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Monday, March 22, 2010

Is your job search a noun or a verb?

Recently, the word career popped up as the Merriam-Webster’s word of the day in my email. I thought I knew what the word career meant, but I was surprised when I read that it was referring to the verb Career – meaning to go at top speed especially in a headlong manner. This made me think that one could “career toward a new career”.

If your job search is not actively moving forward in a headlong manner, maybe it is because you aren’t using some of the best action verbs to describe your skills. Following are some action verbs adapted from The Damn Good Resume Guide by Yana Parker. They are great for resumes. Even better, incorporate them into your cover letters and during the interview as you speak about your previous work duties.

achieve, act, adapt, address, administer, advise, allocate, analyze, appraise, approve, arbitrate, arrange, assemble, assess, assign, assist, attain, audit, author, balance, budget, build, calculate, catalogue, chair, clarify, classify, coach, collaborate, collect, communicate, compile, compute, conceptualize, consolidate, contract, convince, coordinate, correspond, counsel, create, critique, customize, delegate, demonstrate, demystify, design, develop, devise, diagnose, direct, dispatch, draft, edit, educate, enable, encourage, engineer, enlist, establish, evaluate, examine, execute, expand, expedite, explain, extract, fabricate, facilitate, familiarize, fashion, forecast, formulate, found, generate, guide, identify, illustrate, implement, improve, increase, influence, inform, initiate, inspect, institute, instruct, integrate, interpret, interview, introduce, invent, investigate, lecture, maintain, manage, market, mediate, moderate, monitor, motivate, negotiate, operate, organize, originate, overhaul, oversee, perform, persuade, pioneer, plan, prepare, prioritize, process, produce, program, project, promote, publicize, purchase, recommend, reconcile, record, recruit, reduce,refer, rehabilitate, remodel, repair, represent, research, resolve, restore, retrieve, review, revitalize, schedule, screen, set, shape, solve, speak, spearhead, specify, stimulate, strengthen, ,summarize, supervise, survey, systematize, tabulate, train, transform, translate, upgrade, validate, write

When you describe your skills and accomplishments with action verbs potential employers will take notice. Which example has more punch?

1. I had 7 people that reported to me while we put merchandise back on the floor that sold the day before. We would scan the shelf labels to see other merchandise that needed to be filled that didn’t arrive in the truck. We would also help store the merchandise in the stock room with a computer system.

2. Supervised 7 employees; Responsible for merchandise replenishment; Generated lists of merchandise for replenishment; Processed merchandise for storage.

Not only will the action verbs help your resume sound snappier, it will help keep it to the recommended one-page length that hiring managers like to review.

How we can help – We offer many resources to help you gain a new position on your way to a career. The Employment and Training Representatives at Kane County Department of Employment and Education can help you find all the information you need to make your resume get noticed. Visit and click on the JOBS link, you can find additional tips to help you in your job search.

Four Offices to serve you:

Elgin – 30 DuPage Court 847-888-7900 x 230

N. Aurora – 2 Smoketree Plaza 630-844-6640 x 203

DeKalb – 1701 E. Lincoln Hwy. 815-756-4893 x 240

Yorkville – 811 W. John St. 630-553-8303

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