How many ways can you say 'manage'?

This blog post does not start with a reference to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

It starts with an introduction to Power Verbs.

When it comes to resume writing, or heck -- let's say any kind of compelling writing -- the verb is one your best friends. Your best, best friend is the Power Verb.

These are emotive, descriptive, action-oriented, active verbs.

These are not passive, idle words that take up valuable resume real estate. These are not useless passive words like is, am, are, were, have. The power verb, to paraphrase from Walt Whitman, contains multitudes.

Now, a resume or a cover letter is not built on power verbs alone; there are a lot of things that go into crafting a succinct and compelling career content. But power verbs are your anchors. They root your experience and skills in definable ways that stick.

Some things to consider:

  • Did you "Write a radio broadcast" or did you "Compose, proofread and edit a weekly radio broadcast"?
  • Did you "Manage a project" or did you "Start" "Supervise" "Kickstart" "Jumpstart" "Kickoff" "Oversee" a project?
  • Or more broadly: did you compute, govern, motivate, coach, endorse, advise, influence, coordinate?

Power verbs take your skills and experience to the next level. And they're not hard, in fact, there's roughly a million power verb documents on the web.

My personal favorite is this one 'Power Verbs: Working with People' and it's from my employer the College of Letters & Science at UW-Madison. This document is so good I've been using it since 2007 in my own career searches and writing. It's simple and concise. It could be your next game changer.

Pass it on.

Have a verb that's giving you trouble? A verb you can't shake? That drives you mad? I want to hear it. Share your worst and maybe best.