Writing Strong Descriptions for Your Resume

What you say is important, but how you say it can make all the difference. Whether you have extensive experience or you're looking for your first job, you have transferrable skills to offer potential employers. Learning to thoroughly and concisely explain what you can do and what you've done can make your potential employers see the true value of your qualifications. 

Some helpful tips: 

  • Write your descriptions as phrases rather than writing full sentences (thus eliminating punctuation at the end of each description)
  • Refrain from using "I" statements
  • Use descriptive action verbs to explain your skills gained and responsibilities held from past experiences. For a comprehensive list of effective action verbs you can use, click here.

Some examples of commonly used action phrases (varying in quality):

Mediocre Descriptions Good Descriptions Best Descriptions
Filed papers Filed papers and prepared sensitive documents Accurately maintained files and efficiently prepared and processed sensitive documents for management team
Constructed website Constructed website using streaming media and graphics Integrated engaging graphics and streaming media to construct company website, resulting in a 45% increase in hits in the first six months
Provided customer service Engaged in positive and professional customer service Positively and professionally interacted with customers from diverse backgrounds and patiently answered their questions about specific products

To see more examples of commonly used action phrases, check out the sample resumes listed on our resume page or watch a video on why the keyword search matters.