Great Resumes Fast » Personal Branding » Can the Words You Use on Your Resume Really Make That Big of a Difference?

You hear a lot of talk about using hard skills versus soft skills or using strong adjectives versus passive terminology on your resume, but can the words you choose really make that big of a difference?  Absolutely!

The right word choice can be the difference between sounding like you are barely knowledgeable about something or having a full mastery of it.  Let me provide the following example.  Which of these statements sounds like the person is a go-getter capable of taking action:

Effectively build and maintain key professional relationships, expand customer base, and target new markets.


Builder and maintainer of key professional relationships, expander of customer base, and targeter of new markets.

While both statements refer to very general duties (and I wouldn’t choose to use either of them on a resume as they’re not specific or targeted enough), the first one sounds like the person did that as part of his job at some point; perhaps it was a responsibility assigned to him during his tenure.  The second statement sounds like the person owned his responsibility to build relationships—and made it happen!

Do you want to be someone who is perceived as MAKING things happen for a prospective employer?  If so, think about the terminology you’re using on your resume and how you can make small changes that will make a big impact.

Remember that word choice is important, but customizing your resume for each position is even more important.  For tips on how to brand your resume, check out my recent article: 5 Key Areas to Target When Branding Your Resume.

For additional job search and resume-related advice, follow us on Twitter @GreatResume. 

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About the author

Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast

Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.

What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.

You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!

I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!


  1. Build a Resume on May 19, 2012 at 6:06 am

    Build a unique resume is a part of interview. you share Some Resume Facts that is true , and useful to get a good job. Thanks for sharing it. I will share it with my friends.

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    Can the Words You Use on Your Resume Really Make That Big of a Difference?

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