A resume has to do more than simply identify and detail your professional skills. It has to bring them to life so that they fly off the page, jab your future employer in the eye and dance, DANCE into their brain, most probably through retinal ganglion cells or by way of magical sprites (we’re a little unclear as to the exact science of persuasion). To achieve such results, it’s imperative to employ action words to fully illustrate the impact and influence of your accomplishments in the business world. The following is a list of terms that are certain to capture the attention of human resources if not local authorities, each featuring an example of their use taken from actual, if not real, resumes:
Pioneered: "Pioneered the use of Scotch-brand adhesive tape to fashion a colossal ‘spider web’ over the entrance to my cubicle, allowing me to cackle with delight whenever it ensnared an unsuspecting coworker, a visiting client or any number of wriggling offspring during ‘Take Your Child to Work Day.’"
Negotiated: "Negotiated a truce between warring mailroom and janitorial factions in a months-long feud that started, in part, because I thought it would be funny to watch them fight, only to lose many, many cherished coworkers in the ensuing battles."
Demonstrated: "Demonstrated long and loud for management to start stocking vending machines with Sweet Tarts rather than the inferior tasting knock-off Spree, eventually chaining myself to the office pantry door in protest only to realize I had not taken the added precaution of actually locking said door, thus permitting coworkers to enter the pantry as they pleased, eat their lunches, drink their coffee and even purchase delicious candy while I watched helplessly, starving first for attention, then maybe a pizza crust and finally for the stray beads of sweat that would occasionally slide into my mouth."
Influenced: "Influenced by some religious pamphlets I came across at a liquor store during a particularly low period in my life when I had come to mistake raspberry-infused vodka for love, I insisted we commence each meeting with a prayer, followed by a moment of silence and then conclude with the interdepartmental shaming of sinners, fornicators and Unitarians."
Customized: "Customized Styrofoam coffee cups by name for each one of our 1100 employees using only a Sharpie and an office directory—every single day—until I snapped and started screaming at coworkers for the love of god to please start reusing their cups for fear I would go blind or forever lose use of my right hand. Only after several weeks did an accidental perusal of my assigned office duties indicate that such a task in no way fell under my or anyone known person’s job responsibilities."
Evaluated: "Evaluated the odds of my having sex with every coworker who walked by my office door, only to come to the rather sobering conclusion that unless I start offering cash incentives every other minute on Twitter, I’ll have to join the priesthood to get some."
Supervised: "Supervised by a team of physicians shortly after an accident during a company’s ‘fun run’ in which the corporation neither bothered to submit a permit to close off a section of a well-traveled interstate for the event nor realized that a marathon is only 26.4 miles long, I nonetheless continued to show up for work until my addiction to Percodan was so staggering that I had to down two whole bottles just to recover from opening a previous bottle."
Collaborated: "Collaborated with several hundred volunteers to make the world’s largest western omelet that—due to mismanagement, poor portion control and the dietary requirements on many participants—instead wound up being the world’s 18th largest egg-white frittata."
Managed: "Managed to find a meal between lunch and dinner, effectively keeping me out of the office from noon to nine the following morning, barring brunch."
Led: "Led once more by my crippling need to be liked, I gladly assumed complete responsibility for three huge assignments—one from a company that didn’t even employ me—which ended with both my dismissal due to overwhelming managerial incompetence as well as the total collapse of the geo-economic infrastructure last week."
Analyzed: "Analyzed by the only still licensed practitioner of phrenology and physiognomy, my head and face were determined to have the contours of either a natural born leader or a partially eroded quartz rock."
Strengthened: "Strengthened by the belief that my mom was right and I am special, I took to ignoring all company ascribed goals and department deadlines, instead creating a competing business within the corporation using sofa cushions to build an office in their lobby, a walkie-talkie for sales calls and a mini-fridge stocked with Lunchables and Capri Sun juice bags should I have to entertain clients."
Motivated: "Motivated by naked greed and the desire to impress chicks, I knowingly and willingly sold shares to a company that folded shortly after the advent of the McCormack reaper."