It's no secret that a resume is a must-have when looking for a new job. The question is, how to make your resume stand out from the hundreds, or thousands, of other candidates applying for the same position?
When giving your resume a refresh, it's a good idea to evaluate it for words and phrases that may be considered cliché or stale. A great way to do this is to replace some of the more common descriptors with action verbs, more likely to catch the eye of a hiring manager and increase their interest.
Our friends at The Muse created a handy guide of 185 Action Verbs that will help make your resume pop and get the positive attention of hiring managers. We've included some examples here.
You led something. For those in charge of projects, programs, initiatives, etc., many would describe how they 'led'. This is a common, and relatively vague description. Using action verbs such as 'executed', 'coordinated' or 'orchestrated' suggest a more hands-on leadership that gives more context than simply saying you led a project.
You improved operations. Companies love when employees save them money or figure out ways to work more efficiently. Some ways to describe this could include 'consolidated', 'lessened', or 'yielded'.
You achieved something. Accomplishments are such a great way to highlight a skillset or work ethic. Some options for describing this achievement in a way that garners more attention include: 'demonstrated', exceeded', 'surpassed'.
These may all seem like minor changes, but if your resume is full of action verbs highlighting your skills and achievements in a more interesting way, you're not only strengthening your resume, but telling a more complete and compelling story.
CAC offers a variety of job search tools and resources, all free of charge:
- If you're looking to update your resume, make sure to take advantage of our Resume Review service. Our career coach will provide insight and critiques for crafting a resume that tells your story and highlights your potential.
- Order, or download, our Job Search Toolkit, to explore the various aspects of job search after a cancer diagnosis.
- Join us for a live session of our job search-focused webinars in our Balancing Work & Cancer Webinar series where we discuss resume writing, networking, career changing and more! You can also view recorded webinars in our video archive.
- Check out the Looking for Work section on our website for articles, tips, and tools for approaching your job search.
- Our Ask a Career Coach message board is always available if you're looking for guidance from one of our career coaches.
- Register for our virtual Midwest Conference on Work & Cancer on March 25, 2022, for a full day discussing work after a cancer diagnosis, with a full session focused on Job Search!
As always, if you have more specific questions about improving your resume, interviewing, or any other aspect of the job search, feel free to reach out to Cancer and Careers as firstname.lastname@example.org!