Tuesday, November 3, 2020

33 Stand-Out Phrases to Freshen Up Your Resume

by Jessica Holbrook Hernandez

How to Incorporate Noteworthy Phrases into Your Resume

I see the same phrases repeated on hundreds of resumes. (I’m looking at you “responsible for” and “duties included”!)

The problem with these worn-out words is that they carry no weight or power. 

They’re weak and vague.

One surefire way to pack more punch in your resume is to switch out the tired, overused phrases with strong action verbs that tell your story.

Strong action verbs are perfect to energize your resume bullets so they “WOW” employers.

Extra credit: they’re also great for leading into results-based statements.

An example of an accomplishment bullet using action verbs and stand-out phrases could sound like:

  • Turned around $750M budget deficit into a $300K surplus within 1 year by creating infrastructure, optimizing expenses, and cultivating strategic partnerships with 21 hospitals and medical device manufacturers. 

When we work with clients we use a C.A.R. formula to help us create memorable bullets. 

C – Challenge

A – Action

R – Result

I also often recommend this formula to my LinkedIn connections when they ask for resume writing advice:

(Action verb)(noun)(quantifiable metric or result)(action you took to achieve result)

An example of this formula filled out as a resume bullet would sound something like this:

  • Boosted revenue 64.5% by designing and implementing strategies to cut costs, improve efficiencies, and optimize production of 325 styles and 6.2M SKUs. 

Try the formula out in your resume as you work to write about your accomplishments.

33 Swipeable Phrases to Inspire You

I spoke with a senior-level job seeker last week who confided to me how hard it was to assess her own work. 

She hesitantly shared, “I struggle to convey my value.”

I get it. Boy, do I get it. 

Most of us struggle to explain our value. We know we’re talented and competent, but conveying that on a resume suddenly induces all kinds of writer’s block and analysis paralysis. 

If you want to reflect what you’ve accomplished and point out your value to employers, try using a few of these proven resume phrases:


The key is not to throw all of them into your resume. You want to use these sparingly so that they’ll have maximum impact. 

Read through the list and choose 2-3 that reflect you most accurately. 

Read the full Great Resumes Fast article for more tips on how to use the phrases and how to self evaluate to know which phrases to use  

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