Powerful Self-Descriptive Words For Resume


20+ Powerful Self-Descriptive Words For Resume

Describing yourself is tricky, especially when you apply for jobs and want to present yourself in the best light. Some people find it difficult to pick the right words to describe themselves persuasively, while others simply do not know what qualities are worth being mentioned.

Hiring managers would like to know not only your skills but also your personality, including negative and positive traits. So, it is helpful to add a few descriptive words (also called power adjectives) to show your personality, values, and approach to work. In this post, we will share the best words to describe yourself in a resume, cover letter, or a job interview.

Need a resume that showcases your personality?At ResumePerk, we prepare custom resumes for professionals at all career levels. Our expert will adapt your resume to the target job description and use the right resume adjectives to help you stand out. Plus, we will focus on relevant skills, achievements, and your educational background, presenting you as a valuable candidate to every hiring manager.

Describing yourself on a resume: 20 resume adjectives to use

Every word you use when writing your resume can make or break the overall impression. So, you should to choose words to describe yourself wisely. This is especially true for a Career Summary section - it serves as an introduction for your resume, so each word here is extremely influential.

Here is a list of great words to describe yourself during your job search:

  1. Adaptable
  2. Ambitious
  3. Artistic
  4. Compassionate
  5. Charismatic
  6. Creative
  7. Dependable
  8. Detail-oriented
  9. Determined
  10. Dynamic
  11. Emotionally intelligent
  12. Enthusiastic
  13. Independent
  14. Intelligent
  15. Inventive
  16. Motivated
  17. Passionate
  18. Reliable
  19. Successful
  20. Versatile

These are the popular positive adjectives to describe your personality, working style, and the value you can bring to the table. However, you don't need to limit yourself by these self-descriptive words. Use adjectives to describe projects you worked on and emphasize their value.

Need more examples of resume adjectives? Here is the list you can bookmark and use as a reference when writing your resume.



Where to use resume adjectives?

Knowing what adjectives are good to use is only half the success. It is also important to use them strategically when they will enhance your skills and qualifications.

Here's where you can use positive adjectives:

In your Resume Summary

The summary section is designed for self-introduction, so enhancing your skillset with a couple of adjectives will help create the right professional image.

Example: Forward-thinking Sales Manager with 4+ years of experience leveraging aggressive sales strategies to acquire new customers and grow market share.

In your Work History

Enhance your job descriptions with powerful, attention-grabbing resume adjectives. It will show your prospective employer what type of person you are and what projects you worked on in the past.

Example: Developed a groundbreakingonline marketing strategy that increased Facebook subscriptions by 3X and grew sales by 35% in four months.

In your Cover Letter

Powerful adjectives can enhance your cover letter, too, making it more persuasive and relevant to your target position. With the limited letter space, you need to be selective about words to use.

Study the job description carefully and focus on qualifications that seem the most important for the employer. Choose 4-5 adjectives that seem the most relevant, and describe your relevant experience using them. Just like with your resume, make sure to back each adjective with specific examples and achievements.

The example of using descriptive language on a resume

Here is an example of how to use powerful resume adjectives to describe yourself on a resume:


Image source:

This resume uses the right words to describe a professional educator. All adjectives are concentrated in the Summary section, so that the work experience concisely lists professional duties and achievements. This candidate uses resume adjectives along with specific examples from their work, which makes this resume persuasive and proves that the person excels in their role.

How to use positive words on your resume effectively?

Now that you have a list of persuasive words to describe yourself, it's time to incorporate them into your resume. Here's how to do it best:

Choose adjectives relevant to the job

To choose the right resume adjectives to distinguish yourself from other candidates, you need to understand the employer's expectations. Review the job description and the company's social media, trying to envision the type of person they want to see onboard. Pay attention to any descriptive language they use, and consider mirroring it in a resume.

Say, if the employer emphasizes their positive work environment, use such resume adjectives as optimistic, enthusiastic, and collaborative. If they are looking for someone responsible, ambitious, and hard-working, use the same words on a resume. Thus, you will persuade them that you are the right candidate.

Give concrete examples

Using adjectives can tell potential employers what kind of person you are. However, the best strategy is to combine descriptive words with specific examples. If they are looking for a detail-oriented professional, show in what situations and contexts you used this trait, or what results you achieved using your attention to detail.

On the other hand, if you want to say that you are helpful, specify that you served as a go-to person for all HR related matters and consulted senior management on the best staffing strategies. To show that you are a team player, mention that you worked in a team that finalized the important project a week ahead of deadline. Such details will serve as a proof of your positive traits.

Use resume adjectives sparingly

Even the best words won't make the right impression if you use them too often. Resume statements like "I am enthusiastic, dependable, and creative" sound too vague as they do not describe how exactly your skills will help the company if they hire you. Ideally, you should use no more than 1-2 descriptive words per sentence, and support your statements with examples.

Add them to your personal statement

The above-listed best words to describe yourself are most effective in personal statements. Your summary is the first thing that the hiring manager sees, so it makes a perfect place to showcase both your strengths and personality. Use no more than 4-5 adjectives in this section, otherwise, the employer might think that your resume lacks focus.

Use action verbs as well

In addition to self-descriptions, use action verbs when describing your experience. Use powerful action words at the beginning of each bullet point to highlight the positive outcome of your work, and emphasize your initiative and contribution. Minimize the use of responsible for or worked on, replacing them with more impactful words.

Here are some good examples of action verbs:

  • Composed
  • Developed
  • Directed
  • Integrated
  • Solved
  • Analyzed
  • Achieved
  • Coordinated
  • Increased
  • Oversaw

Using the powerful resume adjectives helps showcase your personality and persuade the hiring manager that you are a good culture fit and have the right traits for the role.

The best skills to add to your resume

As you work on resume adjectives, it is a good idea to check if your list of skills is up-to-date. Although the Skills section isn't a must-have, it is helpful to include it for two reasons. Firstly, it showcases your qualifications to employers in one place, so they can briefly evaluate your skillset. Secondly, these skills help you pass the resume robots.

The exact list of skills will be different depending on your experience and the target positions. Yet, here are some skills that are sought after across many of industries:

  • Project management
  • MS Office Suite/Google Suite
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Work ethic
  • Time management
  • Customer service
  • Remote collaboration tools
  • Team leadership
  • Critical thinking

Be sure to include these skills if you have them and can prove with examples. Use the same language that the job posting uses to better pass the resume filters. Also, add the essential hard skills for your profession.

What are the adjectives you should avoid on a resume?

Just like there are nice-to-have resume adjectives, there are also words you should avoid. Some words are too overused and they don't convey much meaning, or they simply don't add value to employers. Here are some of them:

  • Resume cliches: Words like team player, go-getter, hard worker, and proven leader are too overused. Moreover, any job-seeker can describe themselves with these words.
  • Responsible for/managed: Recruiters yawn when they see these words on your resume in 2024. There are powerful action verbs that allow you to describe your experience better. You can say that you set up, directed, or reorganized manufacturing processes instead of writing that you managed them.
  • Inflated statements: Saying that you are a highly skilled or an expert at something sounds like you are complimenting yourself. If you truly have exceptional knowledge in something, give examples.

Wondering whether you use the resume adjectives in the right way? Use our free resume critique. Send your resume to us, and our expert will show what you need to improve to get more interviews. It's 100% free.

How to describe yourself during a job interview?

"Can you describe yourself in three words?" is one of the most popular interview questions. Such a question can puzzle you if you are not prepared.

The best practices for using adjectives during your job interview are the same as in resume writing. Use the strong adjectives listed above to tell about your personality and working style. Avoid replying with a list of adjectives and back up each trait with a specific example of where you used it in the workplace. Great, if you can share accomplishments or a measurable positive impact of your work.

The main difference is that during your job interview you can give a more detailed answer. Say, if the company is looking for a natural leader, you can tell about that important project where your leadership skills did shine. Thus, it is important to do your homework and think about personal qualities you'll describe during the interview.

What should you do before searching for a new job?

Job-searching is a stressful and tedious process. To speed it up and stay organized, follow these tips:

Understand what job you're looking for

Before you start browsing new jobs, think about the position you'd like to get. Consider responsibilities you'd like to have, ideal company culture, and long-term goals. Clarify what kind of role, with what company, and with what salary you are aiming for. Thus, you will narrow down your search and will focus on exact job openings that meet your criteria.

Reach out to your network

Reach our to your friends, former colleagues, mentors, and other industry contacts and let them know you're looking for new opportunities. Connect with recruiters on LinkedIn and wonder if your target companies have relevant job openings. The best jobs are usually found through networking, so use your network as a resource before you start applying on job boards.

Clean up your social media

67% of employers will research you on social media. Check all your online profiles, both professional and personal ones. Update privacy settings or remove any content that might be seen by employers as unprofessional: party pictures, controversial comments, and so on.

Show your Facebook, Instagram and other profiles to colleagues or friends and ask if they make a professional impression.

Get your resume and cover letter prepared

Your resume and cover letter are the first touchpoint with an employer. Update the resume, ensuring that it reflects your most recent accomplishments and experiences. If not sure about what to include, seek a professional resume-writing service.

Treat your job search as a full-time job

To land new employment faster, you need to devote plenty of time to job search every day. Looking for job postings on multiple platforms, adjusting your resume and cover letter, applying and communicating with hiring managers take time. Plus, you need to prepare for interviews and attend them, both in-person and online. Be sure to spend at least a couple of hours every day on these activities - it will help you get more interviews and a job offer sooner.


The right resume language can help you stand out from other job-seekers and secure the interview for your target position. Thus, be selective about using the following adjectives and use the words that match the employer's expectations.

Streamline your job search with a professional resume

Choosing the right resume adjectives to describe yourself is only the first step towards getting your dream job. If you want a resume that effectively sells your strengths to employers, our experts can prepare a compelling document for you. We offer custom resume writing at a price everyone can afford - chat with us to learn more and get your special discount!


How do I describe myself professionally?

When describing yourself on a resume or during a job interview, use personality traits that align with the job profile. For example, if the company is looking for someone who is proactive and enthusiastic, use words like passionate, driven, and focused on self-development.

Can I put personality traits on a resume?

You can use resume adjectives for personality traits. It will make your resume more human, and help communicate your key strengths and work ethic.

Use the self-descriptive words carefully, and make sure that they relate to your target job. For example, as an accountant, you can write that you are analytical, deadline-driven, and accurate.

It is best not to use adjectives that have nothing to do with your profession, such as kind, honest, and easy-going.

How to describe myself in 3 words?

"Describe yourself in three words" is a popular interview question. To answer it, think about what qualities the hiring manager would like to see in the ideal employee. Then, come up with three words for your personality that align with the role. Avoid overused adjectives and words like go-getter and team player.

For example, as a marketer, you can use words confident, data-driven, and proactive. After giving three words, expand on each trait to show how you used them in the workplace.

Our experienced writers can create a powerful resume suitable for each position. However, you may also request a specific resume depending on the job you are applying for, thus it will be tailored individually for your profession:

Sales, Accounting, Fashion, Marketing, Nursing, Pharmacist, Physician, Finance, Medical, Product Management, Military, Teacher, Healthcare, Executive, Technical, Engineer, Scientific, Military To Civilian, Pilot, Hospitality, Attorney, Banking, Project Manager, Lawyer, Career Management, Software Engineer, HR, Aviation, Construction, Legal, Science, IT, SES and ECO