How to Describe Yourself on a Resume the Right Way

Having a hard time figuring out how to describe yourself on a resume? Use these tips to make your About Me section say “Hire Me” in recruiter speak.

By Cory Streiff
Career Expert

Writing a great resume is a beast of its own kind. You could be the best teacher in the world, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to write the best teacher resume in the world. 

Why is that?

Because a resume isn’t an interview. The recruiter has never met you before. They’re reading a single-page document and making a snap judgement on whether you might be able to succeed at a job. 

Learning how to describe yourself on a resume is a useful skill that will pay for itself many times over. 

Luckily, once you know the right words to use and some common pitfalls to avoid, you’ll be well on your way.

Read on to learn how to describe yourself on a resume in a way that’s personalized for you. You’ll get a list of positive adjectives and tips on how to write the perfect “About Me” section on a resume.

sample resume templates

Choose Powerful Adjectives and Provide Proof

Say you’re attending a networking happy hour, and you hear a guy introduce himself as follows: 

“Hi, I’m Louis. I’m amazing. I’m super knowledgeable, creative, and intelligent. I’m at the cutting edge of my field and I’m quite skilled in all things business-related.”

Would you be impressed? Didn’t think so. 

But that’s the position you’d be putting the recruiter in if you listed those adjectives on your resume—without any examples or proof.

See, the key to describing yourself on a resume is to use adjectives sparingly and spend more real estate providing evidence of your qualities in the form of achievements. Anyone can describe themselves as organized, your resume needs to prove it

Looking for some good adjectives to get started?

Here’s a list of great words to use when considering how to describe yourself on a resume:

 

1. Motivated

Example: Motivated college graduate looking to apply extensive skills in project management at Acme Corp.

 

2. Self-starter

Example: Self-starter that found a new vendor for office supplies saving the company $6,000 annually.

 

3. Organized

Example: Organized marketing coordinator that juggles projects for up to 10 clients simultaneously.

 

4. Efficient

Example: Developed a more efficient chatbot that reduced the workload of CSRs by 75%.

 

5. Flexible

Example: Organized travel arrangements while remaining flexible to changes in the plans of senior and executive-level employees.

 

6. Creative

Example: Generated up to 20 marketing pitches per client using creative brainstorming sessions.

 

7. Competent

Example: Competent in using Microsoft Office, Asana, and Salesforce.

 

8. Thoughtful

Example: Thoughtful customer service rep that empathizes with customers to solve problems together.

 

9. Experienced

Example: Industrial engineer experienced in manufacturing processes. Improved the efficiency of a manufacturing production process by 17%.

 

10. Sociable

Example: Sociable waiter who chats with customers to make them feel right at home. 

 

11. Detail-oriented

Example: Detail-oriented UX researcher skilled at finding customer friction points through in-depth interviews.

 

12. Passionate

Example: Passionate copywriter with 5+ years of experience writing engaging content.

Read more: The Ultimate List of Words to Describe Yourself

2. Write the Perfect “About Me” Section on a Resume

Describing yourself in an ”About me” section on a resume is daunting. It’s meant to act as an elevator pitch to convince the hiring manager you’re the candidate. But writing a compelling resume profile is hard if you don’t you don’t know where to start.

Use this formula to make it easier:

[Powerful adjective] [job title] [your amount of experience]. Eager/seeking to assist/help/support/etc. [name of the company] with [what you can achieve for the employer achieve and how you plan on doing it]. [A few of your key achievements].

And here’s an example of an “About me” section using that formula:

 

RIGHT
Passionate customer service representative with 2+ years of experience in customer support developing communication skills. Seeking to improve the customer service experience at Acme Co. by implementing a personalized approach to every client. Utilized new customer retention strategies at Flying Elephant that led to an 35% increase in customer satisfaction.

Wow—

That resume introduction answers the question “why are you a good fit for this position?” perfectly. It has everything: descriptive and professional adjectives, mentions years of experience, and shows off an impressive professional achievement. 

Just remember to include some resume keywords in your about me section or somewhere else on your resume. Afterall, 75% of recruiters use ATS that will be searching for those keywords.

And last but not least, experts say there are two common pitfalls job seekers make when writing professional profiles: getting too personal and overselling oneself. So don’t go overboard with superlatives, and find some other place to air your dirty laundry.

Pro Tip: If you don’t have much experience yet, don’t worry. You can write a resume objective without an ounce of work experience. 

3. Let Verbs Do the Heavy Lifting

 

Employers want to see one thing above all else: relevant work experience. The way to show them what they want is by tailoring your resume to the job description

 

The idea is to sprinkle a few of the adjectives from above when describing yourself, but let action verbs do most of the talking. 

Here’s a list of verbs to consider when thinking about how to describe yourself on a resume:

Managed Executed Trained
Delivered Produced Performed
Directed Achieved Executed
Contributed Cultivated Spear­headed
Improved Accomplished Mentored
Participated Negotiated Created
Collaborated Maximized Organized
Completed Facilitated Reported

Create the perfect resume

ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER

JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Schedule a free Discovery call.

If you have a quick question for me, you can get it answered with a 3-5 minute video at https://www.wisio.com/TheBigGameHunter. Want to do it live?

If you want to learn how to interview like a pro, order “The Ultimate Job Interview Framework” from udemy.com www.TheBigGameHunter.us/interviews The Kindle and print versions are available on Amazon.

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