vocabulary is handy for describing friends or favorite characters in a book or
movie, but it’s important if you are
writing a resume (CV) or preparing for a job interview. Are you creative?
Well-organized? Responsible? You need to be able to “sell” your best qualities
while still being accurate. (Mis-representing yourself—claiming to be better
than you are—could lead to losing that job if your work doesn’t match the
skills you claimed.)
A Quick List of Useful Resume or Interview Words
(Only use these on a resume if they actually apply to you! You can practice some of them below.):
Words for Traits,
Temperaments, & Attitudes
many words that describe personality traits, temperament, and attitudes.
temperament is your general approach to life: calm or excitable, orderly or free-spirited. Temperament and basic personality traits tend to be set, and don’t change much, but you
can change your attitudes—and make a real change in your life.
The resume words listed above describe some traits employers love. On the other hand, no employer wants to hire someone who is lazy, uncooperative, inefficient, disorganized, dishonest, irresponsible, or late all the time.
We enjoy being around people who are generous, kind, and cheerful, not selfish and stingy (unwilling to spend money or share with others) or always in a bad mood.
most of us fit between the extremes of these words. You may have an inclination toward laziness, but when
you really need to you can work hard. Or you may be generous with friends but a
little stingy (or ‘tight’ or ‘cheap’) when someone asks for money to a good
cause. Even the most cheerful person may be negative and grumpy when he isn’t
feeling well, and the most cautious person may do something daring and risky in
some of the most common words for temperaments, traits, and attitudes below.The
first 7 questions are for general personality traits and attitudes toward life, Questions 8-12 are specifically work-related: words for interviews, resumes, or employee evaluations.
Practice Attitude and Personality
A cynic is a person who expects to find selfish motives behind even the
most apparently altruistic (unselfish) acts. He mocks the idea that people do
anything just because they care about someone else.
A skeptic is less negative, but also reads critically, questioning the
truth of what he or she hears or reads and watching for bias. Skeptics, like
cynics, do not assume people are
telling the whole truth. (This is the meaning of the expression “take it with a
grain of salt:” realize that what someone is saying may not be completely
accurate.) They are aware that people may twist or mistake the facts, sometimes
unconsciously, to make them fit their beliefs or interests. The opposite of
skeptical is gullible. Gullible people believe anything people tell them, even
if it is unlikely.
Which of these words is the closest opposite of ‘cynical’:
(The answer is ‘trusting.’ Cynics might possibly be cheerful, though
they are more likely to be negative and pessimistic. Trust in people’s basic
goodness is the direct opposite of cynicism.)
Choose the best answer for each of the next questions:
1. Someone who is able to adjust to changing circumstances might be called flexible or __________.
2. Someone who is unwilling to consider alternatives to his or her plans or point of view, and sees things from a very narrow, fixed perspective, is
3. All but one of these are synonyms that mean a friendly, thoughtful, or kind attitude toward other people. Choose the one that does NOT mean kind or thoughtful.
4. These words (and the words in #5) describe people with bad or difficult attitudes towards others. Which word means a person who dislikes people who are different from him or her (of a different race or culture, or think differently, etc.)?
5. Which word describes people who want to control others and boss them around?
6. A person who looks for and expects the best, and expects things to improve soon when circumstances are difficult, is hopeful or
7. A person who is easily disturbed is
8. An “idea person,” able to see new ways to do things, and to find solutions to problems that seem impossible to others, is
9. Which of these can be a synonym for ‘helpful?’
10. Three of the following words are synonyms for ‘reliable.’ Which is NOT?
11. A number of words describe qualities important to success. Effective or capable people have the ability to do excellent work in their field. Efficiency means working quickly and without waste. Three of the following words mean that a person will keep working without giving up even if the work is difficult or they are tired. Which does NOT?
12. Which word means getting to work or appointments on time?
What do you think about what you just read? Leave me a comment in the box below.
Didn't find what you
needed? Try explaining what you want in a few words in the search box below.
(For example, cognates, past tense practice, or 'get along with.') Look under the ads (with a light-colored background) to see the related pages on EnglishHints.