List Of Words To Use In Cover Letter
Cover letters are tough to crack.
They're the lengthier cousins of resumes, requiring you to call upon your writing skills and explain why you deserve the job. It can be a frustrating process, one that sometimes feels like a blatant cry of, "Please just hire me already!"
See also: 9 simple body language tips for your next job interview
Your letter may be one of hundreds a potential employer reads, so you have no choice but to stand out. How will you do that? By slipping in smart, eye-catching words.
We spoke to three career experts and rounded up their favorite keywords everyone should put on his or her cover letter.
1. Descriptive adjectives.
Aside from including important keywords, LinkedIn's career expert Nicole Williams recommends focusing on the craft of the first, second and third sentence. The first should be about the employer, the second should be about you and the third should be about the company. She also highly recommends resisting common clichés.
"It’s not 'I’m organized,' it’s not 'I’m responsible,'" she tells Mashable. "People would expect you to be anyway."
Find a way to rephrase those overused words. Instead of saying "I'm a hard worker," say "I have an enormous capacity for work" (one of Williams' current employees began her cover letter with that line, and was hired instantly).
When directly talking about the employer, Williams says these key words are great: admire, inspired by and listen. When describing yourself, Williams recommends: enthusiastic, passionate and integrity.
2. Important skills to highlight.
Javid Muhammedali, the vice president of product management at Monster, tells Mashable that keywords change depending on the job you're applying for. However, for a general cover letter, he said these following words connote key skills that work for "all resumes with 0-4 years of experience."
Microsoft Office and Outlook
Problem Solving Skills
Resolve Customer Issues
3. Vital active verbs
Keywords are crucial to get past an applicant tracking system ("Otherwise known as the black hole you submit your resume into online," says Vicki Salemi, a career expert and author of two advice books). One of the simplest things you can do is reflect the job description.
"Highlight the skills and experiences they need by referencing the job description and inserting the exact words into your letter," she tells Mashable. "If they're hiring a valuation manager with experience in calculating intangible assets, ensure you put 'intangible assets.'"
Aside from that, Salemi also recommends powerful verbs that will "pack a punch."
Resume and Cover Letter Action Verbs
It’s always a good idea to use keywords and action verbs in your resume and cover letters. Using the right words not only shows what you have accomplished in previous jobs. These words also help your resume, cover letter, and other application materials get selected by the software and hiring managers who screen your documents.
What Are Resume Action Verbs and Keywords?
From the job seeker perspective, keywords are the words job seekers use to search for available positions.
For the employer, keywords are the terms that hiring managers use to screen resumes and cover letters to find applicants that are a good fit for a job.
There are different types of keywords. Job keywords are words that describe your skills and qualifications. They describe the hard skills you have that qualify you for a job.
Action verbs show your ability to succeed. For example, words like accomplished, developed, managed, and handled describe what you have achieved.
Keywords are used to match an applicant with an available job. The closer a match the keywords in a resume are to a job description, the better a candidate's chances of being selected for a job interview.
Why and How to Include Action Verbs in Your Resume
The keywords in your resume will help you get selected for a job interview. Hiring managers search by keywords to find resumes that match the job qualifications they established when they listed the job.
In addition to listing keywords specific to your occupation (like software or sales skills) include action words that show you what you have accomplished. Rather than just stating a list of duties, include action keywords in your position descriptions.
Here's an example:
- Proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel
- Specialized in product order management
- Helped manage associates on the sales floor
List of Resume and Cover Letter Action Verbs
Review these tips for how to get your resume past the applicant tracking systems employers use, and this list of action keywords to use to get your application noticed when applying for jobs.
Achieved, accomplished, acted, adapted, addressed, analyzed, authored, authorized, assessed, assisted, appraised, amended, advised, allocated, altered, accelerated, acquired, aided, assembled
Budgeted, built, brainstormed, balanced, blended, boosted
Compiled, combined, challenged, chaired, committed, communicated, coordinated, calculated, contributed, commissioned, confirmed, customized, created, challenged, critiqued
Decided, developed, disclosed, documented, discovered, designed, determined, demonstrated, deferred, distributed, directed, devoted, drafted, doubled, diversified, designated, dedicated, discussed
Exercised, expected, earned, elected, engaged, entered, engineered, employed, edited, evaluated, entertained, eliminated, exchanged, ended, estimated, exempted, endorsed, expedited, experienced, enforced, explained
Facilitated, focused, financed, fueled, figured, fit, formed, fortified, functioned, formulated
Guided, grouped, gave, garnered, granted, generated, guaranteed, gathered, graphed
Hired, handled, helped, headed
Improved, identified, installed, inspired, interviewed, issued, invested, illustrated, implemented, incurred, innovated, inspected, invented, interpreted, inaugurated, informed, induced, instilled, incorporated
Judged, joined, justified
Located, lectured, launched, litigated, lobbied, led, listened
Mastered, managed, merchandised, modified, met, minimized, modeled, measured, moderated, motivated, multiplied, marketed, maximized, moved, mediated
Negotiated, noticed, navigated, networked
Operated, owned, observed, oversaw, organized, obtained, oriented
Participated, printed, proposed, pursued, persuaded, perceived, preserved, processed, produced, promoted, planned, performed, pioneered, passed, prioritized, proficiency, provided, profiled, polled, presented, procured, purchased, placed, permitted
Quoted, qualified, questioned, queried
Ranked, resolved, received, rewarded, revised, revitalized, revamped, responded, restored, rejected, reinforced, reinstated, rehabilitated, remedied, redesigned, recruited, recovered, recorded, reduced, replaced, retained, retrieved, reversed, ran, raised, reached, reviewed, researched
Saved, secured, stabilized, scheduled, screened, settled, separated, sent, selected, shaped, shortened, showed, signed, simplified, sold, specialized, staged, standardized, steered, stimulated, strategized, surveyed, supported, supplied, substantiated, set goals, supervised, studied
Trained, tabulated, took, traveled, transformed, tested, transferred, tailored, targeted
Utilized, uncovered, united, updated, undertook, unified, upgraded
Verified, valued, validated, visited, visualized
Witnessed, worked, weighed, wrote, won, welcomed
Lists of Keywords
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