Interviews, The Resume

A-Z Action Verbs!

A-Z Action Verbs to Get Your Resume & Cover Letter Noticed

The job search means many things, one of which is that you are going to have to speak and writing about yourself… a lot!

Get comfortable with sharing with others, who you are and what your experiences are about. Below is a list of action verbs that you can use to help you describe yourself and your experiences. These words are going to help get your resume and cover letter through a typical Applicant Tracking System (ATS)  and will help you stand out in the interview.

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


Doyle, A. (2017, July 31). Resume and Cover Letter Action Verbs. Retrieved March 27, 2018, from


…On Pronoun Watch!

(Umoh, 2017) Interviewers are known to pay close attention to how job candidates answer questions- with specific emphasis placed on the content and the pronouns that candidates use to describe their experiences.

For example, if a candidate uses the pronouns (Umoh, 2017)  “they” and “them” to describe work experiences —and are still employed with the organization, it demonstrates that perhaps they are disconnected from their work and/or the organization. This is a red flag to the interviewer as they are looking to hire an individual with the required skillset… who will also internalize the mission and vision of their company.

If the candidate uses the pronouns “they” and “them” (and still employed with the organization) it sends the message that the candidate is not in the practice of internalizing company mission, nor are they likely to do this in the future.

Instead, opt for words such as (Umoh, 2017) “we” and/or “us” to positively demonstrate a connection to the current organization and attention to detail. “We” and “Us” shows that you are showing that you are a team player and that you are invested in what happens with team or department that you are apart of, and the overall organization.  Take it one step further, (Fisher, 2017) describe your success as “we” versus using the word “I” and then, elaborate on your specific contribution.

If you are preparing for an upcoming interview contact The Polished Career to schedule a free, 30-Minute Mock Interview. Work with a Learning and Development Specialist and Career Coach to help you nail the interview.


Citations & Suggested Reading:

Fisher, A. (2015, February 25). The two most important words in a job interview. Retrieved March 27, 2018, from

Umoh, R. (2017, August 2). Using this word too much could tank your job interview. Retrieved March 27, 2018, from


“How much were you making in your previous position?”

The question of “how much were you making in your previous position?” is #Cringe worthy.  Why? Because in most cases, money is a taboo subject.

The question of previous compensations can drudge up the complex feelings and views— as if the interview process wasn’t stressful enough, now we have this to deal with!

Money extends to so many facets of your everyday life. (Alsemgeest, 2016, p.394) It confers social power and can be seen as a measure of worthiness and create an enhanced image and social structure for the individual. Money is also linked to happiness: the belief that more wealth brings greater happiness tends to be strengthened by the materialism.

During the interview process, the question of your previous compensation can make the interviewee feel embarrassed and conflicted as they are truly placed between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, honesty is always the best policy. However, if the goal is to land an opportunity to make more money, the question of how much does one roundup or inflate reality — will ultimately surface. This issue is magnified for those who are currently underpaid.

Your response speaks volumes. (Leonhardt, 2017) Declining to answer the question is risky. Refusing to answer can cost you the job, and sidestepping the question could get you a lower salary compared to those who answered (p.20).

In an attempt to (end the awkwardness for job seekers and) close the wage gap, the question of previous compensation is coming to an end. Thanks to new laws that prohibit employers from asking job candidates about their past compensation before making a salary offer. The law is currently in effect in New York City, Delaware, and California – and is quickly gaining momentum.

See where your city and state stand on this issue. Follow the links below, and learn more about the law and how it relates to you as a job seeker.

Gowland, L. (2017, March 9). When Employers Ask About Your Salary History, Say This. Retrieved March 27, 2018, from

Pelisson, A., & Cain, Á. (2017, October 26). 9 places where people may never have to answer the dreaded salary question again. Business Insider. Retrieved March 27, 2018, from

Scheiber, N. (2018, February 16). If a Law Bars Asking Your Past Salary, Does It Help or Hurt? The New York Times. Retrieved March 27, 2018, from


Added 09APR2018:

Cain, Á, & Pelisson, A. (2018, April 09). 9 places in the US where job candidates may never have to answer the dreaded salary question again. Retrieved April 09, 2018, from

Added 12APR2018, See LinkedIn Discussion:

Cain, Á. (2018, April 12). 9 places in the US where job candidates may never have to answer the dreaded salary question again. Retrieved April 12, 2018, from

Alsemgeest, L. (2016). Talking about Money Is Taboo: Perceptions of Financial Planning Students and Implications for the Financial Planning Industry. Industry And Higher Education, 30(6), 394-401.

Leonhardt, M. (2017). Ace the Money Question. Money, 46(8), 20.



Interview Prep: 10 Tough Questions

If you are actively searching for new career opportunities, know that a callback or impromptu telephone screening can happen at any time. Face-to-face interviews can be scheduled with only a day’s notice —and as the interviewee, you are expected to be available and fully prepared.

An alarming reality for some. But, for those who are serious about entering the workplace for the first time, re-entering the workplace after an extended leave or are transitioning into a new field, the quick turnaround is greatly appreciated.

Be prepared for the call. Start by refining your elevator pitch. Then, challenge yourself to answer the ten real interview questions listed below. Brainstorm/journal your responses and continue to workshop them until you feel confident enough to repeat them in the interview.

Remember, responses should be accurate and fully answer the questions. Also, corresponding examples and anecdotes should be brief and remain on topic. The more times you practice this, the better your responses are going to be.

If you find yourself stuck on a question, turn attention to your career and academic experiences. Think about your #ThereToHere story and reputable organizations that you are/were a part of.

10 Loaded Interview Questions:

  1. Why should we hire you? 
  2. Describe a situation when you worked with a person whose personal beliefs were the opposite of yours. How did you deal with it?
  3. Describe a time when you had to adapt to work effectively with people who were different or had unique needs?
  4. Tell me about a project or task you completed that you were the proudest of.
  5. What was your greatest achievement of the past two years?
  6.  Tell me about a time you had to comply with a policy or procedure that you did not agree with?
  7. Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
  8. What impressed you most about this company?
  9. Is this a role that you can see yourself in?
  10. Why this company?

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