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Why Are Buzzwords on a Resume Important?

Resume keywords such as action verbs can infuse your resume with energy, confidence and authority. They also help make your resume memorable to hiring managers because you use unique, descriptive power words.

Strategic resume words must:

  • Catch your eye and be unique.
  • Express passion and individuality.
  • Expand on your accomplishments.
  • Add personality to your achievements.

Imagine a hiring manager looking for an assistant manager to help oversee day-to-day operations. Most resumes will probably phrase their managerial experience with some variation of “managed a small team of hardworking staff.” While this statement indicates management experience, it lacks the information that a hiring manager wants to know, such as the number of people overseen, the types of duties handled or the leadership skills needed to supervise staff.

The right resume power words can help you stand out and effectively define your managerial skills. For example, this job candidate uses the following four resume buzzwords to describe multiple skills:

  • Directed multiple teams of four across day shifts to oversee a sales floor with 200 hourly guests”
  • Mentored three staff members on register cashout and shift scheduling to train potential shift managers internally.”

The most effective way to find power words for resumes is to think of more specific synonyms, aka words that mean something similar to another word or phrase. Let’s look at three common resume words and alternate good words to use on a resume.

Passive resume words

  • Led
  • Managed
  • Improved

Instead of “led,” use:

  • Supervised
  • Mentored
  • Directed
  • Advised

Instead of “met,” try:

  • Achieved
  • Exceeded
  • Delivered
  • Implemented

Instead of “improved,” consider:

  • Advanced
  • Increased
  • Updated
  • Fine-tuned

The Best Resume Power Words to Use

The following resume words can help you effectively describe your qualifications and impress hiring managers.

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PRO TIP: Carefully write and edit these words and phrases to sound organically like your voice. Overstuffing your resume can make it look like you blindly opened a thesaurus and carelessly replaced common expressions with synonyms. Consider using a tool like our Resume Builder to find strategic resume power words that match your training and experience.

35 analytical resume keywords

Analytical skills can help fuel creative thinking and help employers foster innovative products and workplaces. These good words for a resume can help you demonstrate these analytical skills.

  • Analyze
  • Assess
  • Audit
  • Break down
  • Categorize
  • Classify
  • Compile
  • Connect
  • Control
  • Interpret data
  • Diagnose
  • Dissect
  • Document
  • Examine
  • Forecast
  • Identify
  • Inquire
  • Investigate
  • Itemize
  • Observe
  • Pinpoint
  • Poll
  • Quantity
  • Rank
  • Reason
  • Report
  • Research
  • Review
  • Search
  • Scrutiny
  • Study
  • Survey
  • Test
  • Validate
  • Verify

27 presentation resume power words

Presentation experience includes soft skills to help communicate and distribute ideas and hard skills to help create visual and audio guides of those ideas. These creative resume buzzwords can help illustrate these skills.

  • Advance
  • Amplify
  • Bolster
  • Clarify
  • Communicate
  • Conduct
  • Convince
  • Create
  • Debut
  • Demonstrate
  • Display
  • Energize
  • Engage
  • Exhibit
  • Illustrate
  • Impart
  • Inspire
  • Intrigue
  • Introduce
  • Launch
  • Pitch
  • Presentation composition
  • Produce
  • Propose
  • Redefine
  • Stage
  • Show

24 marketing resume buzzwords

Whether you’re promoting your professional skills or the product and services of your employer, strong marketing skills can help you progress in your career. These descriptive words for resumes can help you describe these skills.

  • Achieve
  • Adapt
  • Analyze
  • Balance
  • Brainstorm
  • Collaborate
  • Complete
  • Conceive
  • Conceptualize
  • Consult
  • Design
  • Develop
  • Devise
  • Evaluate
  • Pitch
  • Plan
  • Predict
  • Project
  • Redefine
  • Redesign
  • Strategize
  • Tailor
  • Target
  • Validate

41 management words for resume

From managing your tasks and time to managing team projects and key performance indicators, professional management skills can help you adopt additional responsibilities. These adequate resume power words can help you express these skills.

  • Accomplish
  • Budget
  • Build
  • Champion
  • Change
  • Conduct
  • Correct
  • Cultivate
  • Distribute
  • Eliminate
  • Enhance
  • Establish
  • Exceed
  • Execute
  • Expand
  • Expedite
  • Finalize
  • Fulfill
  • Gain
  • Generate
  • Handle
  • Implement
  • Improve
  • Initiate
  • Innovate
  • Install
  • Institute
  • Integrate
  • Launch
  • Motivate
  • Negotiate
  • Operate
  • Optimize
  • Perform
  • Pilot
  • Process
  • Procure
  • Recognize
  • Resolve
  • Restructure
  • Salvage

20 computer-related words for resumes

Competent computer skills are precious to hiring managers in an increasingly digital world. These skill-forward resume buzzwords will help meet most technical job requirements.

  • Analytics
  • Coding
  • Computer hardware and software
  • Data analysis
  • Data visualization
  • Digital marketing
  • Electronic file management
  • Fundamental knowledge of programming principles
  • Graphic design
  • Information technology
  • Multimedia integration
  • Office management software
  • Office processing software
  • Problem-solving
  • Programming language
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Search engine marketing (SEM)
  • Typing
  • UX design
  • Web development

Resume Power Words for Different Scenarios

Not every job is the same, so not every job seeker will use the exact descriptive resume power words on their application. We crafted several lists of suggested keywords to use in a resume based on the potential needs of the job.

See below for additional leadership, communication, critical thinking, productivity and networking resume power words.

16 leadership power words

The following synonyms can effectively describe your leadership skills.

  • Coach
  • Coordinate
  • Direct
  • Empower
  • Facilitate
  • Foster
  • Guide
  • Head
  • Instruct
  • Order
  • Organize
  • Oversee
  • Position
  • Prepare
  • Promote
  • Supervise

22 expressive communication power words

These descriptive power words help describe your effective communication style.

  • Clear
  • Culturally conscious
  • Dynamic
  • Ethical
  • Extroverted
  • Empathic
  • Facilitator
  • Giving feedback
  • Intuitive
  • Listening
  • Mindful
  • Outgoing
  • Passionate
  • Persuasive
  • Proactive
  • Professional
  • Reliable
  • Respectful
  • Responsive
  • Teamwork
  • Transformative
  • Unifier

15 critical thinking power words

Hiring managers value quick thinking. The following descriptive critical thinking phrases can reflect these skills.

  • Decision-making
  • Follow up
  • Forward-thinking
  • Investigative
  • Judgment
  • Level-headed
  • Objective
  • Organized
  • Problem-solving
  • Quick learning
  • Resourceful
  • Results-drive
  • Tactical
  • Time management
  • Troubleshooting

20 productivity power words

The best employees meet deadlines and production schedules. These resume words help expand your productivity skills.

  • Dependable
  • Determined
  • Diligent
  • Directive
  • Driven
  • Effective
  • Efficient
  • Flexible
  • Focused
  • Goal-oriented
  • Hardworking
  • Knowledgeable
  • Motivated
  • Multi-tasking
  • Productive
  • Prompt
  • Punctual
  • Responsible
  • Task-oriented
  • Time management

11 networking power words

Creating respectful and lasting professional relationships can help you discover additional career opportunities. These networking skills demonstrate how you can forge effective workplace relationships with your potential co-workers, marking you as a seamless addition to a team.

  • Customer service skills
  • Enthusiastic
  • Friendly
  • Go-getter
  • Loyal
  • Mentor
  • Negotiation
  • Public speaking
  • Relationship-building
  • Respectable
  • Trainor

Which resume buzzwords to avoid with 8 examples

The following list of resume keywords can be valuable when used sparingly and effectively. However, we’re pointing them out as a cautionary tale — these words are commonly used in the job market and have lost some of their potency due to overuse.

If you find a natural opportunity to use one of the previously mentioned resume power words, lead with those instead of the following overused buzzwords:

  • Creative: This word means nothing without proof. Provide examples of your creativity instead.
  • Team player: Collaboration is valuable in the workplace, but hiring managers can learn more through evidence of teamwork.
  • Quick learner: This phrase is hard to quantify without proof. Describe the time needed to learn one job-relevant skill or tool instead.
  • Unique thinker: An employer won’t believe this statement on blind faith alone. Describe a project or idea you proposed that significantly improved a workplace or profit.
  • People person: Same advice as “team player,” — describe where and how you interact with co-workers and clients instead.
  • Experienced in [skill]: Instead of listing skills you’re good at, describe how you’ve applied your skills to perform your duties.
  • Computer wiz/ninja/guru: This corporate buzzword offers no information on the technical skills you can offer. Describe the functional knowledge you possess instead.
  • Perfectionist: Avoid this empty noun unless multiple work samples or a professional portfolio follows this phrase.

How to Find These Buzzwords By Using HR Tools

Good news! There are additional ways to find unique keywords for each job opening. Most recruiters and hiring managers rely on applicant tracking systems (ATS) — these programs rely on specific text markers and highlighted keywords to grade applicants and delete poor-scoring resumes. You can find these resume keywords by scanning a job advertisement for the following text and font treatments.

  • Repeated duties or skills.
  • Bolded words and phrases.
  • Underlined responsibilities.
  • Highlighted job requirements.
  • Slightly rephrased requirements.

Try an Online Tool Boosted With Resume Power Words

Don’t overthink your resume — you want your accomplishments to sound like you. Try using our online Resume Builder to draft your resume first. This intuitive tool includes natural and job-specific resume buzzwords based on your work experience and skills. Answer a few questions to unlock dozens of suggested, prewritten content for your job title.