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The Most Powerful Words to Use on Your Resume | Karen Burns | Nov 24, 2010

The “best” words, sometimes known in the biz as keywords, are different for every job and every resume.

Fortunately for the job seeker, you can use tools to figure out which words are optimal for your resume. You’ll have to be a bit of a detective. But, when you think about it, job hunting is a lot like detective work anyway.

Here are some clues to get you started:

The strongest words on your resume are almost always nouns. Not verbs. Employers and their software aren’t scanning for “managed” and “assisted.” They’re looking for skills, certifications, degrees, job titles, names of products or services, names of processes, names of hardware and software, company names, names of professional or trade organizations, or names of schools.

One great way to discover which nouns your potential employer cares most about is to study the job description. Use those nouns and noun phrases in your resume. For example, if the employer is looking for someone who knows how to “build customer databases,” then those are the exact same words you want to use on your resume (assuming you know how to build customer databases).

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