So many executive job seekers let ho-hum passive verbs describe their sometimes extraordinary accomplishments.
They use wimpy verbs like “Responsible for” and “Managed” in their LinkedIn profiles and executive resumes.
If your contributions have been high-impact and greatly benefited your employers, shouldn’t the verbs you use to describe them fit the achievement?
You’re not boring. The content supporting your candidacy shouldn’t be either.
Writing vibrant content for your job search personal marketing materials can elevate your candidacy and position your brand above the rest.
After all, personal branding is all about differentiating your unique value. How better to do that than with powerful language.
Strong action verbs generate chemistry and better showcase the value you offer.
As a writer, I’m always looking for better words when I’m writing LinkedIn profiles, executive resumes, biographies, etc. I often turn to thesaurus.com, but many times it doesn’t hit the mark.
A boatload of strong verbs to support your personal brand
I’ve come across an excellent post on The Muse that lays out 185 powerful verbs to more precisely express what you did.
They’ve broken down all those juicy verbs into various categories, related to the kinds of contributions you’ve made:
- You led a project
- You envisioned and brought a project to life
- You saved the company time or money
- You increased efficiency, sales, revenue or customer satisfaction
- You changed or improved something
- You managed a team
- You brought in partners, funding or resources
- You supported customers
- You were a research machine
- You wrote or communicated
- You oversaw or regulated
- You achieved something
You’ll find many lists of verbs online, but this is the best one I’ve seen.
Here’s a sampling, from the category “You changed or improved something“:
Along with the sheer number of verbs, the thing that impresses me about this list is that, for the most part, the verbs are not fussy or overly-cerebral. These are words most people use regularly in conversation, so they won’t sound out of place for most people.
I intend to refer to it often, as I’m writing my clients’ personal brand materials.
Creating a vibrant executive resume and LinkedIn profile takes more than strong writing
Writing resumes and LinkedIn profile content is not easy. Strategy and positioning are involved, beyond strong writing.
You may not be able to write your own resume. Typically, executives make these 4 big mistakes:
- Failing to position themselves as the best hiring choice for their target employers.
- Not understand how personal branding will differentiate them and generate chemistry for them as a good-fit candidate.
- Failing to capture attention above the fold.
- Sacrificing readability to keep their resume to 2 pages.
Then again, maybe you can write your own resume.
In my popular post, How to Write An Irresistible C-suite Executive Resume in 10 Steps, I lay out a 10-step resume worksheet to help you pull all the pieces together.
And I offer suggestions on how to modernize your outdated resume with personal branding and storytelling.
Personal branding is no longer optional.
In a nutshell, branding links your passions, key personal attributes, and driving strengths with your value proposition, in a crystal clear message that differentiates you from your competition and resonates with your target audience.
The things that differentiate your unique promise of value from your job seeking competitors is what will sell you.
Companies are looking for vitality, good fit, and personal chemistry in executive candidates. Branding generates chemistry and makes you come alive on the paper, digital, and web page.
The better you can communicate what differentiates you, the more likely you’ll be a candidate in the running.
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