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100 Words & Adjectives to Describe Yourself [Interview Tips]

100 Words & Adjectives to Describe Yourself [Interview Tips]

“If you had to use 3 words to describe yourself, what would they be?” Surprisingly, having a good answer this question will reward you in more ways than one. Find out the secret.

As seen in:

Whether you’re preparing for the classic interview question “Tell me about yourself” or writing your resume profile, describing yourself can be tricky. You want to be honest, but not brutally so. You want to impress, but without coming off as narcissistic.


Fortunately, as long as you follow a few guidelines when choosing the right words to describe yourself, you can create a great, long-lasting first impression.

 

Read on to learn pick the best words to describe yourself and see lists of: 

  • Positive words to describe yourself in any situation
  • Words to describe yourself in an interview
  • Words to describe yourself on a resume

 

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

 

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sample resume example
sample resume example

Sample resume made with our builder—See more resume templates here.

 

Looking for other word lists? Check out:

 

1. Positive Words to Describe Yourself

 

Describing yourself in a few words to someone who doesn’t know you is tough. It’s worth spending some time figuring out how you can make a great first impression, because once formed, first impressions are hard to shake

 

Regardless of the situation, the key to describing yourself is to stay upbeat and positive. Now is not the time for humility. The best words to describe yourself will be those that honestly capture your positive qualities. 

 

Here’s a list of positive words that can be used to describe yourself for any situation:

 

Positive Words to Describe Yourself

 

Positive Words to Describe Yourself

Persistent

Genuine

Patient

Enthusiastic

Disciplined

Straightforward

Passionate

Dynamic

Intelligent

Ambitious

Modest

Tough

Tenacious

Extroverted

Sympathetic

Generous

Romantic

Clever

Considerate

Independent

Resourceful

Courageous 

Witty

Chill

Fearless

Open-minded

Joyful

Practical

Energetic

Easygoing

Sincere

Motivated

Sociable

Adaptable

Truthful 

Funny

Happy

Friendly

Thoughtful

Kind

Reliable

Introverted

Warmhearted

Loyal

Bright

Easygoing

Adventurous

Emotional

Optimistic

Affectionate

Honest

Versatile

Flexible

Loving

Energetic

Sensitive

Exuberant

Gentle

Cheerful

Intuitive

Understanding

Helpful

Hard-working

Determined

Attentive

Self-confident

 Positive Words to Describe Yourself

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building a professional resume template here for free.

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

2. Words to Describe Yourself in an Interview 

 

One common interview question goes something like this: “What are 5 words to describe yourself?”. The stakes are higher, but the same rules from above apply (stay positive and be honest). The only difference is now you have to be more specific. 

 

When the hiring manager asks this question, they are trying to assess whether you have the personality and the skills needed to excel on the job. The key to nailing this job interview question is to stay relevant and provide evidence

 

If the adjectives you use to describe yourself are irrelevant to the job, chances are the HR manager won’t be impressed. Likewise, anyone can say they are creative and hardworking. You need to follow up the adjectives with examples of how you demonstrate that quality. 

 

Let’s say a nurse is applying for a job at a hospital and the interviewer asks “What are three good words to describe yourself?” Let’s see an example that misses the mark.

 

WRONG
I’m reliable, cheerful, and … shy.

 

Cue the awkward pause when the HR manager is waiting for a follow-up that never comes. 

 

And of course there’s nothing wrong with being shy, but shyness is irrelevant to the position at hand.

 

Okay, how can we improve the above response?

 

What Are 3 Words to Describe Yourself

 

EXAMPLE
Let’s see. I’m reliable—I was so consistent in updating patient’s charts that I was promoted to a position responsible for training new hires. I’m very cheerful—Studies show that positivity can have a huge effect on patient recovery times, so I smile often and crack jokes whenever the time is right. And I’m energetic—In my last position at a long-term care facility, I was single-handedly caring for up to 15 patients per shift. That required me to move fast while still paying attention to small details.

 

Wow—Now that’s an answer. 

 

Highly relevant, honest, solid work experience and with evidence to back it all up. 

 

Example of an answer to what are 3 words to describe yourself

 

Here’s a list of professional words to use in case you’re asked “What are the three best words to describe yourself?” in an interview:

 

Words to Describe Yourself in an Interview 

 

Words to Describe Yourself in an Interview

Resourceful

Focused

Reliable

Motivated

Methodical

Proactive

Insightful

Disciplined

Organized

Results-oriented

Energetic

Ambitious

Engaged

Creative

Persuasive

Diligent

Thorough

Analytical

Persistent

Passionate

Dynamic

Dedicated

People-oriented

Team player

Driven

Skillful

Data-driven

Self-starter

Experienced

Calculated

Knowledgeable

Honest

Devoted

Attentive

Meticulous

Professional

Patient

Empathetic

Structured

Read more: How to Answer the "Tell Me About Yourself" Interview Question

3. Words to Describe Yourself on a Resume

 

No matter what type of resume you’re writing, a short resume profile at the top can be a great way to make an elevator pitch that you’re the right candidate for the job. After all, recruiters are pressed for time. According to hiring statistics, corporate job offers receive 250 applications on average.

 

The secret to describing yourself in a resume introduction is to use adjectives relevant to the job and mention achievements that will wow the recruiter. You also want to tailor your resume introduction to the job posting, but don’t copy the job ad word for word! A survey found that 44% of hiring managers automatically reject resumes that appear to duplicate the job posting. 

 

Here’s a list of positive words to describe yourself on a resume:

 

Words to Describe Yourself on a Resume

 

Words to Describe Yourself on a Resume

Thorough

Skilled

Systematic

Passionate

Resourceful

Strategic

Meticulous

Artistic

Unconventional

Attentive

Experienced

Conscientious

Tireless

Personable

Detail-oriented

Patient

Team player

Methodical

Expert

Persevering

Innovative

Ambitious

Unique

Extroverted

Proficient

Cooperative

Caring

Data-driven

Accomplished

Creative

Gregarious

Professional

People-person

Problem solver

Skillful

Sociable

Read more: "What's Your Greatest Weakness" Interview Question: How to Answer

 

Words to Describe Yourself on a Resume

 

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

 

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

That’s a wrap! Do you have any questions regarding these words to describe yourself? How do you describe yourself in interviews or on a resume? I’d love to hear from you. Let’s chat in the comment section!

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Cory Streiff
Cory is a career expert with extensive experience in manufacturing and consulting. He recognizes the life-changing impact great career advice can have, and that's why he shares expert tips with every job seeker out there.
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