50 Words and Phrases to Use in Resumes

Customers look for candidates, who understand their work, and possess the skills to help them achieve their objectives and overcome challenges. Customers also look for candidates, who have achieved recognition from their customers and industry and who show thought leadership and innovative approaches.

Resumes that merely present a laundry list of tasks the candidate has performed will not score well as compared to resumes that describe how the candidate met and exceeded the customer’s requirements. If evaluators find the technical, management, and past performance scores are tight between competitors, resumes can often become the deciding factor for the win.  Using words or phrases that persuade evaluators that your candidate is best placed to perform the work and implement your solution can increase your proposal score.

The next time you want to write a resume consider using one of the following 50 words and phrases to highlight your candidate’s qualifications and help increase your score.


  1. Accomplished (or achieved)
  2. Acquired
  3. Advanced
  4. Awarded
  5. Benefit (or benefitted)
  6. Changed
  7. Controlled
  8. Converted
  9. Coordinated
  10. Corrected
  11. Developed
  12. Decreased
  13. Earned
  14. Enhanced
  15. Exceeded
  16. Fixed
  17. Gained
  18. Improved
  19. Increased
  20. Innovated
  21. Led (or spearheaded)
  22. Mitigated
  23. Minimized
  24. Modernized
  25. More/more than
  26. Optimized
  27. Procured (or produced)
  28. Reduced
  29. Released
  30. Recognized
  31. Regulated
  32. Reorganized or Restructured
  33. Saved
  34. Solved
  35. Skilled
  36. Transferred
  37. Transformed
  38. Transitioned
  39. Updated
  40. Upgraded


Pair the words listed in the table with a quantitative or qualitative metric that explains how the candidate benefitted customer operations and met or exceeded a customer requirement.


By Brenda Crist, Vice President at Lohfeld Consulting Group, MPA, CPP APMP Fellow

Lohfeld Consulting Group has proven results specializing in helping companies create winning captures and proposals.
As the premier capture and proposal services consulting firm focused exclusively on government markets, we provide expert assistance to government contractors in Go-to-Market Strategy, Capture Planning and Strategy, Proposal Management and Writing, Capture and Proposal Process and Infrastructure, and Training. In the last 3 years, we’ve supported over 550 proposals winning more than $170B for our clients—including the Top 10 government contractors. Lohfeld Consulting Group is your “go-to” capture and proposal source! Start winning by contacting us at www.lohfeldconsulting.com and join us on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.

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Lohfeld Consulting