In a crowded marketplace, you can stand out with an powerfully-worded resume. Use distinctive words to describe your accomplishments. Such words will tell a great story about your communication skills and writing ability, at the same time as they answer the question “what has this person actually achieved in his/her career?”

The article from Pongo Blog (click on post title to get there) highlights five great words for resumes that are no yet overused. They are:

Spearheaded (instead of led or played a key role)
Created (instead of helped make or facilitated)
Initiated (instead of began or started)
Accelerated (instead of sped up)
Consolidated (instead of brought together, merged, combined, or united)

I love these words. Other non-run-of-the-mill words I like to use instead of managed, oversaw, led, developed, supervised, coordinated, assisted, conducted, and facilitated include:

Enhanced
Analyzed
Extended
Exceeded
Generated
Conceived
Won
Strengthened
Secured
Restructured
Transformed
Streamlined
Delivered
Achieved
Leveraged
Empowered
Championed

Acceptable but not ideal words include:

Produced
Designed
Crafted
Organized

Use these when you have so many accomplishments that you don’t want to repeat a word.

Directional words are always useful when accompanied by numbers modified by $ or %:

Increased
Improved
Grew
Added
Expanded
Doubled
Tripled
Reduced

I tend to like positive directional words instead of downward trending words – subliminally it conveys that you are a positive person, an addition to the team.

I even like adjectives and adverbs, such as “dramatically increased” and “substantially improved.” Again, back this up with numbers, so they are not simply taking your word for it – because they WON’T! Resume reviewers have antennae for identifying a line of garbage, and most will toss resumes that contain generalizations without any backup figures or verifiable results.

Remember, the thesaurus function on Word is your friend, as is thesaurus.com. Instead of using an ordinary word, look for an extraordinary one that conveys your talent as vibrantly as you would in person.