Whenever you attach your résumé to a job application, the aim is to showcase your experience, as well as prove you’re the perfect candidate for the job. The language you use within your résumé has a huge impact on how you are perceived by recruiters and certain words are almost guaranteed to provoke a positive response.
In fact there are six words that many of us use every day without thinking, but can prove invaluable when used correctly in your résumé. In my professional experience, these power words will not only ensure your résumé gets noticed by more recruiters and wins more interviews; but they will also help you to prove your value before you even step into the interview room.
Every employer wants a candidate who can make improvements to their organization—and it’s the job of your résumé to highlight exactly how you have achieved such success in the past. Better still, showcase how the improvements implemented by your work or leadership can be transferable to the business you’re applying to work with.
When you use the word “improved” on your résumé, back it up with quantitative data to demonstrate and back up any claims you make relating to the success you have achieved.
How to apply it: “My strategy improved customer satisfaction rates by 35% within six months.”
To increase something, means to literally make it greater in size. This is exactly what employers are looking for when it comes to revenues, customers, profit margins, and sales. For a hiring mangers, the ability to increase, shows that you are not content to leave things as they are but are instead intent on making processes and operations better and more successful, which is everything an employer is looking for in a new recruit. This can refer not just to business profits, but to team productivity, staff engagement, and any other important employer metric.
How to apply it: “My leadership resulted in an increase in team productivity, customer retention, and valuable cross-team communication.”
Typically, when you run across the word “reduced,” it is often associated with a negative action, but in business the opposite can also be true—provided you are reducing the right things.
So, be very careful about the way you use “reduced,” making sure to focus on the positive outcome of the reduction that your actions or your job role made. Some good examples of this in action include reducing the carbon footprint of a business, reducing customer complaints, and reducing overall business expenses.
How to apply it: “The implementation of a new customer relationship management system managed by my team, reduced customer wait times by approximately 24 hours.”
Employers value individuals who are strong negotiators—people who can work with diplomacy and achieve outcomes that are beneficial to multiple parties. Often business can get bogged down by disagreements, which costs time and money. A good negotiator can bring stalemates to an end and get the wheels turning again, which is valuable talent in any industry. And negotiations don’t always have to be about salaries or big business deals, they could involve getting more child-care facilities for parents in your team, or persuading management to extend consider your project ideas.
How to apply it: “I successfully negotiated with a long-term supplier, reducing our monthly outgoings by 10%.”
The job of every employee is to deliver in some way, whether it be delivering on key performance indicators, projects, client presentations, or products. This is your opportunity to show how you can take ownership of something and deliver the desired results for the benefit of the organization or business—something that employers always want to see from their new recruits, particularly in a world where working from home is becoming more normal.
Anything that lets you showcase how you use your initiative and how you practice self-management to deliver on your goals, is a bonus.
How to apply it: “My team delivered a record high in sales, in the financial year ending 2020.”
An individual who can resolve an issue, no matter how big or small, is valuable. This is arguably the most important word of the six, because it reminds the hiring manager or recruiter that business and customer challenges and issues are inescapable, and that those who are able to resolve and work around such issues and challenges present extra value.
How to apply it: “Resolved an existing supplier issue by using new delivery routes to increase the number of available drivers by 15%”.
Your résumé is your opportunity to present yourself to the employer or hiring manager, leaving them desperate to bring you in for an interview. Your job, before you even get into the interview room, is to make sure that your résumé is designed to entice, attract, and generate a response from the employer—and these six words are your ticket to success.
Use these six words to your advantage, by tailoring them to your target jobs and backing them up with facts and figures.