Verbs are a very important part of a resume.
Interesting, strong verbs emphasize your accomplishments: manage a team of 10 professionals; drive revenue; created new procedures; ranked #2 out of 150 sales reps. Weak verbs (is responsible for, was engaged in the process of) weaken your accomplishments and generally take up valuable space. See the difference here:
Responsible for the reorganization of two departments.
Reorganized two departments.
Past and present verb tense can easily become a problem. The only place for the present tense is in the job you hold now (“mentor three team members”). Descriptions for all previous jobs must be in the past tense (“mentored three team members”). So when you update your resume with a new job, move all descriptions of old jobs into the past tense. One verb that always causes problems is “lead.” The past tense of “lead” is “led.”
The future tense almost never appears on a resume, although you can address the future (for example, “on track to reach $3M in new revenue”). Just make sure that references to the future are still relevant. For example, if you were on track to reach new revenue three jobs ago, that goal was either met or not met—it is no longer in the future.
Verbs in complex sentences can also cause problems. For examples, “reduced customer complaints, number of returns, and satisfaction scores.” Right now, the sentence states that you reduced satisfaction scores. It should read, “reduced customer complaints and number of returns and raised satisfaction scores.”
Verb and noun forms of the same word are often spelled differently. For example, the noun is “startup,” but the verb is “start up.” So you start up a startup company. You also counsel a council and give advice when you advise them.
Many verbs sound similar to other words that have quite different meanings. The classic examples are compliment and complement, affect and effect, lead (the mineral) and led. Make sure you are using the right verb.
Robin’s Resumes® has decades of experience in making sure that every detail of your resume—including the verbs—is grammatically and factually correct and delivers a strong message. Contact us today.