5 Keywords to Use and 5 To Avoid on a Resume


Your resume is your first introduction to a potential new employer. Unfortunately, you only have a limited amount of space to condense a large amount of information into a statement that makes an impact. That’s why it’s so important to use keywords carefully. Here are five that you should use and five you shouldn’t to make a great first impression and help you secure an interview.


  • Problem Solving – Business is often about responding to unexpected circumstances. All companies are looking for recruits that can rise to the occasion when problems arise.
  • Leadership – Even if you are not applying for a management position, it’s important to stress that you have the skills of a good leader. Employees with these attributes make the best team members, too.
  • Written Communication – It is important to stress communication skills generally, but being able to communicate in writing is the skill that businesses most often utilize and that employees most often lack.
  • Team Building – It’s not just up to leaders to build teams. Hiring managers want to know that a recruit can work well with others, make a defined contribution, and help further the ultimate goal of the team/company.
  • Performance/Productivity Improvement – The best recruits can prove that they made a meaningful contribution at their past jobs. Don’t stress that you did what was asked of you, stress that you went above and beyond.


  • Dynamic – If you are flexible, talented in multiple areas, and able to think on the fly, your resume should reflect this. Dynamic is a meaningless adjective unless you can back it up.
  • Creative – Much like the previous entry, creative doesn’t mean much unless you can prove it. And while creativity is a positive attribute, it’s not one that hiring managers frequently identify as an important quality for recruits.
  • Motivated – Being motivated is a basic prerequisite for employment. Don’t waste space on your resume telling a hiring manager that you have a quality they already expect from you.
  • Innovative – This word raises red flags for hiring managers because it subtly suggests you have trouble working within an established system and will look for ways to fix what others don’t consider broken.
  • Track Record – A resume is already a track record of sorts. Instead of wasting space using this phrase, organize your resume so that it succinctly and clearly proves you have a track record.

Have you noticed a theme? The keywords that you should use are relevant, specific, and backed up with real information about your skills and experiences. The words that you should avoid are redundant, vague, and hard to prove. If you would like more help crafting a potent resume, contact the employment experts at JH Staffing Services.

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