There are so many descriptive words out there…
And yet sometimes you may still struggle to find the right words to describe yourself.
Hey, we don’t blame you. Choosing the words to describe yourself can be a tricky task.
On the one hand, you want to show your positive traits. On the other hand, you might not want to overdo it with self-praise.
Things get even trickier when you’re applying for college or a job and you need to find the most suitable words to describe yourself.
Honestly, we know the struggle - this is why we wrote this article.
- 95+ Best Words to Describe Yourself
- 45 Words to Describe Yourself in a Job Interview
- 40 Words to Describe Yourself in a Resume
- 40 Words to Describe Yourself on a College Application
- Words NOT to Describe Yourself
95+ Best Words to Describe Yourself
They say actions speak louder than words, but sometimes you can only rely on words to describe yourself.
For example, before you can prove your professional or academic capabilities, you first have to express yourself through your college application, your interview with recruiters, or your resume.
Your online personae - from your social media usernames to the adjectives you use to describe yourself on various platforms (e.g. a dating app) - is also defined by your choice of words.
Considering how important all of the above is, there’s no doubt you’d want to nail the words to describe yourself.
To help you pick the right words, we’ve compiled a list of the best 100 words to describe yourself in any situation:
Best Words to Describe Yourself:
- Socially conscious
45 Words to Describe Yourself in a Job Interview
A common job interview question is “what are 3 words to describe yourself?”
When recruiters ask you to describe yourself, they are looking to find out two things:
- Do your personality and skills match the job requirements?
- Are you honest in your answers?
Keep this in mind and it will be much easier to answer this typical interview question successfully.
Now, if you’re wondering how, exactly, you should answer this question, here’s what we recommend:
- Choose adjectives that are relevant to the position you’re applying for (as long as they fit you, of course).
- Back up your answer with examples of how you embody the quality or skill. This will prove that you are answering honestly.
Let’s see how this works through an example. Say you’re applying to be a teacher and you’re asked “what are three words to describe yourself?”
Here’s how NOT to go about it:
- I am creative, competitive, and tenacious.
Now, there’s nothing technically wrong with these adjectives; however, the answer isn’t the best possible for two main reasons:
- Competitiveness and tenacity are not the most sought-after skills for teachers.
- The claims are not backed up with concrete examples. You could really be creative, or you could be exaggerating. Without backing it up, the recruiter can’t tell which one it is.
Here’s a more interview-friendly way to answer this question:
- To begin with, I am creative - in my last school, I came up with an SAT exam preparation technique that raised the graduating class’s success rate by more than 30%. I am helpful, both to my students and colleagues - I often stay after class to clarify any questions students may have and I fill in for other teachers whenever I can. Finally, I am very passionate about my work and my students. I’ve been in the field for over 10 years, and I plan on sticking with it for as long as I can.
Here’s a list of words you can use to describe yourself in a job interview:
Words to Describe Yourself in a Job Interview
- Good listener
- Problem solver
- Team player
Wondering what other questions might come up in a job interview? Check our list of 35+ interview questions and answers.
40 Words to Describe Yourself in a Resume
When it comes to your resume, you won’t be directly asked to find three words to describe yourself. That doesn’t mean, however, that you shouldn’t care about the adjectives you choose to describe yourself on your resume.
On the contrary - before even inviting you at the job interview, it’s your resume that speaks for you. So, your choice of words to describe yourself there is arguably even more important.
Of course, it’s not enough to just insert some adjectives here and there and call it a day. Instead, you need to find the right way to “sell yourself.” In this section, we’ll teach you just how you can do that.
Your resume profile is the first place to add the right words to describe yourself. Be it through a resume summary, or a resume objective, you’ll need to find at least one strong adjective to describe yourself and make a good - and lasting - impression.
If you ask us, that’s pretty essential, considering that most recruiters spend an average of 7.4 seconds skimming through a resume. Talk about first impressions mattering, right?
Keep in mind, though -
Just like with the interview, plugging in some adjectives to describe yourself won’t cut it.
- First, you should make sure to choose adjectives relevant to the job.
- Second, remember to always back up your claims with examples - or, in this case, achievements.
Let’s assume that you’re a recent college graduate applying as a Communications Assistant. Your resume objective would look something like this:
Hard-working and passionate college graduate looking to apply up-to-date skills and strategies as a Communications Assistant at the Regional Youth Cooperation Office. 1+ years of practical experience as an intern at the Mayor’s Communications Office.
Even if you’re a seasoned professional with many achievements to show, you’ll need an adjective to describe yourself. In such a case, your resume summary would look something like this:
Task-driven professional experienced in data entry, customer service, and reception duties. Able to perform accurate and efficient entry of data into administrative software.
Get the idea? Here are some more adjectives to choose from:
Words to Describe Yourself in a Resume
- Emotionally intelligent
- People person
- Team player
40 Words to Describe Yourself on a College Application
The majority of college applications require that you submit a personal statement.
Personal statements are a way to promote yourself and show why you are the right candidate for a certain program. Unlike motivation letters, where you’re supposed to explain your academic objectives, personal statements allow space for creativity.
Thus, you can get more expressive and personal with the words to describe yourself in a college application, as opposed to your resume or job interview. As an undergrad candidate, you are supposed to highlight your strengths and show what makes you unique.
Here are some adjectives you can use for inspiration:
Words to Describe Yourself in a College Application
- Social butterfly
10 Words NOT to Describe Yourself (Professionally)
As you can imagine, there are also words you should refrain from using to describe yourself - especially in the professional context.
Not that these adjectives are bad per se - however, they might not arouse the expected reaction when you use them out of context. What do we mean?
Take the following example. Imagine using these words to describe yourself in a job interview:
“How would I describe myself? Let’s see, I’m amazing, funny, and unique.”
Now, it’d be more than OK if a colleague - or anyone, for that matter - described you this way. Calling yourself amazing in front of recruiters, however? Might be a bit too much, without really saying anything at all.
Here’s a list of our top 10 words NOT to describe yourself (outside of your friends’ circle):
And that’s a wrap! We hope that by now you’re equipped with many more words to describe yourself.
Let’s go over some of the main points we covered in the article:
- Many situations will require that you find the right words to describe yourself. A resume, job interview, or college application are among the most common.
- During a job interview, make sure to use words to describe yourself that are relevant to the job and to back up your claims with examples.
- Your resume profile is your chance to make a memorable first impression - scan the job ad to choose adjectives that are relevant to the position and back them up with your achievements.
- There are some words you should not use to describe yourself - if it can’t be backed with concrete examples if it sounds generic, or if it’s an adjective that makes more sense being said for you (and not by you), then stay away.