Are you a go-getter? A quick learner? Willing to dive in and get your hands dirty? Love to learn new things? Then you’d probably describe yourself as “enthusiastic” — but you shouldn’t do it on your resume!
Like any other soft skill, being enthusiastic is something all hiring managers want to see but none of them want to read. Anyone can say that they’re enthusiastic — what recruiters want is for you to prove it. Here, we’ll show you:
- How to choose a synonym for “enthusiastic” (that actually belongs on a resume)
- Do’s and don’ts for demonstrating enthusiasm on a resume
- What recruiters really mean when they say they want someone who’s enthusiastic
- Bullet point examples you can use on your own resume
Let’s start with a quick overview before diving into resume synonyms for being enthusiastic and other tips on how to show enthusiasm for a job.
How to prove you’re enthusiastic on a resume
- Start your resume bullet points with synonyms for “enthusiastic.”
- Go on to describe a time when you demonstrated enthusiasm.
- Finish with a concrete metric that shows the results of what you did.
- List related hard skills in your skills section — for example, if you’re enthusiastic about graphic design, list the design software you’ve used.
- Use Score My Resume for tips on how to up the enthusiasm level on your resume.
25 “Enthusiastic” synonyms for a resume
“I’m highly enthusiastic and willing to learn new things” doesn’t belong on a resume (or even a cover letter). If you’re looking for another word for enthusiastic on a resume, here are some recruiter-approved synonyms to use instead:
Notice what all of these have in common? They’re action verbs — not adjectives or adverbs, which should be kept to a bare minimum on your resume.
8 simple rules for demonstrating enthusiasm
- DON’T say any variation of “I’m enthusiastic” on your resume. The rule for soft skills is show, don’t tell — that’s why action verb synonyms and measurable accomplishments are so important.
- DO show evidence of being enthusiastic. Focus on what the project or task was and what you actually did — always list accomplishments, not responsibilities.
- DO use concrete metrics and numbers whenever you can — enthusiasm is good, but measurable results are even better.
- DON’T overload your resume or cover letter with adjectives or adverbs. “Passionate,” “dedicated,” and “highly motivated” are all synonyms for enthusiastic, but none of them particularly belong on your resume.
- DO use the right kind of synonyms for enthusiastic by starting your bullets with resume action verbs instead.
- DON’T apply for positions where enthusiasm is one of the main criteria if you’re not actually enthusiastic about the work. That doesn’t mean you need to love everything about the job, but you should at least enjoy some aspects of it.
- DO find your own angle. Every employer wants to hire a candidate who’s enthusiastic about the role, but that can mean different things to different people. Do you love the industry? The role? The company? Maybe you’re enthusiastic about any position that offers remote work and flexible scheduling, or pays 100k+ a year, or lets you work with animals. You don’t need to tell the recruiter your reasons, but genuine enthusiasm should come through regardless..
- DO apply with your eyes wide open. In some industries, “enthusiastic candidate” can be code for “low pay and long hours” — if you’re in one of them, you should consider whether you’re okay with that trade-off.
What being enthusiastic means on a resume (+ bullet point examples)
What are employers really looking for when they say they want someone “enthusiastic” in the role? Here are some different skills and accomplishments you can use to impress recruiters with your enthusiasm.
Volunteering, taking initiative, and going above and beyond
Most companies view enthusiastic employees as go-getters — the ones who are ambitious, resourceful, and always the first to put their hands up when something new comes along. If this is you, try including accomplishments where you exceeded expectations, took on extra responsibilities, or were promoted.
Closed a $92K sale by prospecting in a tough industry against 85 competitors who offered lower-priced services; successfully exceeded growth expectations and got a pay rise.
Self-improvement and willingness to learn new things
Enthusiasm can also mean the drive to become better — whether that’s seeking out professional development opportunities, taking on unfamiliar tasks, helping out with a different department, or generally being willing to step outside your comfort zone.
Certified as an ISO 9001-2000 Quality Manager within 3 months for programs to provide good public service by performing defect monitoring, reconfiguration, and receiving inspection.
Sometimes, an enthusiastic worker means a happy or engaged one. Building relationships with coworkers or clients can demonstrate a high level of involvement at work that reads as enthusiasm.
Attained a $150K sales quota in personalized products within 11 weeks by regularly providing a one-of-a-kind customer experience.
Dedication to your work
Most employers don’t just want someone who feels enthusiastic — they want someone who acts accordingly. If you’re okay with working long hours, putting in overtime, and doing whatever it takes to get the job done, choose accomplishments where you put in the hard work — and have the results to show for it.
Worked 16 days nonstop to ensure all KPIs were met for on-time product launch.
Passion for a specific industry or cause
If you’re in a “passion industry” (like artistic, political, or nonprofit sectors), it’s often a given that you’ll be enthusiastic about what you do. If the company website or job description makes it clear that they’re looking for commitment to a cause — and not just to the job itself — you can help your resume stand out by including examples of volunteer work, extracurricular activities, publications, event participation, and continuing education.
Contributed to establishing a fundraising organization that has raised $2M for underprivileged patients affected by congenital heart disease.