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Resume Vocabulary

!!! Active verbs act.

The Value of Simplicity and Clarity

If you want people to read your CV, your language must be simple and clear:

The Power of Action Verbs

Certain words are used frequently by recruiters in their job descriptions. You can study recruiters' advertisements and job descriptions and try to use these words in your CV and covering letter.

The most powerful words are verbs. And the most powerful verbs are action verbs. (Action verbs describe dynamic activity, not state).

So you should use plenty of action verbs matched to your skills, and use them in the active form, not the passive form. Which of these two sentences do you think is the more powerful?

Power Words to Use

Here are some typical action verbs categorised by skill:

Communication skills

Management skills

Research skills

Technical skills

Creative skills

Financial skills

Sales skills

Teaching skills

British / American English

There are sometimes differences between British and American English and conventions. Here is a guide to some of the most important differences for your CV/resume and covering letter. But remember, this is a guide only - there are no strict rules. For example, some British people like to use "American" words, and some American people like to use "British" words.

British American
CV/curriculum vitae resumé
covering letter cover letter
covering letter
Standard paper size:
A4 (210 x 297 millimetres)
Standard paper size:
Letter (8 1/2 x 11 inches)
Mrs Ms
Dear Sirs Gentlemen
Yours faithfully Yours truly
Yours sincerely Sincerely
Sincerely yours
Yours truly
Managing Director (MD) Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
General Manager
date format: DD/MM/YY
example: 30/12/15
30 December 2015
date format: MM/DD/YY
example: 12/30/15
December 31st, 2015
labour labor