Are you writing your resume with tired old verbs?

Clients who work with me know that I push them to find new ways of saying things. I use many different tools to find ways to replace the tired old verbs that seem to haunt most resumes.

What are tired old verbs?

  • Developed – Research in your thesaurus typically doesn’t yield better words for develop. Most people use it too much and in the wrong fields. It fits best in the construction field but people tend to use it for every other field. I loved this list from the Daily Muse. Instead of Developed – what if you said designed, created, devised, engineered, established, pioneered, or launched?
  • Assisted – Very overused. Most of the time, I replace assisted with collaborated but that gets overused too. How about accommodated, facilitated, served, or supported?
  • Handled – Never did like that word. I always picture someone who is handling the baggage. If you have changed or improved something, you may have centralized, clarified, modified, reorganized, or streamlined. If you are trying to say you managed something (or someone), you really need to look at directed, supervised, mobilized, or mentored.
  • Provided – Maybe you prepared, presented, produced, dispensed or perhaps you advised, fielded, informed, or resolved.

Research new ways to write

When tempted to use tired, old verbs, do your homework to find some new ones. Microsoft Word’s Thesaurus improved since its older versions. You can also use and other resources to find better words for your resume.

As a professional writer, I continuously refresh my words to make sure I don’t use overused and tired verbs. Spend some time thinking about your content and trying to make it interesting. Your content will be much better received.

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Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

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