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13 best words to build your resume

Job seeker, Ekaterina Chaves (C) fills out a job application form as she and others apply for jobs during a job fair at Sawgrass Mills on October 11, 2013 in Sunrise, Florida.
Job seeker, Ekaterina Chaves (C) fills out a job application form as she and others apply for jobs during a job fair at Sawgrass Mills on October 11, 2013 in Sunrise, Florida.
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

You may already know to start sentences with verbs in your resume. CareerBuilder surveyed 2,200 hiring managers and identified the strongest verbs for attracting attention to your skills.

  1. Achieved: 52 percent
  2. Improved: 48 percent
  3. Trained: 47 percent
  4. Mentored: 47 percent
  5. Managed: 44 percent
  6. Created: 43 percent
  7. Resolved: 40 percent
  8. Volunteered: 35 percent
  9. Influenced: 29 percent
  10. Increased: 28 percent
  11. Decreased: 28 percent
  12. Ideas: 27 percent
  13. Negotiated: 25 percent
  14. Launched: 24 percent
  15. Won: 13 percent

Use of the term “revenue” or “profit” was liked by 23 percent of those surveyed and “under budget” was liked by 16 percent.

Avoid describing yourself with these terms

These same 2,200 hiring managers disliked the following terms:

  1. Best of breed: 38 percent
  2. Go-getter: 27 percent
  3. Think outside of the box: 26 percent
  4. Synergy: 22 percent
  5. Go-to person: 22 percent
  6. Thought leadership: 16 percent
  7. Value add: 16 percent
  8. Results-driven: 16 percent
  9. Team player: 15 percent
  10. Bottom-line: 14 percent
  11. Hard worker: 13 percent
  12. Strategic thinker: 12 percent
  13. Dynamic: 12 percent
  14. Self-motivated: 12 percent
  15. Detail-oriented: 11 percent
  16. Proactively: 11 percent
  17. Track record: 10 percent

Lesson to learn
It pays to describe your behaviors and your accomplishments, starting each sentence with a verb. Avoid self-aggrandizement. Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder observes, “Subjective terms and clichés are seen as negative because they don’t convey real information. For instance, don’t say you are ‘results-driven’; show the employer your actual results.”