How to Use Resume Adjectives (With Examples)

How to Use Resume Adjectives (With Examples)

Writing an outstanding resume requires much more than just highlighting your qualifications and experience in the field.

To make your resume stand out from those of other candidates, you will need to ensure you are using the appropriate wording too.

With the right adjectives and power words, you can personalize your resume, so your prospective employer can see why your skill set makes you the best candidate for the job.

Below you’ll discover how to use resume adjectives, which ones to avoid and which are the best for particular skills.

How Can Adjectives Improve My Resume?

Using the right adjectives on your resume or cover letter can make it more appealing in the eyes of prospective employers.

Most resumes submitted for a particular position have the same core information about the candidates' skills and qualifications. This means that if your document contains a little more, it's more likely that it will catch the hiring agent's eye.

The impactful language will keep them engaged and encourage them to keep reading and rereading your resume. By highlighting your strongest points on your resume, you will ensure that the agent's eye lingers where you want them to focus.

Once your resume has grabbed the attention of the hiring agent, intriguing language can help you make a lasting impression on them. Your resume should stand out from the others and even the font you use on a resume can be important.

Careful use of these descriptive words can demonstrate your skills in a more engaging way, so the agent can see how you would use your skills in their company. Knowing you possess knowledge that will help their company become more successful can entice any owner or manager to consider you as a strong candidate.

The Best Resume Adjectives by Skill

To avoid misusing resume adjectives, you should always aim to implement them along with the particular skills you are trying to highlight. Here is a list of adjectives for resumes that work with different skill sets.

Communication

Whether the position you are applying for entails managing a team, helping customers through the phone or closing deals in person, having strong communication skills is a must.

These adjectives can help you emphasize such skills:

  • Articulate
  • Tactful
  • Positive
  • Personable
  • Persuasive
  • Eloquent
  • Cordial
  • Assertive
  • Proactive
  • Conscientious
  • Coherent
  • Cohesive
  • Thorough
  • Pleasant
  • Clear
  • Genuine

Interpersonal

Teams composed of members with strong interpersonal skills are proven to be much more productive. Hiring managers will always pay more attention to candidates who can qualify their interpersonal abilities.

While doing this may prove challenging, these adjectives will allow you to show you can be a strong and loyal employee:

  • Sociable
  • Appreciative
  • Patient
  • Outgoing
  • Sensitive
  • Mindful
  • Receptive
  • Easygoing
  • Approachable
  • Responsive

Leadership

Leadership skills are often required by those looking for management or team-leading roles.

However, candidates who show strong leadership skills will be given much more consideration in any field.

Use these adjectives to describe your ability to take charge of any team and you may move up positions within your new workplace much sooner. These adjectives work particularly well with an achievement-focused resume:

  • Reliable
  • Determined
  • Constructive
  • Bold
  • Rousing
  • Competent
  • Ideal
  • Advanced
  • Influential
  • Productive
  • Honest
  • Adept
  • Instrumental
  • Passionate
  • Inspiring
  • Superior
  • Accountable
  • Decisive

Critical Thinking

These adjectives are suitable for describing your ability to perform complex tasks on a daily basis. This is particularly helpful if you plan to work in a field where your workdays will involve analytical thinking.

  • Astute
  • Intelligent
  • Perceptive
  • Calculating
  • Logical
  • Practical
  • Complex
  • Methodical
  • Shrewd
  • Discerning
  • Meticulous
  • Strategic
  • Insightful
  • Objective
  • Thoughtful

Teamwork and Collaboration

Having the capacity to convey messages clearly is crucial for those working in teams or dealing with people every day.

These adjectives will allow you to show off your friendly nature and ability to work in any team, while keeping your customers happy and bosses and team members satisfied:

  • Amiable
  • Coherent
  • Harmonious
  • Amicable
  • Cohesive
  • Personable
  • Articulate
  • Conscientious
  • Persuasive
  • Calm
  • Cooperative
  • Pleasant
  • Charming
  • Cordial
  • Positive
  • Cheerful
  • Courteous
  • Respectful
  • Clear
  • Diplomatic
  • Team-minded

Productivity

These adjectives can highlight your ability to exceed your employer's expectations and work hard, regardless of the circumstances.

Use them to craft a resume that shows the value you can provide in increasing productivity levels for a prospective employer:

  • Accomplished
  • Fluent
  • Significant
  • Adept
  • Ideal
  • Smooth
  • Advanced
  • Industrious
  • Skilled
  • Competent
  • Influential
  • Skillful
  • Constructive
  • Instrumental
  • Strong
  • Cost-effective
  • Productive
  • Superior
  • Economical
  • Proficient
  • Qualified
  • Expert
  • Profitable
  • Quality
How to Use Resume Adjectives (With Examples)
How to Use Resume Adjectives (With Examples)

Organizational

Most assistant or manager positions require candidates to possess exceptional organizational skills.

Describing your expertise in accomplishing things in a practical way will be appreciated in any type of workplace.

These words are also great for more technical jobs, such as those needing computer skills:

  • Businesslike
  • Methodical
  • Step-by-step
  • Controlled
  • Orderly
  • Structured
  • Detailed
  • Precise
  • Systematic
  • Detail-oriented
  • Smooth
  • Timely

Creative

Feel free to demonstrate how creative you can be with these innovative words. They will spruce up your experience section by working around the hard facts to show that you can provide unique solutions to individual problems.

They are also great to use when talking about your hobbies:

  • Cutting-edge
  • Ingenious
  • Robust
  • Elegant
  • Innovative
  • Sophisticated
  • First-class
  • Novel
  • Unique
  • Groundbreaking
  • Progressive
  • Unprecedented
  • Imaginative
  • Revolutionary
  • World-class

Adaptability

Due to market instability and changes in demand, workplaces nowadays are subjected to a vast number of changes on an ongoing basis.

To keep up with all the pressure these changes bring, businesses need highly adaptable employees. These descriptions will show you can adapt to new circumstances and any changes implemented in your workplace:

  • Adaptable
  • Countless
  • Flexible
  • Agile
  • Deep
  • Multifaceted
  • Capable
  • Diverse
  • Resourceful
  • Comprehensive
  • Extensive
  • Vast

Enthusiasm

These adjectives can help you prove your passion for work and highlight the dedication you are capable of by putting all your energy into professional development. Any hiring manager will be thrilled by a candidate showing a genuine interest in their job.

  • Committed
  • Earnest
  • Passionate
  • Dedicated
  • Energetic
  • Sincere
  • Determined
  • Genuine
  • Spirited
  • Devoted
  • Keen
  • Wholehearted

Resume Adjectives to Avoid

On a resume, cover letter or mission statement, there are certain adjectives that may sound impactful but in reality convey nothing about your skills to the hiring manager.

For example, saying you are knowledgeable or experienced in a field can make you think you have proved your worth. However, these are just empty words that make the manager wonder what skills you possess. Stating the exact skill set you have gained and emphasizing this with the proper adjective will make a stronger impact.

Adjectives such as result-oriented and hard-working are so overused that they will make the manager simply put your resume down and never look at it again. It is always better to showcase your results in a list of achievements, which will convince the manager that you are indeed result-driven.

You should also avoid using the word ‘various’, as this could provide a false sense of security in skills you don't even possess. Use specific data instead of vague language to show the hiring agent the exact type of skills you have.

How to Use Adjectives on Your Resume

Now that you know which adjectives can help you highlight your skills, you must also learn how to implement them correctly. As with action verbs, the key here is to use the adjective that's most suitable for the particular thing you are trying to emphasize.

Don't focus on the length of the word, because sometimes a shorter adjective can be much more impactful than a longer one that conveys the meaning appropriately. Be sure you understand all the adjectives you are using to avoid implementing them incorrectly.

Look up any adjectives you aren't familiar with and check their synonyms. You may find one that will help convey your message even better.

Feel free to combine the action words with the descriptive ones. This means using adjectives along with verbs in describing your responsibilities and results in previous workplaces.

For example, you can enhance your experience and skill levels by stating that you have:

  • 'Created a dynamic workflow by implementing results-driven strategies, which increased team productivity by 30%'
  • 'Developed outstanding record-keeping skills using groundbreaking technological advancements, leading to a 50% increase in conversion rates'

These examples also highlight why it's a good idea to include details that will support what you are saying with the adjectives. For instance, using an adjective such as ‘profitable’ can be much more impactful if you quantify its meaning. After all, the main purpose of adjectives is to highlight your achievements, but you will need the numbers to prove them.

Generally, you should avoid using adjectives when describing yourself. On that note, you must be able to prove everything you claim on your resume.

For example, if you state that you were able to ensure the smooth operation of the company you have previously worked at and implemented cost-effective production techniques, you must be able to explain the method you used to do all that at your oral interview.

If you can't back up descriptions you are using with facts, you should stay clear of them.

Frequently Asked Questions

An adjective is a word that describes a pronoun or a noun and modifies it, giving it an intended quality. It can also indicate quantity or measure an extent, as is often done in resumes.

Furthermore, an adjective can also be referred to when specifying a distinction from another noun or pronoun.

Creating a great resume is very important, and adjectives can play a key role.

Adjectives can be a useful tool to use on your resume, as they can help highlight the skills and qualifications you want. This will make your resume memorable and ensure you emphasize your skills the right way.

The appropriate descriptive words will also grab the attention of prospective employers, raising the likelihood of getting a job interview.

While there are no strict rules on how many adjectives you can use on your resume, it's best to use them in moderation. You may use them to add more impact to a statement, but always one at a time.

Adjectives are meant to be descriptive words, so there should be enough substance in your resume. The key is to find a balance. Your resume shouldn't consist of adjectives alone, but there should be enough of them to make a difference.

Since adjectives don’t carry much weight on their own, they cannot be used as a replacement for anything you may want to add to your resume.

Most importantly, they can’t be used as a substitute for your skill set and experience. You may use them to highlight and quantify your results, but never for making up for your lack of skill and knowledge in any field.

Final Thoughts

Adjectives and resume buzzwords can determine the tone of your resume, spruce up the dull text and make you stand out from the other candidates. If you want to make a good impression on your prospective employers, you will need to pay attention to the adjectives you are using in your resume.

Learning how to use them the right way can make a big difference in getting your dream position, but it may take some practice until you acquire this crucial skill.

Go over your resume several times until you are satisfied with how it sounds to make sure it will leave the impact you intended.


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