How To Use Resume Adjectives Effectively (With Words List)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated November 22, 2022

Published February 25, 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Illustration of a person holding their resume with achievements floating around it.

Resume adjectives are descriptive words that can make your application more compelling and memorable. Using the right adjectives can help you craft a resume that effectively highlights key accomplishments and milestones to potential employers. 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 resume adjectives and how to use them, with lists of adjectives arranged by popular categories and the benefits of using adjectives in your resume.

What are resume adjectives?

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 can fit within their organization. Implementing these words can make your resume language intriguing and original to distinguish you from other candidates and increase your chances of earning a position.

Related: How To Write a Resume Employers Will Notice

How to use resume adjectives

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

1. Use the most effective word

Choose the adjective that's most appropriate for your point, regardless of length. Too many long words can clutter a resume and bore the reader. Often, a short, simple adjective is more effective than a longer one when it conveys the meaning properly.

Related: 269 Keywords To Use In Your CV (With Benefits and Tips)

2. Confirm the word's meaning

Research any words that feel slightly unfamiliar before adding them to your resume. It's crucial that you use your resume adjectives appropriately and understand how they relate to the industry or position. Check the definition and synonyms to make sure each word conveys 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 and demonstrate your value to employers. Some examples of resume lines that combine adjectives and action verbs 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%."

Related: 195 Action Verbs To Make Your Resume Stand Out

4. Include details that support your adjectives

When you use powerful adjectives like profitable, industrious or dynamic, quantify what you mean. Include specifics, as seen in the previous examples. Provide numbers and clear statistics to support your use of compelling adjectives. The adjectives emphasize your point, but the numbers prove it and show the employer the exact value you can provide to the company.

Related: 6 Universal Rules for Resume Writing (With Video)

Resume adjective categories

Try using adjectives in the following categories to enhance your resume:

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. Here are some example adjectives:

  • Reliable

  • Rousing

  • Influential

  • Decisive

  • Accountable

  • Determined

  • Inspiring

  • Disciplined

  • Proactive

Related: Leadership Skills: Definitions and Examples

Finance adjectives

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

  • Trustworthy

  • Honest

  • Thorough

  • Ardent

  • Industrious

  • Devoted

  • Earnest

  • Focused

  • Diligent

Related: Finance Skills To Include on Your Resume by Job Type

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 an interesting resume:

  • Proficient

  • Meticulous

  • Complex

  • Cutting-edge

  • Innovative

  • Visionary

  • Groundbreaking

  • Revolutionary

  • Sophisticated

  • Unprecedented

Marketing adjectives

Effective marketing professionals know how to engage customers. When applying in this field, make your resume 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

Related: Choosing Keywords for Your Marketing Resume: A How-To Guide

Sales adjectives

Sales professionals aim to make strong personal connections with customers and clients. Use your resume to emphasize your personable nature and dedication to success, with words like these:

  • Dynamic

  • Diplomatic

  • Determined

  • Respectful

  • Flexible

  • Positive

  • Personable

  • Assertive

  • Articulate

  • Eloquent

  • Tactful

  • Persuasive

Related: Sales and Marketing Manager

Customer service adjectives

In customer service, your role may rely heavily on strong communication skills. Your resume allows you to 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

Related: 11 Customer Service Adjectives To Describe Your Skills

Manufacturing adjectives

Manufacturing professionals aim to manage a fine balance between quality and output. Choose adjectives that emphasize your timeliness and your attention to detail, such as:

  • Industrious

  • Focused

  • Results-driven

  • Productive

  • Methodical

  • Structured

  • Purposeful

  • Detailed

  • Precise

  • Thorough

Creativity adjectives

When applying for a creative role, 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 emphasizing your ability to exceed expectations, increase output and work hard, use these adjectives to 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 individuals on your team and the customers that you serve. These adjectives emphasize your ability to communicate clearly and assist others effectively:

  • Tactful

  • Mindful

  • Supportive

  • Assertive

  • Persuasive

  • Approachable

  • Articulate

  • Diplomatic

  • Respectful

Benefits of resume adjectives

Using the appropriate adjectives on your resume can make your 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. Here are some benefits of including specific adjectives in your resume:

Demonstrating your communication skills

A resume that shares your skills and accomplishments in an engaging manner shows your ability to similarly highlight the company's successes, making you a strong ambassador for the business as an employee.

The ability to communicate through your resume writing reflects your ability to communicate professionally. Using meaningful and specific adjectives can demonstrate your communication skills and increase your chances of earning an interview or job offer.

Related: A Complete Guide to Effective Written Communication

Keeping your reader engaged

Make sure the hiring manager reviewing your resume stays engaged while reading your application by using impactful language that encourages them to keep reading. A well-written resume with careful adjectives reads smoothly and pleasantly. Using specific keywords, adjectives and language can also distinguish you from other applicants.

Related: How Hiring Managers Review Resumes

Highlighting key points

Use adjectives mindfully to highlight the most important points on your resume. This helps you stand out and effectively communicate your strongest skills and qualifications. Combine the most relevant adjectives and keywords to customize your resume to fit the role, company and job description.

Making a lasting impression

A resume that includes intriguing adjectives stands out from others and can leave an impression on the reader. The adjectives on your resume can make you a more memorable candidate and increase your ability to earn your desired position or advance in the hiring process.

Using these adjectives to convey your knowledge, communication and skills can help you seem more valuable to the employer than other candidates.


Explore more articles