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“If you don’t mind uhm, I just wanted to share some uhm thoughts on our upcoming project and uhm at the same time basically check if we agree on these really important objectives and uhm I’ll try to keep it really short, I hope that’s ok with you…”
How do you as a listener react to a speaker opening like the above? Does s/he sound convincing? Why not? Because it is full of weak language.
Weak language is any word (or sound) that doesn’t add value to your message. But not only does weak language not add value – it dilutes and undermines your message.
To speak with more authority, assertiveness, and clarity, here are some common weak language traps to avoid:
Uhm, basically, yeah, literally, kind of, like..
Filler words pop out or mouth when we don’t know what to say next. We also use them to protect us from the discomfort of silence.
Think before you speak. Pause (your body language needs to show that you are not done yet to stop the audience from interrupting you). Ask a friend or a colleague to be your “filler word police”.
In my opinion.. The way I see it.. I may be wrong .. but.. I would like to.. I just..
To hedge in language is to hide behind words and refuse to commit oneself. Hedges share two defects: they sound as you doubt your own words and they lengthen your sentences unnecessarily.
Trim your hedges down to a minimum. Ask yourself: does the hedge add any information? If not, leave it out. If there is real uncertainty, prefer expressions not using “I”. E.g. “It appears that..”
And, and, and..
Stringing together several sentences by and or but makes it hard for the listeners to get your message. If you often get out of breath when speaking, this might be one of the causes.
Speak in short sentences, emphasizing the key words and ending with a falling inflection. You will have time to breathe and think about your next sentence. The audience will have time to digest what you just said.
Rather, very, quite, usually, generally, more, less, least, so, just, enough, indeed, still, almost, most, fairly, really, pretty much, even, a bit, a little, a great deal.
Often, qualifiers provide unnecessary padding to your message. We qualify too much because we are seeking attention, because we lack precise words to express ourselves, or because we think it sounds better.
Get rid of excess qualifiers: “She came across it pretty much by accident”
Replace generic qualifiers with specific ones: “This sum is a great deal bigger than I expected” becomes “This sum is 50% bigger than I expected.”
A tag is a short question added to the end of a statement.
This is the best proposal, isn’t it? …, don’t you think? …, right? …, you see what I’m saying?
While the sentence preceding the tag is a clear statement of fact, the tag turns it into a question or a doubt.
There are also non-verbal versions of tags: A shoulder shrug, a nervous laughter, or a rising tone at the end of a sentence. Like verbal tags, they indicate doubt, submission or a will to please others.
Simply remove the tag, ending your sentence on a falling inflection and with a confident smile.
Coming back to the introduction example, this is what it sounds like without the weak language:
“If you don’t mind uhm, I just wanted to I will share some uhm thoughts on our upcoming project and uhm at the same time basically check if we agree on these really important the key objectives. and uhm I’ll try to keep it really short., I hope that’s ok with you…”
The message has now gained in clarity and assertiveness – using only half as many words!
As summer is here, now is the perfect time to start weeding your language, trimming your hedges, and nurturing your credibility.
Have a wonderful summer!
153 Power Words To Make Your Resume Stand Out
When an employer reviews your resume and cover letter, you have a limited amount of time to leave a lasting impression. Often, recruiters are tasked with reviewing many applications at once, and it’s not uncommon for them to see the same ‘standard’ verbs used on most resumes. A great way to stand out and effectively capture their attention is to include resume power words.
What are resume power words?
Power words are action verbs you can use to highlight your skills and experience to help your resume stand out and increase your chance of moving on to the next step in the hiring process. These words add quick and effective context to your resume, helping employers better understand your value as an employee.
What are the benefits of using resume power words?
1. Improved readability
While you’ll likely need to use some industry terms when describing previous job experiences, it’s important your resume still makes sense to someone outside your job role. Power words can help you get your point across while still using industry terms.
For example, instead of saying:“Refactored core component libraries from Ruby to Node.js.”
You could say:“Simplified code library from Ruby to chúng tôi to increase development team productivity.”
2. Varied language
Sometimes it can be challenging to describe similar duties in a role without repeating the same verb. Having a list of strong resume words to reference will help you add variety to descriptions, and make the language more compelling.
For example, instead of saying:
Responsible for managing team of five sales representatives
Responsible for hitting monthly sales goals
Responsible for communicating weekly with clients to ensure success
You could say:
Manage, mentor and develop a team of five sales representatives
Consistently attain and exceed monthly sales goals
Lead weekly client meetings to foster open communication and ensure ongoing success
3. Stronger descriptions
Including power words in your bullet points can make your responsibilities and accomplishments sound more impactful. The descriptive nature of power words allow the recruiter or hiring manager to get a better feel for the efforts and effects of you put forth in that position.
Resume Format1. Name and contact information2. Summary or objective3. Professional historya. Company nameb. Dates of tenurec. Description of role and achievement4. Education5. Skills6. Optional (Awards & Achievements, Hobbies & Interests)
Related: 139 Action Verbs to Make Your Resume Stand Out
How to decide which power words to use
Some words will be more effective than others in describing your specific skills and experiences. First, take the time to review the job posting and identify which requirements align with your strengths and experiences. Then, look for power words that describe those accomplishments and attributes.
For example, if you’re applying for a customer service manager position and the employer has included “Experience leading and training new customer service agents,” in the job posting, you might describe your experience like this:
“Educated new customer service representatives on best practices, coached new hires through their first calls and acted as team mentor.”
Next, review the company page for clues about the organization’s culture and values to find ways to incorporate those descriptions in your resume and cover letter. For example, if the company describes itself as ” Seeking employees with a strong work ethic who take ownership and responsibility, ” you might describe your experience like this:
“Sought opportunities to grow my experience and develop my skills, happily accepting challenging projects and working hard to exceed company goals.”
Here are several power words you can use to share your experience, divided by type of role:
Describing a leadership role
Describing a sales or customer service role
Describing a communication or creative role
Describing a technical role
Describing a project management role
Describing an achievement
Related: Words to Avoid and Include on a Resume
If you’re not sure where to insert power words in your resume and cover letter, highlight each verb and find a strong synonym to replace it from the above lists. This will give your resume an instant boost and ensure employers take notice of your valuable experience.
Make Your Resume Stand Out With Action Verbs
It’s always a good idea to use keywords and action verbs in your resume and cover letters. Using the right words not only shows what you have accomplished in previous jobs. These words also help your resume, cover letter, and other application materials get selected by the software and hiring managers who screen your documents.
What Are Resume Action Verbs and Keywords?
From the job seeker perspective, keywords are the words job seekers use to search for available positions. For the employer, keywords are the terms that hiring managers use to screen resumes and cover letters to find applicants that are a good fit for a job.
There are different types of keywords. Job keywords are words that describe your skills and qualifications. They describe the hard skills you have that qualify you for a job.
Action verbs show your ability to succeed. For example, words like accomplished, developed, managed, and handled describe what you have achieved.
Keywords are used to match an applicant with an available job. The closer the keywords in a resume are to those in a job description, the better a candidate’s chances of being selected for a job interview.
Why and How to Include Action Verbs in Your Resume
The keywords in your resume will help you get selected for a job interview. Hiring managers search by keywords to find resumes that match the job qualifications they established when they listed the job.
In addition to listing keywords specific to your occupation (like software or sales skills) include action words that show you what you have accomplished. Rather than just stating a list of duties, including action keywords in your position descriptions.
Here’s an example:
Proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel
Specialized in product order management
Helped manage associates on the sales floor
Alphabetical List of Action Verbs
Review these tips for how to get your resume past the applicant tracking systems employers use, and this list of action keywords to use to get your application noticed when applying for jobs.
BBudgeted, built, brainstormed, balanced, blended, boosted
CCompiled, combined, challenged, chaired, committed, communicated, coordinated, calculated, contributed, commissioned, confirmed, customized, created, challenged, critiqued
DDecided, developed, disclosed, documented, discovered, designed, determined, demonstrated, deferred, distributed, directed, devoted, drafted, doubled, diversified, designated, dedicated, discussed
EExercised, expected, earned, elected, engaged, entered, engineered, employed, edited, evaluated, entertained, eliminated, exchanged, ended, estimated, exempted, endorsed, expedited, experienced, enforced, explained
FFacilitated, focused, financed, fueled, figured, fit, formed, fortified, functioned, formulated
GGuided, grouped, gave, garnered, granted, generated, guaranteed, gathered, graphed
HHired, handled, helped, headed
I Improved, identified, installed, inspired, interviewed, issued, invested, illustrated, implemented, incurred, innovated, inspected, invented, interpreted, inaugurated, informed, induced, instilled, incorporated
JJudged, joined, justified
LLocated, lectured, launched, litigated, lobbied, led, listened
MMastered, managed, merchandised, modified, met, minimized, modeled, measured, moderated, motivated, multiplied, marketed, maximized, moved, mediated
NNegotiated, noticed, navigated, networked
OOperated, owned, observed, oversaw, organized, obtained, oriented
PParticipated, printed, proposed, pursued, persuaded, perceived, preserved, processed, produced, promoted, planned, performed, pioneered, passed, prioritized, proficiency, provided, profiled, polled, presented, procured, purchased, placed, permitted
QQuoted, qualified, questioned, queried
RRanked, resolved, received, rewarded, revised, revitalized, revamped, responded, restored, rejected, reinforced, reinstated, rehabilitated, remedied, redesigned, recruited, recovered, recorded, reduced, replaced, retained, retrieved, reversed, ran, raised, reached, reviewed, researched
SSaved, secured, stabilized, scheduled, screened, settled, separated, sent, selected, shaped, shortened, showed, signed, simplified, sold, specialized, staged, standardized, steered, stimulated, strategized, surveyed, supported, supplied, substantiated, set goals, supervised, studied
TTrained, tabulated, took, traveled, transformed, tested, transferred, tailored, targeted
UUtilized, uncovered, united, updated, undertook, unified, upgraded
VVerified, valued, validated, visited, visualized
WWitnessed, worked, weighed, wrote, won, welcomed
This is an example of a resume with action verbs. Download the resume template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.
Resume Example With Action Verbs (Text Version)
Notable Sales Achievements PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE EDUCATION
Persuasive Language And Debate Words
Those two sentences are roughly the same length, but one is far more persuasive than the other. The second sentence has words and phrases that build audience connection. All parents and judges want students to feel accepted and learn, so using these words helps them relate to and have compassion for whatever student you are discussing.
It is critical that we have an accepting, and safe environment for gender non-conforming students so that schools can become a secure place to learn for everyone to learn.
It is important that there are special washrooms for gender non-conforming students in schools so that they do not face discrimination.
Persuasive words are the easiest of the three to incorporate into your style. Simply expanding your vocabulary will assist you in any round, but there are times when it is critical to move your judges. The goal of persuasive language is to move someone past what your argument would have done naturally. This is most effective, in rounds that are discussing individuals. When you are in those rounds, there should always be a discussion about the impacts to the individual. When you are impacting, the goal is to show accurate outcomes for that person, but make them seem important. Read the following sentences and see which one you find most persuasive.
Sometimes you don’t have enough time to say everything you want to. There may be a complex piece of economic analysis, or a principle in law that is difficult to explain. Loaded words allow judges to remember those things, without you having to explain each piece fully. The loaded words you use will depend on the specific round you are in, so doing lots of reading before a tournament can be extremely helpful.
Loaded words can be useful in almost every debate, especially with experienced judges. Loaded words, is a concept used to describe words that have a lot of meaning associated with them. These words allow people to fill in analysis for you.
Especially in higher levels of debate, debaters will use words or phrases that can be confusing to those who haven’t encountered them. Here are some important debater words, and appropriate times to use them.
Analysis is a word used to describe the ideas that prove your point. When you have complex ideas in LEET for example, that is analysis. Analysis is a good word to use instead of points, or arguments.
For example, instead of saying: we gave you a lot of different reasons as to why there would be war, you could say: our analysis demonstrated why there would be war. It makes it sound more professional, and it allows you to say more with fewer words.
Nuance means very detailed analysis. It can also be used to refer to parts of your analysis that are super specific to either the resolution or a specific actor. It implies elegance or sophistication in your argument.
An area where debaters commonly use the word nuance is when rebuilding. They might say something like: my opponents didn’t deal with the nuance of our arguments… which just means that they are saying you didn’t deal with all the parts of their argument, or the full analysis.
False Dichotomy is a word that means “false choice”. Your opponents try to paint you into a corner by giving you two choices, when there are many more than two. Saying so, in your clash, helps your judges realize that your opponents weren’t giving you a fair choice or an accurate characterization.
Slippery slope is a term that is used to describe analysis that is unrealistic.
For example: When we allow seals to eat as much fish as they want, we will have no more fish, which will cause all other ocean species to die out, resulting in a world famine.
That is clearly unreasonable analysis, and could be described as a slippery slope. Not all slippery slopes need to be that ridiculous, but if it seems unlikely to occur, and they don’t give you sufficient analysis, then slippery slope is a good word to use in clash.
A “claim”, is debate lingo for something you have said in argumentation. So if you make an argument, you are making a claim about whatever your argument is centralized on.
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