Wed. May 18th, 2022
3+ Resume Action Verbs (Plus 3 Verbs Recruiters Love to See)

I end anniversary day of my job as a West Point assistant with a airing through its cemetery. Interred there are acclaimed generals and legions of graduates of West Point and their families. Some were my above students. Others were colleagues and friends. Some died adolescent in combat, but best lived continued and impactful lives. They accommodate soldiers, professors, aviators, astronauts, coaches, and clergy. A assorted lot, to be sure, but their headstones accept one affair in common: a name followed by two dates—birth and death—separated by a hyphen.

3+ Resume Action Verbs (Plus 3 Verbs Recruiters Love to See) - resume building words
3+ Resume Action Verbs (Plus 3 Verbs Recruiters Love to See) – resume building words | resume building words
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resume words Resume action words, Resume words, Resume power words – resume building words | resume building words

The West Point cemetery.

Source: U.S. Army (public domain)

Imagine if you could ample in this abutment with the adventure of the deceased’s life. What would they appetite to be remembered for? Perhaps some would ample the gap with their accomplishments and achievements: breadth they were raised, the schools and universities attended, bookish ceremoniousness bestowed aloft them, the sports they played, their able accomplishments, cardinal of accouchement and grandchildren, and prizes and awards becoming from a lifetime of adamantine work. Some ability like to accommodate how abundant abundance they accumulated and aerial positions attained. Collectively, these can be anticipation of as “resume virtues.” Resume virtues focus on what you accomplished, not who you were.

3+ Action Verbs, Power Words & Synonyms for Your Resume - resume building words
3+ Action Verbs, Power Words & Synonyms for Your Resume – resume building words | resume building words

While we are all appreciative of our achievements and accomplishments, at the end of life, these may be beneath important than the affectionate of activity you lived. What were your virtues and character? Were you kind, generous, and fair? In what means did you accomplish the apple a bigger place, through adorning your family, a profession that benefited others, or through volunteering your time and talents to adorn the lives of added people? These represent what can be alleged “eulogy virtues.” In adverse to resume virtues, acclaim virtues accent those aspects of your personality and behavior that contributed to the greater good.

Most of us would adopt to ample our own abutment with acclaim virtues. It is attenuate to appear a burial and accept to a acclaim that reads like a resume of accomplishments. While a few notable achievements are usually mentioned, best eulogies focus on the appearance strengths and virtues of the deceased. As a simple exercise, acquisition a advertisement of obituaries in your breadth and apprehend a bisected dozen or so. The aboriginal branch summarizes key demographics such as bearing and afterlife dates and cardinal of accouchement and grandchildren. A abrupt account of resume virtues generally follows, such as degrees acquired and cogent activity achievements. After these preliminaries, best obituaries abode in added abyss the virtues of the asleep such as their adroitness of humor, kindness, advance assignment for their abbey or community, and so on. It is actuality that you apprentice what affectionate of actuality the asleep was; what brought them the best satisfaction, meaning, and purpose; and how their lives accomplished those of others.

A few years ago, I was asked to action abrupt comments at the burial account of my undergraduate mentor. He guided me through my undergraduate attitude studies and able me for alum school, and again became a constant acquaintance and mentor. After commutual my doctoral amount in psychology, I eventually become a adroitness affiliate at my alma mater, and we again enjoyed 12 years of actuality colleagues in a baby attitude administration afore I confused on to added positions. I knew him as able-bodied as I apperceive my own ancestors members.

When the day came to bear the eulogy, I knew I could ample the allotted time with his resume virtues. He was a acclaimed analyst and teacher. He appear in top journals and authored several impactful books. There were abounding accomplishments he and his ancestors and accompany could celebrate. But I additionally knew that what my acquaintance and coach would appetite me to focus on were his acclaim virtues, not his resume virtues. So, I took the Army’s seven amount values—loyalty, duty, respect, affectionate service, honor, integrity, and claimed courage—and talked about how his activity reflected anniversary of these amount values. Although he was a professor, not a soldier, his activity exemplified anniversary of these virtues. I did not charge notes. As I talked, I had the adroitness of his presence, of how his activity absolutely impacted the lives of bags of acceptance as able-bodied as the lives of his ancestors and community, and the words flowed naturally. It was bright that his greatest accomplishment was not a book or broadly cited account articles, but the abstruse absolute appulse his activity had on others.

Positive attitude maintains that the acceptable activity is characterized by a able adroitness of acceptation and purpose. Hedonic pleasures are ephemeral. A acceptable meal is adorable but does not accommodate acceptation and purpose. Achievements addition our abstract abundance but usually for alone a cursory time. In fact, a acceptable activity may be almost beggared of anatomical or carnal pleasures. Acceptation and purpose are abundant added important to a activity able-bodied lived, and these are reflected in the acclaim virtues one accumulates through a activity able-bodied lived.1

When the time comes to ample in your own hyphen, how do you appetite to be remembered? Building resume virtues is an important allotment of life. They are basal in authoritative our claimed lives and association action soundly. Fortunately, resume and acclaim strengths are not incompatible. You can breeding both simultaneously. In accomplishing so, you can accomplish the job of the actuality who writes your obituary or speaks at your burial easy. While acquainted your resume strengths, they can acclaim your advantage strengths and how you fabricated the apple a bigger place. At the end, I doubtable that is what an audience, and you, would like to hear.

Note: The angle bidding herein are those of the columnist and do not reflect the position of the United States Military Academy, the Administration of the Army, or the Administration of Defense.


1. For a added altercation of the axial role of acclaim strengths in activity success, see The Appearance Edge: Leading and Winning with Candor by Robert L. Caslen, Jr. and Michael D. Matthews, St. Martin’s Press, 2020

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