Resume FAQs
Whether you're a new graduate with limited work experience, are switching careers, have gaps in your employment history, or were recently laid off and are unsure how to address that in your resume, our resume FAQs will guide you through all these situations.
Resume FAQ

How can I use active language on my resume to make it more engaging?

Using Active Language throughout your resume is the best way to attract the attention of the ATS scanner and recruiter.  Active Language includes specific action words that describe your prior individual contribution to the company/job, as opposed to your team-related participation.  Limiting team-centered language, while accentuating individual accomplishments, will elevate you as a candidate.

Your skills list should include Language that sets you apart and is immediately visible at the top of your resume.  Some ideal skills include:

  • Cost Saving
  • Process Improvement
  • Training, Teaching, Coaching, Mentoring
  • Customer/Employee Relations
  • Budget Management
  • Data Analysis
  • Leadership
  • IT Solutions

You should also include Active Language in your “Career Highlights” as well as in support of your various jobs - preferably incorporating bullet points wherever possible.  Such as:

  • Developed and Delivered. “Developed a skills manual and delivered to the department heads on time, resulting in a 15% reduction in redundancies.
  • Provided and Supported. Provided top-tier support to over 25 customer inquiries daily which resulted in increased sales.

 A few additional Active/Action Words include:

  • Facilitated
  • Contributed
  • Planned
  • Designed
  • Managed
  • Hired
  • Worked
  • Trained
  • Directed

Always match Keywords, when appropriate, so that the ATS will recognize you.

Some examples of potential keywords and Active Language, that recruiters prioritize, include: 

  • Strategic
  • Growth
  • Own/Owned (demonstrates responsibility)
  • P&L (Profit and Loss = goal for most employees)
  • Leader
  • Developed (People, projects, anything)
  • C-Suite or Senior (shows experience)
  • Coached/Mentored

It is always best to eliminate language such as:

worked on/with; did; got; helped. 

Instead use:

facilitated or spearheaded; completed or achieved; earned or produced; enabled; partnered with.

The most important formula for all recruiters is understanding what your responsibilities were, how they were measured, and what you accomplished.  If you can show examples within your prior work experience, the recruiters will pay attention:

Accomplished X as measured by Y by doing Z
Achieved a 10% increase in customer satisfaction by offering complimentary (xyz)

Using interesting and active language that shows your energy, enthusiasm and results will advance your job search, for sure.