How to Make a Job Sound Super Impressive on Your Resume

How to Make a Job Sound Super Impressive on Your Resume

When it comes to applying for jobs, looking good on paper is important. After all, you’ll only get to the next step—an interview—if your resume grabs the attention of hiring managers. If you’ve already done the basics of crafting your resume, it’s time to move on to the next phase: making each individual position shine with the work experience section.

If it’s a bit too take in, consider cutting some copy or using less jargon. (Some jargon is good, but using all buzzwords and acronyms can make a resume hard to read.) And, make sure there’s plenty of white space—you can add this by using bullet pointsor paragraph breaks.

Of course, it goes without saying that having typos or grammatical errors in your job description is detrimental to their readability. Use this resume proofreading checklist to help guarantee your document is error-free.

Talk Accomplishments, Not Tasks

It’s tempting when describing a job on your resume to create a bulleted list of tasks, essentially writing down your day (or week’s) to do list when you were on the job. But most likely, that’s information that hiring managers already know from looking at the job title. Instead of a to-do list, share accomplishments and achievements.

Rather than write, “Designed window display on monthly basis,” you might write, “Increased customer walk-in rate by 10% with themed window displays, updated on monthly basis.”  

If you led a meeting, talk about what happened during that meeting, how you steered it, or what got done as a result of your leadership. Or, if you create a monthly report, talk about why the report matter—did it help keep the budget on track, prioritize sales efforts, or engage customers? See more tips for sharing accomplishments on your resume.

Choose Powerful Words 

A caution: Don’t go over the top with your word choice. No need to break out the thesaurus on a hunt for zany, unusual words! But be aware that some words are just more exciting than others—here are some recommended power words to use on your resume.

Review your job descriptions for words that get re-used throughout the document. Try to vary them more. Instead of “managed,” for instance, try “supervised” or “coordinated.”

There are some words that often come up on resumes. Think: “team player” or “detail oriented.” These words and phrases can feel stale to hiring managers. Consider ways you can show off that you have these skills rather than stating you possess them. For instance, instead of saying “detail-oriented” maybe you can have a bullet point about “Releasing clean code and helping others track down small code errors.”

One cautionary note
There’s making your job sound impressive and meaningful—and then there’s boasting. If you puff up recognizable positions with over-the-top language, it can really backfire and make you seem silly. The hiring manager will know what it means if your job title is “assistant” or “manager” and aggrandizing the position’s responsibilities with inflated language won’t help you land an interview.

And definitely do not be deceitful or dishonest. Lying on your resume can cost you a job opportunity and is even grounds for dismissal if the lie is discovered after you’re hired on.

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About The Balance Careers

The Balance Careers makes navigating your career easy. It is home to experts who provide clear, practical advice on job searching, resume writing, salary negotiations, and other career planning topics.

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