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Word Replacements for Stronger Job Search Letters

By Joyce Lain Kennedy

Because the reader of your job letter may be pressed for time, aim to write a concise but thorough letter. Use short words, sentences, and paragraphs. Avoid cramming too many ideas into each paragraph. Logically break long paragraphs into several short ones.

Write in specific terms; avoid vague descriptions. Use numbers, measures, and facts — detailed information rather than unquantified generalities.

Below is a list of word baggage to avoid and Stand Out words to replace them. Avoid using the words marked with “eliminate.”

Instead of Write
able can
about approximately (be precise)
above this/that
absolutely (eliminate)
according to said
ad advertisement
advance planning planning
advise write/perform
aforementioned this/that
ahold reach/get hold of/obtain
along the lines of like
alot a lot
a lot of many/much
alright all right
arrived at the conclusion concluded
as per according to
as to whether whether
at a later date later
at the present time now
at the present writing now
attached herein attached/enclosed
attached hereto attached/enclosed
Bachelor’s degree Bachelor’s
bad poor/inappropriate
beneficial success success
better than more than
between each between every/beside each
between you and I between you and me
bit (eliminate)
but however but or however
but that that
cannot but (eliminate)
can’t hardly can hardly
city of San Francisco San Francisco
close proximity close or proximity
close scrutiny scrutiny
close to the point of close to
cohese cohere
concerning about
concerning the matter of concerning/about
continue on continue
disregardless regardless
due to the fact that because
each and every each or every
end result result
entirely completed completed
equally as as or equally
estimated at about estimated at
every other every (second) day
ex- former
fewer in number fewer
file away file
for the purpose of for
for the reason that because
for your information (eliminate)
gather together gather or together
good success success
he is a man who . . . he . . .
he or she he
idea belief/theory/plan
i.e./e.g. that is/for example
if and when if or when
important essentials essentials
in accordance with a request as you requested
inasmuch as since/because
in connection with about/concerning
in excess of over/more than
in order to to
in respect to the matter of about/regarding
in spite of despite
in the amount of for
in the area of about
in the field of medicine in medicine
in this day and age now/today
irregardless regardless
join together join or together
keep continuing continue
kindly please/very much
kind of rather/somewhat
know-how knowledge/understanding
known to be is/are
large portion/number of most of/many
last but not least (eliminate)
like for like
like to have (eliminate)
lot/lots (eliminate)
love (eliminate)
magnitude importance/significance
Master’s degree Master’s
more essential essential
more perfect perfect
more specially specially
more unique unique
most carefully (eliminate)
most certainly (eliminate)
mutual cooperation cooperation
mutual teamwork teamwork
near future soon
needless to say (eliminate)
new innovation innovation
new record record
now pending pending
of between/of from of
optimize increase efficiency
outline in detail outline or detail
overall comprehensive/final
per (eliminate)
per annum yearly
per diem daily
period of for
plan ahead plan
please be advised (eliminate)
point in time now
presently now/soon
qualified expert qualified or expert
rather unique unique
reason is because because
reason why because
regarding about
represent composed/made up of
respecting about
revert back revert
scrutinize closely scrutinize
seem (be more specific)
seriously consider consider
several many/numerous
should/would/must of should/would/must have
spell out in detail spell out or detail
subject (be more specific)
subject matter subject
subsequent to after
sufficient enough sufficient or enough
take for example for example
take into consideration consider
target goal/objective/quota
thank you in advance (eliminate)
that (eliminate if possible)
there is/are/was/were (eliminate)
true facts facts
try and try to
unknown unidentified/undisclosed
unthinkable unlikely/impossible
very unique unique
was a former was/is a former
way in which way
whatsoever at all whatsoever
with the exception of except/except for
yet (eliminate if possible)
you know (eliminate)