Thesaurus.com and Your Resume

Words matter! They paint mental pictures. They make an impression. They facilitate understanding. And they can separate you from your competition in your job search!

Too often, people use the same words as everyone else. When your resume sounds the same as the last 23 resumes they read, it’s difficult to set yourself apart. Using different wording than the crowd, describing your skills, achievements, and value in a fresh way, can establish you as uniquely worth considering.

It requires a proper balance. Here are thoughts about how to make it effective for you…

Don’t sound like a Thesaurus! Overuse of “sophisticated” words can sound pretentious, and often make you moredifficult to understand. The ideal use of uncommon words is to make yourself understood more clearly, not to impress the reader with the words you know. Use alternate words where it helps, and don’t where it hinders understanding.

Mix ‘em up! Often, people reuse the same words many times over when writing their resume. Beginning each job description with the words “Responsible for…” sounds boring and redundant. Finding alternatives that keep you from using the same word multiple times can make the document more engaging. Perhaps words like: Accountable for; Engaged in; Liable for; Answerable for; or others.

Be biased toward action! Using passive words, creates an impression of passivity. Using action words, demonstrates initiative. Prefer words that are action oriented. Such as: Caused, Instigated, or Initiated instead of Responsible for.

Always be truthful. Never embellish or add “action” where there was none. However, don’t get stuck in typicalResume-Speak and allow your resume to sound like every other one that is being reviewed. Take some additional time and effort to create a document that is uniquely you and set you apart from the crowd. Your results are likely to improve!

Harry Urschel has over 20 years experience as a technology recruiter in Minnesota. He currently operates as e-Executives, writes a blog for Job Seekers called The Wise Job Search, and can be found on Twitter as @eExecutives.

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