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Resumes & Cover Letters

How to Use Resume Adjectives (With List)

February 25, 2020

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Resume adjectives are descriptive words that can make your application more compelling and memorable. Using the right adjectives will help you craft a resume that communicates key points well. There are many words to choose from when you're detailing your skills and accomplishments, so it's important to take a thoughtful approach to your selection. In this article, we discuss the best adjectives for your resume and how to use them, with lists of adjectives arranged by popular categories.

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Why are resume adjectives important?

Resume adjectives are powerful descriptors that add detail to your application. These words help describe your skills, experience and personality in a thoughtful and creative manner. Including the right adjectives on your resume makes it easier for prospective employers to understand where you excel and how you will fit within their organization. Including these words can make your resume language intriguing and original, which is what you need to stand out.

Read more: How to Write a Resume Employers Will Notice

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Best resume adjectives

Try adjectives in the following categories to enhance your resume :

  • Leadership adjectives
  • Finance adjectives
  • Technology adjectives
  • Marketing adjectives
  • Sales adjectives
  • Customer service adjectives
  • Manufacturing adjectives
  • Creativity adjectives
  • Productivity adjectives
  • Communication adjectives

Leadership adjectives

Leadership adjectives emphasize your ability to work at the head of a team or take on a management role. These are ideal for describing the way you handled a large project or worked as a leader :

  • Reliable
  • Rousing
  • Influential
  • Decisive
  • Accountable
  • Determined
  • Inspiring
  • Disciplined
  • Proactive

Read more: Leadership Skills: Definitions and Examples

Finance adjectives

If you're applying for a job in finance or you're discussing finance-related accomplishments and objectives, these words will strengthen your resume. Emphasize that you have the necessary skills and qualities for handling money using the following:

  • Trustworthy
  • Honest
  • Thorough
  • Ardent
  • Industrious
  • Devoted
  • Earnest
  • Focused
  • Diligent

Technology adjectives

Jobs in technology require focus, dedication and innovation. If you're applying for a position related to computers or other types of tech, these adjectives may help you craft a compelling resume :

  • Proficient
  • Meticulous
  • Complex
  • Cutting-edge
  • Innovative
  • Visionary
  • Groundbreaking
  • Revolutionary
  • Sophisticated
  • Unprecedented

Marketing adjectives

Marketing professionals must know how to engage customers. In this field, your resume should be thoughtful, attention-grabbing and creative, just as your marketing campaign would be. These adjectives can help:

  • Creative
  • Dynamic
  • Enthusiastic
  • Energetic
  • Amiable
  • Charming
  • Articulate
  • Clear
  • Compelling

Sales adjectives

Sales professionals are tasked with making strong personal connections with customers and clients. Your resume should emphasize your personable nature and dedication to success, with words like these:

  • Dynamic
  • Diplomatic
  • Determined
  • Respectful
  • Flexible
  • Positive
  • Personable
  • Assertive
  • Articulate
  • Eloquent
  • Tactful
  • Persuasive

Read more: Sales and Marketing Manager Resume Samples

Customer service adjectives

In customer service, your role is heavily reliant on strong communication skills. Your resume should highlight your ability to connect well with others, solve their problems and maintain a positive rapport, with words like these:

  • Sociable
  • Patient
  • Amicable
  • Pleasant
  • Proactive
  • Thoughtful
  • Clear
  • Thorough
  • Cordial
  • Tireless

Manufacturing adjectives

Manufacturing professionals are tasked with managing a fine balance between quality and output. Choose adjectives that emphasize your timeliness as well as your attention to detail, such as:

  • Industrious
  • Focused
  • Results-driven
  • Productive
  • Methodical
  • Structured
  • Purposeful
  • Detailed
  • Precise
  • Thorough

Creativity adjectives

If you're applying for a creative role, you need to include adjectives that highlight your ability to generate new ideas and provide fresh insights. Artists, entertainers, writers and other professionals can use these words for their resumes:

  • Imaginative
  • Novel
  • Inventive
  • Ingenious
  • Unique
  • Progressive
  • Vivid
  • Robust
  • Forward-thinking

Productivity adjectives

Productivity is a valuable asset in nearly any role. When you want to emphasize your ability to exceed expectations, increase output and work hard, these adjectives will help you craft an effective resume:

  • Economical
  • Industrious
  • Prolific
  • Strong
  • Competent
  • Profitable
  • Constructive
  • Cost-effective
  • Diligent
  • Dedicated

Communication adjectives

Highlight your ability to communicate well with others, whether they are individuals on your team or customers that you serve. These adjectives emphasize your ability to speak clearly and assist others effectively:

  • Tactful
  • Mindful
  • Supportive
  • Assertive
  • Persuasive
  • Approachable
  • Articulate
  • Diplomatic
  • Respectful

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How to use resume adjectives

Follow these steps to use adjectives as effectively as possible on your resume :

  1. Use the most effective word
  2. Confirm the word's meaning
  3. Combine your adjectives with action words
  4. Include details that support your adjectives

1. Use the most effective word

Choose the adjective that's most appropriate for what you're trying to say, regardless of length. Too many long words can clutter a resume. Often, a short, simple adjective is more appropriate than a longer one when it conveys the meaning properly.

2. Confirm the word's meaning

Look up any words that you're slightly unfamiliar with. It's crucial that you use your resume adjective appropriately. Check the definition and synonyms to make sure you're conveying your point clearly and accurately.

3. Combine your adjectives with action words

Use adjectives along with active verbs to describe your accomplishments and responsibilities on a resume. These words enhance your skills and experience. Some examples include:

  • Developed a results-driven approach to the production line resulting in a 25% increase in productivity.
  • Created a dynamic presentation featuring an eloquent description of our new product line, which increased our conversion by 30%.
  • Maintained meticulous records for our ground-breaking software systems, which improved load time by 60%.

4. Include details that support your adjectives

When you use a powerful adjective like profitable, industrious or dynamic, it's helpful to quantify what you mean. Include specifics, as seen in the previous examples. Provide hard numbers and clear statistics whenever possible to support your use of compelling adjectives. The adjectives emphasize your point, but the numbers prove it.

Read more: 6 Universal Rules for Resume Writing

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Benefits of resume adjectives

Using the appropriate adjectives on your resume can make this document more attractive to employers. Hiring managers typically review dozens of resumes, many of which contain the same core information. Thoughtful adjectives can help distinguish yours from others. Careful use of adjectives will:

  • Demonstrate your communication skills. A resume that shares your skills and accomplishments in an engaging manner shows that you could highlight the company's successes in a similar manner, making you a strong ambassador for the business if you're hired.
  • Keep your reader engaged. Make sure the hiring manager reviewing your resume stays engaged with what you're saying by using impactful language that encourages them to keep reading. A well-written resume with careful adjectives reads smoothly and pleasantly.
  • Highlight key points. Use adjectives mindfully to highlight the most important points on your resume. This will help these stand out, drawing the mind and eye where you want them to linger the most.
  • Make a lasting impression. A resume that includes intriguing adjectives will stand out from others. Your eye-catching phrasing is more likely to stick in the reader's mind. The adjectives on your resume can make you a more memorable candidate.

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