Your resume is the key to the door of opportunity. It grants you entry into a world of new job possibilities. While a great deal of thought goes into crafting a resume, when complete, it is a simple, easy read document. Resumes can look and feel different, based on your industry, but there’s one thing that all good resumes have in common: they tell a detailed and exciting story. Resumes are your opportunity to articulate your journey in your words, introducing yourself to future employers.
Resumes are not just a list of accomplishments. Prospective employers and companies do not only want to know what you have done in the past; they want to know want you can do in the future. Your resume should be an active document showing growth, change, ability to learn new skills and innovate when new ideas are required. Writing your resume correctly can showcase what you’re capable of and what you can contribute to an organization in the future.
How does all that information come through in what looks more like a list than a novel? Strategically using active phrases can help your professional journey jump off that page. The Muse provides a comprehensive list of action verbs that help articulate what you can do for your next employer. Words like, ”engineered,” “secured,” and “negotiated” are likely to capture the attention of future employers. High impact verbs draw their attention to your action statements and encourage them to read more.
Every phrase on your resume should be with an active verb that clearly articulates your capabilities. Next, you need to talk about impact. Did your work and input impact people or the budget? Providing numbers helps explain the scope of your work. If you educated or trained people, how many learned new skills because of your presentation? If you sold something, what the financial impact on people or your company? Numbers are a quick and easy way to showcase your influence.
Thinking about your resume as a living, breathing, story makes it more interesting and more likely to catch the attention of potential employers. They will be able to understand who you are, what you stand for and what you can do. While the format may still be headings with bullet points, using heaving-hitting language can help bring life to a structured format.