Research has shown that hiring managers and recruiters spend less than 10 seconds reviewing each resume they receive for job openings. Many also use software to search and sort resumes for certain pieces of information.

With so much competition out there, it can be a daunting task trying to cut through the clutter and make your resume stand out. Fortunately, there are some keywords and phrases you can include on your resume to make it shine a little brighter and better reflect your true self to those looking it over. Consider the following:

Action verbs

It's important to use appropriate action verbs when describing the tasks you've had in jobs throughout your career. A certain verb can convey a totally different meaning compared to another one. Some good examples of these action verbs include:

  • Assigned
  • Developed
  • Established
  • Executed
  • Managed
  • Produced
  • Oversaw
  • Improved
  • Planned
  • Delegated
  • Negotiated
  • Explored

    Terms Related to Your Soft Skills

    Perhaps some of the most important items to list on a resume are your soft skills. These skills aren't necessarily specific to an industry or trade, but they can tell a potential employer a lot about yourself and how you operate professionally. In turn, they should indicate what type of employee you would be within a prospective organization. Examples of these terms include:

  • Self-motivated
  • Driven
  • Effective communicator
  • Team player
  • Always willing to help others
  • Work well independently and as part of a team
  • Effective leader/manager
  • Effective listener
  • Time management skills
  • Eager to learn
  • Multitasker

    Words Related to Technology Skills

  • These days, it's hard to find a job that does not involve some type of software or technology use. The more computer programs or apps you're adept at, the better it looks to prospective employers. Some examples of these tech topics you may be familiar with that can be worth mentioning include:
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Salesforce
  • Constant Contact
  • MailChimp
  • Microsoft Office suite
  • ADP
  • WordPress
  • HubSpot
  • Joomla
  • Drupal
  • Skype
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • SQL
  • Mac OS
  • iOS
  • Android
  • VOIP
  • Mobile apps (list specific apps you are skilled at using)
  • Specificity Matters

  • As the above examples indicate, be as specific as possible when describing your skills, accomplishments, and other traits. This is a must because recruiters search for specific terms when maneuvering through a digital stack of resumes. If you only use general terms, your resume might not pop up in their search results.
  • A Note of Caution

  • While it's wonderful to include many of these key terms and phrases on your resume, just remember that they must be accurate in representing who you truly are as a job candidate. Never lie on a resume because at some point, an employer will discover your true colors. This could only spell trouble for a job you might currently have or for future career opportunities.