Your resume is a one-stop document that highlights your most relevant experiences, skills, and accomplishments. It’s the first part of your application that is going to grab an employer’s attention. According to The Balance, “Studies show that recruiters and HR folks spend as little as six seconds reviewing resumes before they move them to the ‘yes’ pile—or toss them in the trash,” so you want to keep your resume readable and concise. A key factor of grabbing an employer’s attention is through using trending keywords. Here are some tips for how you can amp up your resume through word choice.

  1. Words to avoid in your resume

There are a lot of words that you should avoid on your resume, whether it’s because they are too commonly used or because they might shed an unfavorable light on your application. Indeed highlights the following words to avoid:

  • Detail-Oriented
  • Team Player
  • Self-Motivated
  • Bottom Line
  • Wheelhouse
  • Proactive

Words like “wheelhouse” and “bottom-line” are not as clear at demonstrating your value. Words like “detail-oriented” and “team player” are both expected and too general to describe what you added to your previous work team. Sometimes these words are impossible to avoid (and that’s okay!), but trying to find powerful alternatives that showcase the results of your work can help your resume stand out.

  1. Check out the job description

If you are applying for a job and your resume contains some of the words from the above list, one option is to replace them with keywords from the job description. They may have included a word that is more specific to the skills they are seeking, so why not tailor your resume to their needs? This is a great way to get your resume some attention.

  1. Get creative but not too creative

The balance between finding a creative, but not too creative, descriptive keyword is tricky! Employers are looking for candidates whose skills and experiences match the job description and show results. As The Muse has demonstrated, recruiters want to see the results of your applied skills rather than the skills themselves. Instead of using descriptive phrases like “Think outside the box,” “Team player,” or “detail-oriented,” try “achieved,” “improved,” “negotiated,” and “launched.” These buzzwords require you to say what you achieved, launched, or negotiated. The Muse also has a fantastic list of 185 verbs that can amp up your resume.


For more tips on how to improve your resume, keep reading our blog. Staffers can help you on the path to employment. As one of the leading staffing firms in Jackson, Mississippi, Staffers offers office administrative temporary, temp-to-perm, and direct hire positions. Contact us today to begin your application!

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