Career Advice
Are you actively looking for a job or interested in career advancement? Here you can find expert career advice on resume writing, job letter writing, job interviews, and various other topic that will help you through this journey.
Resume FAQ

The Best Adjectives to Use on Your Resume in 2023 and How to Use Them

Writing a resume that succinctly summarizes your career history, skills and accomplishments, while also distinguishing it from other resumes, is an art.  Many job seekers use basic, repetitive language that can be uninspiring to the hiring manager.  Candidates with outstanding careers but who do not use creative and descriptive adjectives, along with action verbs, are less likely to be noticed.  Recruiters not only want to know about your talents, but they want to know how you impacted the organization.  Spending extra time selecting adjectives that sell your skills and accomplishments will pay off and gain the attention of the recruiter, for sure.  However, identifying expressive adjectives alone will not be enough; supporting your talents with an explanation is also necessary.  For example, how did that “industry-changing” project impact the organization?  Adding strong language, along with the impact you made, will elevate the effectiveness of your resume. Always remember, however, that maintaining a brief but clear resume is the ultimate goal; too many words will lose the recruiter’s interest.

In the end, your resume is a concisely presented sales pitch at a particular time, and meant to gain the attention of both the ATS algorithm and the hiring manager.  So using powerful adjectives, which also align with the job description, in your Introduction or Job Objective is more likely to make a compelling first impression, such as:

Strategic, solutions-oriented marketing executive with more than 12 years-experience; motivational leader managing a team of 8 product managers; generated profitability and increased market share exceeding company objectives.

An introductory section on the resume with a few bullets, phrases or sentences, using impactful language, will provide a compelling introduction.  Those phrases could include experience, education or skills - any details that both match the job description and demonstrate how you are qualified, and thus a highly viable candidate.  The supportive explanation will show how your experience and qualifications resulted in a positive outcome for the organization.  Using a few brief sentences, with descriptive adjectives, will establish the tone for the rest of your resume and add value.  It is always important to only use adjectives that represent your qualifications, and always follow with an explanation, context or measurable results.

Here are a few examples of how to elevate your language and showcase your skills and experience:

  • Instead of saying Team Player, Quick Learner, Good Communicator, Problem Solver, Hard Worker, include some adjectives to create a clearer picture, such as: Skilled collaborator; Rapid or Adaptive Learner; Effective cross-functional communicator; Solutions oriented professional; or High achiever.  Not only does this language offer a more dynamic image of you as a candidate, but it also shows that you have strong written skills, as well.

  • Instead of saying Organized the annual meeting…, language like “streamlined processes for the annual meeting which resulted in high attendance…”

  • If Communication is a major requirement listed on the job description, then adding adjectives such as: Clear communicator; Persuasive communicator; Articulate communicator; are ways to further describe those skills. A “dynamic” communicator should  also demonstrate how his/her ability to collaborate with colleagues or clients has produced positive results.

  • If you wish to showcase your ability and willingness to Manage Change, which may be a requirement of the new position, using language like, Flexible; Adaptable and Open Minded will convey that message.

  • Candidates often over-use the term Hard Worker or  Strong work ethic.  By adding adjectives like, Dedicated, Committed and Enthusiastic will express in more positive language that you are willing to work hard if given the opportunity.

  • If you want to describe yourself as a Collaborative Team Player, follow with an explanation of how you interacted with others and were accountable for the rapport and culture of the team.

  • Management and Leadership skills are often key requirements of any job description. Using powerful adjectives like, organized, efficient, decisive, motivational, inspiring and accountable will effectively describe those specific skills.  Strategic is also an excellent adjective to use for Managers, such as: 

    Strategic Manager, successfully developed sales strategy for the fiscal year. 
    Proactive Leader who initiates projects and anticipates market fluctuations.

  • If you are a motivated job seeker, explain how you have taken the initiative and problem-solved in specific instances. Focusing on the solution will demonstrate your positive attitude along with your capabilities, such as:

    Self-motivated Administrative Assistant able to anticipate issues, organize schedules and multiple tasks efficiently, contributing to the success of the team”.

  • Goal-oriented is repeatedly used in a resume which does not reveal much about the candidate without supportive information. A better way to describe this attribute might be,

    Goal-oriented Human Resources Manager focused on producing measurable results in a timely manner.

  • A Creative professional might use language like,

    Accomplished Creative Graphic Designer; successfully published in various books and websites.

  • Many resumes include language like, Detail-oriented. It is important that you provide an example of that skill set, such as describing a specific project or job responsibility.  As an example:

    Detail-oriented Analyst with an ability to identify errors in financial reports and produce accurate information. 

  • For job seekers in the Technology industry, describing themselves as, “Accomplished Technical Professional (or Title) with proficiency in diverse software and hardware systems”, will let the recruiter know that this candidate may possess the proper technological experience specific to their organization. Professionals in Information Technology should also show how they use data to find solutions to existing problems.

There are many examples where elevating the language with dynamic adjectives will enhance the readability of the resume.  The examples presented here offer a few suggestions of ways you can revise and edit your resume with bold, colorful vocabulary that paints you as an impressive candidate worthy of an interview.  These should be interpreted (not copied) to match your own unique skills and experience, and those on the job description.  There are many ways to revise a resume; using some of these adjectives and others will certainly showcase your resume.

There are unlimited adjectives and descriptive phrases that will successfully communicate your ability to perform in a particular job.  A few additional adjectives that may be helpful when writing your resume are listed below.  Incorporating some of these words into your Skills section, Career History or Job Objective will surely demonstrate to the recruiter the strength of your candidacy.  As follows:

  • Dynamic
  • Reliable
  • Disruptive
  • Passionate
  • Compassionate
  • Enthusiastic
  • Energetic
  • Strategic
  • Seasoned
  • Accomplished
  • Flexible
  • Creative
  • Collaborative
  • Solutions-Driven
  • Results-Oriented
  • Bottomline-Driven
  • Game changing
  • Conscientious
  • Industry-changing
  • World-class