A resume is a document that contains a summary of your background- education, work experience, skills, credentials, and accomplishments.

Resume mostly along with cover letter commonly used as the first step in your job search and securing a professional job position. 

Optimizing your resume with power words makes your resume strong and increase your chance of getting selected in the screening process (either by the hiring manager or ATS).

Now, let us see about power words.

Using the right power words in your resume plays a major role in landing your dream job interview. 

You may have the right skills, knowledge, ability, experience qualifications for the job if highlighted improperly; your resume might not be shortlisted for the interview.

Remember you will meet the interviewer face to face only during the interview. 

Your resume represents you; it must create a good first impression, so, mention your strengths in the right way that it attracts the attention of the interviewer. 

Power words play an important role in doing this.

Power words are phrases or words that are used to exhibit your accomplishments, strengths, skills, your abilities, and highlights why you are the right fit for the position.

Reasons to use power words

  • To give the resume a fresh outlook:

Power words will change dull, boring, and repetitive resumes into fresh, unique, and gives a lively outlook.

  • To stand out:

Hiring managers screen several resumes in a day; using these words will make your resume stand out highlighting your skills and qualifications and gives the affirmation that you are the person for this job.

  • Gives an EDGE:

Many companies have started using ATS and power words like keywords will give you the edge over your competitors.

Let us see them in detail.

Types of Power Words

  1. Keywords: 

Keywords in your resume describe the requirements for the particular job that is needed in a candidate. 

Keywords can be 

  • Company based:  

From big giant companies to startups, everyone wants to create their unique name in the market. 

Research about the company you are applying for, visit their web page, learn about the company what they represent, what words describe them; use them in your resume. 

For Example: If a company has corporate social responsibility (CSR) has a huge part in their profile.

It is good to highlight your CSR initiatives in your previous companies in the resume.

  • Job listings based: 

Using the exact words listed in the job advertisement from roles and responsibilities, skills and qualifications will also help in getting shortlisted.         

  • Skills and industry/sector-based: 

Some skills are always on demand and always expected from the candidate by the employer

Example: Integrity, Leadership, team player, Self-confidence, etc.

Each industry has its own set of keywords/jargon. 

It is important to identify them and use them in your resume thus highlighting your technical skills.

Example: In procurement words like ‘Negotiated with suppliers’, ‘Validated the purchase orders’ etc are commonly used jargon. 

2. Buzz words:

Resume Buzzwords are commonly used words or phrases in a resume. 

Research on commonly used Buzz words and use them meticulously. 

According to ‘LinkedIn 2017’ study top ten most used Buzz words

  • Specialize
  • Experienced 
  • Skilled 
  • Leadership 
  • Passionate
  • Expert
  • Motivated 
  • Creative
  • Strategic
  • Focused

Be careful in using Buzz words as they have the reputation of being overused or exhausted. 

It is wise to use alternative words that represent your SKAs. 

3. Action verbs/ words: 

These types of words are used to describe your roles and responsibility that you handled in your previous jobs. 

Few action verbs are Trained, Achieved, Delegated, Advocated can be used.


“Responsible for training sales personnel.”

Mentored 150 sales personnel and increased sales revenue by 25% in the first quarter of 2019.

This shows precisely what you did, your achievement, and how much you contributed to increasing the sales revenue for that year.

Things to remember while using power words

  • It is very important to use the power words related to your experience, qualifications; 
  • Action Verbs must be used to demonstrate keywords.
  • Power words must be placed strategically placed in your resume.
  • Don’t overuse them and kill the resume.
  • It can be included throughout the resume provided used carefully.

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