While you can prepare yourself for an interview in a variety of ways, one of the most important is to have Power Words you integrate into the interview – whether it be by phone or in-person. These Power or Action Words can also be added to your Resume’, Cover Letter or Linked-In Profile.
Words you choose to include in your Resume or LinkedIn Profile can do one of two things.
1) Alert hiring pros to your professionalism, aptitude, readiness – even leadership skills.
2) Or Not.
Furthermore, words you use in a LinkedIn Profile – or resume – can show what level you
are at in your career, say hiring pros. Not only that, certain boring, poor descriptive words can discredit you. And if a hiring pro doesn’t see key indicators a candidate is qualified by appropriate word choice or diction – at first glance – it’s highly likely your resume will be eliminated.
When you use Power Words, words which describe your experience and skills – and which are related to the job you are interviewing for – experience shows these immediately help to engage the interviewer, or reader, whether they be a decision-maker or hiring pro reviewing your Resume’, Cover Letter, LinkedIn Profile or interviewing you.
These are valuable words they remember long after your interview has ended.
To stand out you must engage interviewers, hiring pros and decision-makers on their level. You can do this by:
1) Using active, descriptive Power Words which strongly relate to the job you are interviewing or hope to interview for. You should also have them available, along with your resume’, by your home phone or quiet spot where you’ll answer your cell phone if you receive a pre-interview call at home.
2) Do some research and have words available which are related to the company, its mission or culture.
3) Also – add some of these to your LinkedIn Profile, Resume’, Cover Letter and any emails sent to a potential interviewer.
4) Be prepared for an interview; rehearse statements about your strengths and skills; or stories you plan to tell, including Power Words which effectively describe them.
While similar jobs, at different companies, will often have different responsibilities, carefully review the job ad or description on their site or blog to be sure you find and have those Power Words at hand to use. Also, go to LinkedIn to discover similar words if they’ve posted the job ad on their Company or Showcase Page.
Power Words used should always be active; words which easily show how you have performed when taking on and completing a job.
They’re not about you but what you’ve achieved. And should be active verbs which take center stage in a sentence. In fact, these words should be the heart of the sentence and immediately show a plan, process or operation was set in motion to move a project, situation or group forward.
Action verbs are also called dynamic words – used to clearly show what you have achieved.
This can be either physical or mental action. In short, these words easily draw the reader or listener’s attention to the subject at hand. Whether you are speaking or writing, these are the main words which stand out. And often the words most remembered.
According to Monster.com, there are 12 Top Power Words for Interviews, Resumes’, Cover Letters and your LinkedIn Profile. They’re listed here with a description for each:
1) – Led –
As you would expect, this word shows you were in some type of leadership position. Whether you were physically leading staff or leading a project, the word ‘Led’ is a powerful active verb.
2) – Launched –
You had an idea, took the reins and made it happen. It shows a person with initiative. This particular word is always a good word to include when you’ve actually been in a position to take this type of action.
3) – Quantify –
Meaning sharable stats, figures, percentages, numbers of people led, supervised or coached, for example. On the other hand, how many clients did you oversee, how often. Bottom line – what did you accomplish which can be stated in percentages or other factual ways?
4) – Achieved / Accomplished –
Either of these are very important Power Words. And showing your successes, using them, will engage a listener’s attention. Using either the word Achieved or Accomplished helps capture their attention and generally they will listen until the story you tell is finished.
Interviewers and decision-makers always want to know about your successes. It’s an indication of what you will, or can do, for their company if hired. Don’t leave these out or skimp on facts. If there ever was a time to brag, this is it.
5) – Trained –
This is another word which doesn’t allow for skimping. Describe how many people you worked with; what the project was. Describe at least two. Be specific with stats –
* How many you trained
* How long each project took
* How much time or money was saved – for example.
During the course of these trainings, did you develop a training manual? If so describe it – what was included, for which departments or divisions? Is it an online training?
6) – Resolved –
Interviewers, and companies, love people who are problem solvers. These are people who can often do the undoable, solve the generally unsolvable. These people are critical thinkers; they take time to consider situations before determining what can or must be done. This is a great time to show a company what you can do by providing anecdotes or short stories about ‘a time when you resolved a problem or issue’.
7) – Improved –
This includes any actions you’ve taken which have changed something. This could be anything from company morale to employee work accomplished, shaving money off a project or expenses off a budget to creating better use of an employee’s skills, for example.
8) – Initiated –
This is another word like launched. Companies love employees who take the initiative. The word initiated demonstrates confidence, self-reliance, shows you trust in yourself and your own ideas.
9) – Implemented – If you use this word as a follow-up to ‘Initiated’, it shows you as a follow-through person; you are someone who can be counted on to get things done. It’s an excellent active, descriptive word.
10) – Reconciled –
This can include anything from bills and statistical data to employee problems and conflicts. A skill companies covet.
11) – Partnered –
Team worker, partnering or partnered are all extremely important skills – or strengths – to have. This tells an interviewer or decision-maker you are capable of working with others, whether it be an individual, your boss or a team. This is a top skill all companies want an individual they hire to possess. It can also suggest you will fit into the culture of the hiring company.
12) – Advised –
The ability to capably advise others, to help them create success, or get the job done, is another skill companies covet. Depending upon who you advised it can show a variety of things. For example – you advise your boss or department on a specific topic, you advise new-hires, you advise a company group. Even if those you advised are part of a group outside work, you should mention them.
- Don’t use words which attempt to cover-up what you think are your short-comings.
- Don’t use ‘seasoned’ for ‘over age 50’. Hiring pros know this word is used as a cover for ‘age’.
- Don’t use ‘energetic’ for ‘inexperienced’. It ‘looks like spin and smells like spin’ says career consultant Duncan Mathison. Keep the focus on what makes you right for the job.
- Don’t use words like ‘motivated’, ‘diligent worker’ or ‘think out-of-the-box’ unless you have other solid Power Words or phrases which follow.