Your resume should provide a “word-picture” of your background, experiences and results.  The phrase “word-picture” is the key to differentiate you from everyone else when competing for the same job. Word-pictures need to project action and results, not activities. Here are some examples:


WEAK WORDS – Words you should avoid, as they don’t specify the “what” or “how”.

  • Results oriented – What does that really mean? It sounds like someone marketing themselves without results.  The hiring manager wants to know what you’ve actually accomplished, not generic words of praise.
  • Forward thinking – This is a meaningless comment. How do you measure or prove this claim?  When the hiring manager says, “Give me some examples to demonstrate forward thinking”, what do you say?
  • Responsible for – This is one of the key mistakes of weak words in a resume. Most everyone else will have had the same responsibilities in a job class.  What the hiring manager wants to know is, “What are you going to do for me better than all others?”.
  • Maintained – Another weak word. Hiring managers want someone who can grow the function, create better results and be more effective, not just maintain the status quo.
  • Proposed – This is someone who has no results to offer, only ideas of something that may or may not work. A terrible word for a resume looking for a higher-level job.
  • Excellent ______ (fill in the word like: Communicator, worker, team member, analyst, producer) These should be the words from your references, not from you.
  • Accomplished – Unless you have documented metrics to back it up, better to leave it off your resume.“An accomplished employee” without results is cause for rejection.


STRONG WORDS – These are words that attract the attention of hiring managers.  It’s what they’re looking for in a new hire, with metrics to prove it:

  • Improved – Demonstrate that you can make the function better. Tell your story of improving performance, results or efficiencies.  However, include the numbers.
  • Directed – A word that describes leadership. It shows you were in charge of something, gave direction, strategy and results.
  • Managed – Shows that you were responsible for the process of a result. You were the one that brought the necessary resources together to achieve an outcome.
  • Contributed – A less strong word but shows that you were a part of a successful team effort or were a part of a larger result as in: “Contributed 10.8% revenue increase as a part of a new product increase of 24.2% company-wide”
  • Increased/Reduced – One of most powerful words coupled with numbers as in: “Increased productivity 3.8% through process improvement”, or “Reduced the cost of goods by 4.7% by consolidating vendors for quantity discounts”.
  • Led – Usually connected to a team effort as in: “Led a cross-functional team to analyze business opportunities to add incremental sales of existing products”
  • Achieved – Shows an individual effort that would be recognized as an outstanding effort.

These items should be the backbone of your resume.  Use them well


For a FREE critique of your resume, send it to:   wkaufmann44@gmail.com

By My Greener Future

My Greener Future is a Job Search Strategy and Career Coaching Company. At My Greener Future, you will be connected with industry coaches who care about you and your career as much as you do. They will work with you to create your very own custom career plan and support you in achieving your short term and long term career goals. Join My Greener Future TODAY and see how it will change the way you think about your career.

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