Write Your Resume with Facts—Not Adjectives
Write Your Resume with Facts—Not Adjectives
Hyperbole is an exaggerated statement or claim. When you claim that you are a “world-champion” sales person or an “extraordinary” team player, you are engaged in hyperbole if you do not back those claims up with real statistics and results.

Resumes that are heavy on adjectives, like “world-champion,” “state-of-the-art,” “exceptional” or “extraordinary,” are weak resumes because anyone can make those claims. Strong resumes use facts—especially numbers—to prove that you are an exceptional candidate.

Look at the difference between these two examples:
  • Award-winning sales professional who closes exceptional deals with unmatched technical savvy and unique ability to form long-lasting relationships with premier technology leaders.
  • Award-winning sales professional who grew sales 110% above the national average in one year by building relationships with Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and other technology leaders.
The first example is written with adjectives galore: award-winning, exceptional, unmatched, unique, long-lasting, premier. However, every word could apply to any sales professional, and there is no way to prove the claims.

The second example has only two adjectives: award-winning and national. The numbers confirm the claims and specific facts about methods (“building relationships with CIOs”) place the statements firmly in reality.

A resume is like any other marketing document: at some point, most readers expect you to prove your claims before they will close the deal. Hiring managers and recruiters will not hire you simply because you keep saying you are the greatest; you have to show what you can do through statistics, accomplishments, awards, testimonials, and other facts that highlight your knowledge and skills.

A limited use of adjectives in a resume is fine. Hyperbole is not.