When writing a CV, we all know that using powerful verbs like "advanced" and "spearheaded" can make you stand out. According to the CV writing website Kickresume, which analysed a total of 176,220 CVs in 2022, nearly 93% of job seekers use one or more action-oriented phrases.
Octavia Goredema, a career coach and author, points out that starting your proof points with a verb immediately grabs the reader's attention and conveys your wide range of accomplishments. However, not all action verbs are equally effective. While words like "grew" and "built" define improvements you made in your work, they may not clearly showcase your contributions. Here are six verbs that should be used sparingly in a CV:
Verbs like "helped," "supported," and "assisted" tend to sound passive. They give the impression that you simply followed instructions rather than actively participating in your work.
Amanda Augustine, a career expert at TopResume, suggests using verbs that accurately describe your responsibilities and contributions. She recommends alternatives like "coached," "represented," or "clarified" to convey your active involvement and the impact you made.
As for verbs like "created" and "managed," Augustine believes they can be a bit dull. She asks, “how can you use richer words that really bring to life what you were doing in ways that aren’t so boring that we’ve seen a million times?” She suggests using alternatives such as "directed," "cultivated," and "guided" instead of "managed," and "designed," "conceptualised," "originated," and "shaped" instead of "created."
Overall, it's not a major issue if these words appear once or twice in your CV. However, if they are overused, it's important to get more creative. Stand out by showcasing your personality and uniqueness through attention to detail. Use appropriate verbs to infuse your CV with energy and personal flair, capturing the attention of HR professionals!
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