Replacing the Word "Helped" On Your Resume

Replacing the Word "Helped" On Your Resume

Every single word on your resume matters. If you want to impress the hiring manager, you need to choose each word with care and avoid a few detrimental words. One word that people tend to use too frequently is the word “help.” Learn how to avoid using that word and you’ll be on your way to a better resume and an interview offer.

Why “Help” is a Bad Word

When it comes to bad words, “help” seems as innocent as they come. But using the word too many times on your resume can make you come across as a less-than-stellar job candidate. If you use the word once to describe a very specific task, you can add value to your resume.

However, for the most part, “help” is too ambiguous of a word to paint the right picture.

There’s another issue with this verb. The word “help” is one of the more common words that hiring managers see on resumes. When you use the word, you seem like every other applicant.

Instead of using this word, you should focus on action verbs that show how much work went into a certain project or duty. If you use the right action verb, you show the hiring manager your exact level of involvement and the outcome.

Synonyms for “Helped”

Since you shouldn’t overuse this word, it might help to have a few substitutes ready. First, pull out your resume and search for “help.” How many times do you use the word? Analyze each instance, and see if any of the sentences are descriptive enough. If “help” seems essential, keep it. Otherwise, look to replace the word with any of the following:





















Examples of Proper Replacements

To fully comprehend the proper use of the synonyms above, you should look at a few examples. Here are a few examples of before and after:

Before: Helped launch new products using focus groups

After: Conducted 15+ focus groups that resulted in the successful launch of five new products

Before: Helped streamline the sales process for new recruits

After: Enhanced the sales process so new recruits had a 30% greater success rate

Before: Helped improve the company website to drive sales

After: Overhauled the company’s website to boost lead generation by 50%

Before: Helped eliminate waste in the production line

After: Reduced waste by 15% through a streamlined production process

Tips for the Words on Your Resume

When you analyze your resume, you should use “help” sparingly. The same is true regarding other words. Instead of using generic and non-descriptive terms, try to use words from the job listing. If there are any keywords repeated or specific skills in a listing, use them in your resume. Replace “help” and other unnecessary words with more impactful words that the hiring manager wants to hear.

No Fluff

If you use excess words or words that just don't add to your resume, you're wasting the hiring manager's time. They often receive hundreds or even thousands of applications for a position. Due to this influx, hiring managers don't spend too much time on each resume.

By using fluff, you risk losing the hiring manager's interest. Limiting fluff makes it much easier for the employer to see your value.

Avoid Weak Action Verbs

Recruiters get bored reading the same action verbs. If your resume is loaded with words like "managed" or "assisted," the hiring manager won't see you as unique. And this means you won't rise to the top and earn an opportunity to interview for the position.

Use Numbers

It's not enough to replace inappropriate action verbs with new ones. If you don’t have any metrics to back up your words, you won’t make a positive impression. You should quantify your projects and accomplishments so it’s easy for the hiring manager to visualize what you’ve done.

If you look at the examples of swapping “help” above, you can see how easy it is to use metrics. Throughout your career, you should try to keep track of your accomplishments and add them to your resume every few months.

Be Concise

Don't use words in your resume that don’t quickly get to the point. If you drag out accomplishments through several sentences, you won’t maintain the reader’s attention. It’s much more effective to get to the point in a few words, or at least in one sentence.

Don’t List Too Many Soft Skills

If you put too many soft skills on your resume, you might find it difficult to use the right action verbs. There is such a thing as too many soft skills, so you should rethink including two pages of soft skills on your resume.

After several soft skills, you begin to lose credibility. As a general rule, you should have more hard skills than soft skills. And when you list your soft skills, demonstrate them through action.

Avoid Overusing Pronouns

When you’re writing an email, you have every right to use multiple pronouns. But on a resume, you don’t need to include personal pronouns. For example, you might be tempted to say, “I managed a team of ten.” Rather than say that, you should put, “Managed a team of ten.”

There’s one simple reason for leaving our pronouns, and it ties into the fact that recruiters don’t want to see too much fluff. Because your resume is your document, the hiring manager knows that you’re the one who managed the team. Anything more is unnecessary.

Don’t Describe Hobbies and Interests

Although you might have some very interesting hobbies, there’s no reason to describe them on your resume. A hiring manager doesn’t want to know what you do on your weekends. They would rather learn about what you can do in the workplace.

If you have a hobby that relates to your job, you should reconsider this advice. However, it’s rare for hobbies and job duties to overlap.

Need More Help?

If you’ve already removed the word “help” from your resume, it’s time to start applying for work. As you go on, you can adjust your resume to be even more appealing to employers.

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