Keywords for Résumés and Cover Letters

When applying for a job, including the right keywords for résumés and keywords for cover letters may get you an interview.

Devrim PINAR /

Cover letters and résumés are like Tinder profiles: If they’re not communicating effectively, you can kiss your interview goodbye. The words that stitch together your application submissions are more than just details in the fabric. Your future college and employer (or dating app match) have one thing in common: They’re not impressed by clichés.

Poor vocabulary will have everyone rolling their eyes. Don’t let opportunities slip away. Expand your vocabulary to describe your attributes as well as possible. Replace those ordinary words with the extraordinary.


Accomplished Accustomed Achieved Adequate Adroit
Apt Aptitude Cultivated Experienced Expert
Dexterity Mastery Practical Professional Proficient
Seasoned Skillful Talent Trained Well-versed


Alert Amenable Amicable Committed Creative
Efficient Fortitude Imaginative Ingenuity Innovative
Methodical Modest Optimistic Organized Perserverent
Punctual Resourceful Savvy Self-reliant Sociable
Stamina Strength Tactful Team player Vitality


Achieved Accomplished Advanced Advocated Arranged
Attained Broadened Carried out Carried through Concluded
Consummated Delivered Enacted Encouraged Engineered
Fabricated Fulfilled Improved Increased Instituted
Participated Perfected Performed Procured Produced


Amenability Assembled Assisted Administered Authority
Consolidated Constructed Created Designed Directed
Employed Engaged Established Executed Expanded
Expedited Implemented Launched Managed Manufactured
Mentored Monitored Motivated Observed Obtained
Operated Ordered Organized Originated Oversaw
Pioneered Planned Published Strengthened Stimulated
Supervised Surveyed Systemized Updated Upgraded


Acquaint Articulate Awareness Competence Comprehension
Conscious Educate Efficient Experience Extrapolate
Familiar Grasp Infer Innovative Knowledgeable
Logical Perspicacity Practiced Professional Proficient
Realized Recognized Thorough Understand Well-developed


Analyzed Answered Applied Communicated Created
Discussed Dissected Diverted Evaluated Guided
Identified Improved Investigated Judged Justified
Lead Mediated Monitored Navigated Negotiated
Organized Persuaded Proposed Protected Proved
Reasoned Recommended Reconciled Rectified Repaired
Resolved Responded Restored Retrieved Revised
Rewrote Simplified Solved Stabilized Systemized

About Katelyn Brush

Katelyn likes learning, good health, traveling, and pizza on Fridays. Her mixed education, composed of SUNY the College at Brockport, a semester at a community college, and one abroad at the University of Oxford, helped her earn a bachelor’s degree in English. College also gave her a few lessons in Taekwondo and sleeping in a hostel dorm with total strangers. She’s a yoga teacher, author and illustrator of the children’s book, “Signing Together: A Guide to American Sign Language for Everyone.” As a Student Caffé writer, she hopes to help you through the highs and lows of college with a laugh ... or 20.

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