When crafting a resume, it’s important to include powerful, action-focused words that highlight your skills and expertise.
But too many job applicants make the mistake of using weak words that dull their contributions. One of the most common offenders? "Helped."
“‘Helped’ is not a good word,” says Elaine Varelas, managing partner at career consulting firm Keystone Partners. “It’s kind of a vague thing.”
The word “helped” lacks any true meaning, she says. Plus it lacks substance, fails to grab the recruiter's attention and doesn't paint candidates' prior experience in the best possible light. A resume with the word "helped" communicates to an employer that "there’s no level of ownership,” explains Varelas.
Even if you worked in an administrative or junior position, says Varelas, there are much more powerful words to show that you assisted on a project, such as “supported,” “managed” or “collaborated.”
But regardless of the word choice, you must still provide concrete examples of your achievements.
Varelas gives the following example, "I helped our marketing team launch an annual PR event.” This description is extremely vague, she says. For all the hiring manager knows, your role could have consisted solely of carrying boxes into the event space.