Using Language Effectively in Your Job Search
June 23, 2017
You are deep in your job search. Sometimes you only get a few minutes to meet with someone, or don’t even get face time. Take a minute to think, “Am I using language that has the most impact?” Here are some hints to incorporate into your communications:
Verbally and written
First, start thinking simple. Use your words. Power words can give your message a lot of punch. Make your words meaningful and positive. Need some help? We’ve got you covered in a comprehensive list from A to Z.
Next, think a little bigger, phrases! Use phrases in your conversations that that show actions and accomplishments. Here are some examples:
• “I was responsible for….”
• “I was in charge of …”
• “Under my direction, the impact ….”
• “I took initiative to…”
Notice how each phrase includes “I” or “my” in conjunction with an action. These are the revealing phrases that get employers interested. Hiring managers need to hear or see that you are different. They want to hire responsible, motivated, brave, conscientious, reliable, and confident employees that help propel the company’s mission. Effective messaging can set you apart from other candidates, especially if time is limited.
Most of all, speak in a positive manner. Don’t talk about how long you have been out of work or speak negatively about your last job. You don’t want your perspective employer to feel sorry for you, you want them to be impressed by you! Be excited about opportunities for a new career, position, culture, and/or company.
Equally important is how you carry and present yourself. Check our tips on what to do and what not to do while networking on your job search and when you start interviewing.
What to do:
• Keep your arms and hands relaxed—you will look more approachable.
• Make eye contact. You will look engaged and interested.
• Lean in. You will appear warmer and more open.
• Shake their hand, while looking them in the eye, with firmness but not too long.
• Smile and nod your head. Keep it positive.
• Use your hands to help you tell stories if you need to move. Hopefully it will help you get out nervousness and will help your listener stay with the conversation.
What not to do:
• Cross your arms. It can make you look mean, withdrawn or less confident.
• Look around, not in the eye of the person you are speaking to. It will appear as if your interest is waning.
• Fidget or engage in nervous habits. You’ll appear anxious like you want to get to the next thing or bored.
• Lean back or away. You are creating distance and a barrier—both with the person you are talking to and the job you want to get!
• Frown or furrowed. You will look unfriendly and unapproachable.
• Deliver a wimpy or painful handshake. You can appear under or over confident.
Your expression, how you present yourself with words, verbally and written, have a huge impact on the impression you make with a potential employer. Take charge and put forth your very best self by using positive and action oriented language!Share this:
A to Z Guide to Power Words for Your Resume and Cover Letter
May 25, 2017
Looking to increase the effectiveness and visibility of your resume and cover letters? Try incorporating some power words into your job search communications. Power words are little clues that help match talent to job descriptions. Below is a compilation of power words from A to Z that you should weave in your job search communications.
A – Accomplished. Toot your horn, because if you don’t, who will? This is your opportunity to wow a hiring manager and describe your accomplishments.
B – Built. If you built an organization, a website, a sales team, a marketing process, then you just moved to the top of a recruiter’s candidate. Some people talk a good game, but you? You build things. You’re hired!
C – Changed. Change agents are worth their weight in gold, especially in large, complex organizations. When you change things, you move people and companies to a different (hopefully better) place. That can be a daunting task, but you did it. Now, make another change—to a better job!
D – Decreased. Wait, what’s that sound? Ooooh, it’s the sound of all the money piling up because you decreased cost. Employers like that. A lot.
E – Exceeded. This is your “above and beyond” word. When you exceed goals and expectations, you leave your customers (and your company) in a better place. Organizations are always looking for an ‘A player.’ Show them how you’ve got game.
F – Found. You found solutions. You found opportunities. You found a new revenue stream. Make sure recruiters know about it and you might have just found a better career.
G – Generated. You’re like a nuclear reactor generating power to drive organizations. If you’re generating revenue, sales or actionable reports, then you have a leg up on the competition.
H – Headed. Want to be head and shoulders about other job seekers? Describe which teams you led to show your leadership.
I – Improved. You don’t settle for the status quo. In fact, you make things better. Explain how you improved processes and you just might improve your salary.
J – Judged. Making judgment calls is tough. Not many people have the fortitude to make difficult decisions on people and processes. You’re not most people. That’s why recruiters will judge you a notch above the competition.
K – Kept. Are you the stable factor on on the team? Do you keep things moving and flowing because you are a good project manager? Those are great qualities that companies love.
L – Launched. Boom! If you started something new, be it big or small, you launched it. Use the word, “launched” for big impact no matter what the size of your new program, system, or idea.
M – Managed. Whether it was people, numbers, or files – employers want to know you have leadership capability. Let them know what you managed and they’ll understand you can take charge and take care of things.
N – Negotiated. You are balanced, fair, AND tough. Employers love that. They want to know you were able to see your way through an issue, bend when needed, push when needed and got to the ultimate goal.
O – Oversaw. Trust. It’s huge in the workplace. If you oversaw a project, chances are someone trusted you to take care of it. Recruiters will pick up on that.
P – Produced. It’s true, every employer wants data, products, and to increase the bottom line. What have you produced that you can cite that will let your next supervisor know you are in tune, on board and ready to produce for them?
Q – Quantified. Sometimes proof is in the numbers. Employers want to know what you have measured, or even that you know it is important to measure!
R – Revamped. Did you change a program, report or a process for the better? Better revamp that resume and list those accomplishments!
S – Streamlined. This word is a dynamo. Know why? It boils down to dollars and cents. Streamlining means dollars saved or dollars earned. Every recruiter likes the sound of that.
T – Tracked. Just using the word means you understand the importance of tracking. In this outcome-based world, it is essential; so if you have tracked anything, let it be known!
U – Unified. Let’s face it, all companies like when things are running smoothly and staff is connected and working as a team. Have you brought together team members or departments? Make a note of it!
V – Verified. You found the truth! You made sure a conclusion, report or bottom line was accurate. That is awesome and very valuable to companies that want to stay profitable and want to grow. Let them know!
W – Won. Yes! You closed a lot of deals, got new clients, or met a sales goal and were rewarded for it. What else have you won? Go ahead, you’ve got bragging rights.
X – Sorry, we tried. How about another “S?” There are a lot of those “s” words…and this one is perfect for you …succeeded.
Y – Yield. Think about what you’ve produced or been the cause of. Did your marketing plan yield more referrals or your team yield more sales?
Z – Zoned in. Did you focus and improve an area or issue in your career? Zone in on some power words to sell yourself in your next resume or cover letter.Share this: