments. For example, instead of describing yourself as "hard-working" or "ambitious," use "dedicated" or "focused" and then give a specific quantitative example of a goal you met in a previous position. Some other words to avoid include "successful" and "experienced."

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