How to Use Power Words on Resumes and Job Interviews

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Finding a job these days can be tough, especially in the utilities sector. Now more than ever, recruiters and hiring managers have their ears perked for certain interview power words. These can often tip the scales in your favor if you're competing with qualified candidates for the same job.
Power words are typically action verbs, adjectives and noun modifiers used to describe the action you took to accomplish your goals or successes. Power words are often referred to as keywords used by resume scanning software to streamline specific job criteria matches to candidates.
Some examples of power words include:
  • Accomplished
  • Achieved
  • Budgeted
  • Built
  • Calculated
  • Conducted
  • Converted
  • Debugged
  • Delivered
  • Demonstrated
  • Developed
  • Devised
  • Diagnosed
  • Drafted
  • Effected
  • Eliminated
  • Empowered
  • Engineered


Learning to integrate these power words into your resume or conversation takes skill and practice. You don’t want to sound pompous or arrogant. And you don’t want to stuff them into your conversation to sound unnatural or forced.
You may find yourself responding to behavioral interview questions using the prescribed STAR response. In these types of questions, you start with a situation or task, follow with the specific action you took, and end with the outcome or results you achieved. The key here is to practice weaving power words into your answer. Using power words during a traditional job interview will require skill and practice, as well, since plugging these words in “conversational” answers can sound forced or scripted.
To tip the odds in your favor, practice using power words in mock interviews with a friend or colleague.
If you have any thoughts or suggestions on the use of power words, feel free to share them in the comments section.
Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients. Please see more of his blogs and view additional job postings on

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