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Resume Writing: Smarten up with Synonyms

By Meaghan Marshall, Nov 9 2013 12:29PM

Does your resume use the same verbs and phrases over and over? Common examples include “responsibility”, “experience”, “efficient”, “knowledge”, “managed” and “developed”.

A resume using the same phrases and verbs repeatedly makes for a boring read. Your resume is a marketing document and the product you are selling is you. You need to engage your reader and create interest and excitement in your product.

Ensure your resume is attention grabbing by including a variety of action verbs and descriptive words to demonstrate your skills and experience.

Below we have provided synonyms for words commonly overused in resume. To find more synonyms to replace the overused words in your resume, you can use the thesaurus feature in Microsoft Word or visit

You should also use the job description and job advertisement to find keywords and phrases to include in your resume. It is the keywords used in the job description that the potential employer will be on the lookout for when reviewing your resume. You should try to mirror the language used in the position description.

Responsibility: accountability, answerability, authority, capacity, charge, duty, onus

Experience: acquainted, background, exposure, familiarity, familiar with, involvement, participation, practice, training, understanding

Efficient: able, accomplished, adept, capable, competent, effective, expert, handy, imaginative, practiced, proficient, resourceful, sharp, skilled, trained, well versed in

Knowledge: accomplishments, acumen, awareness, comprehension, education, expertise, familiarity, grasp, insight, intelligence, judgment, know-how, proficiency, recognition

Managed: administered, directed, executed, guided, headed, led, orchestrated, organized, ran, supervised

Developed: constructed, created, cultivated, devised, established, fostered, generated, grew, initiated, implemented, promoted

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