Skip to Content

15 of the Best Words to Describe Work Ethic on Your Resume

15 of the Best Words to Describe Work Ethic on Your Resume

The best resumes stand out because of choice of words, not because of qualifications. Everyone who applied has the same qualifications, but do they have the right words to describe work ethic that will stand out for the employer?

Having qualifications is one thing, but the right employee will also have a strong work ethic. Many applicants get overlooked because the words to describe their work ethic are too plain or vague, and therefore fail to impress the recruiter.

In this post, we’ll show you how to strengthen your resume with one simple trick. All you have to do is change the words to describe your work ethic!

Here are 15 of the best words to describe work ethic and what makes them ideal for your resume:


5 Words to Describe Your Work Ethic Based on Your Personality

The boss wants someone who will perform his/her duties for the love of the job, and not for a pay-check.
As a result, you will want to choose words to describe work ethic based on your personality to give him/her a sense of who you are.
Here are some you should consider trying:

Mistakes happen, and when they do, someone is expected to fess up, and not only accept their role in the wrongdoing, but also strive to make it right.
While many employees fear the thought of messing up in front of their boss, many employers prefer when employees are honest and can take responsibility for what has happened.
Placing this on your resume lets your potential boss know that he/she can count on you to have integrity and hold yourself to a high standard. This in turn makes you a great employee to have on his/her team.


31 achievement agreement colleagues high five
Image from rawpixel under Pixabay license


Discipline is an important aspect of having a strong work ethic.
It means that you are able to maintain control and display professionalism at all times. It also means that you have a code or regimen by which you operate to get the best results.
This skill makes for more reliable employees who are committed to their jobs.


When employees are enthusiastic about their jobs, they produce better results. No one wants to hire a Debby Downer or a Negative Nancy.
Including this in your resume will show that you have an upbeat personality and a positive attitude towards your job.
It also means that you will get along well with others, and therefore it will reduce the likelihood of conflict in the workplace.


SInce you are all adults in the workplace, respect is due, as it maintains peace and happiness.
Employers don’t want rude employees who will disrespect them or others, and would much prefer those who are polite and kind.
It is an especially important skill if you are required to interact with customers daily.


ethnic businessman shaking hand of applicant in office answer why want to work here question

Photo by Sora Shimazaki under pexels license


This is a good word to use if you are driven by your own goals and ambitions. It means that your boss will not have to beg you to do your job, because you are already willing to go the extra mile to do what is necessary.
It is a sought-after character trait for potential employees since it will bring a positive, uplifting vibe to the workplace. Others around you will be motivated to work harder as well.


5 Words to Describe Your Work Ethic Based on Workplace Demands

Another thing the recruiter/employer is going to consider is how well you would fit in at the workplace. There is already an established culture and it would make no sense to hire someone who would interrupt the way things work there.
It is about more than just being a “team player”. Here are 5 words to describe work ethic based on the demands of the workplace:

In a workspace where everyone is already dedicated and loyal to the aims of the company, any new employees have to be as well.
Including this on your resume hints that you are willing to adhere to the rules and regulations of the workplace whilst fulfiling all your duties.


06 three woman having a meeting black american office

Photo by Christina Morillo under Pexels License


In workplaces with a lot of moving parts, everyone is expected to complete their tasks for a smooth workflow. This word means you can produce the same results over a long period of time.
In other words, you are not a “one-hit wonder”. You are not going to perform well this week, then fall flat next week.


The word cooperative on your resume gives the impression that you are a team player and that you will fit in with the rest of the employees.
It means you are willing to share workspaces and collaborate on different projects without conflict or ego getting in the way.
You are personable, and get along with others well. You understand that personalities may clash, but you work with them rather than against them.


photo of people near computer office ways to say quick learner

Photo by fauxels under pexels license


A reliable employee is one that an employer and other employees can depend on to be consistent, and won’t make lame excuses for not getting tasks done. It is an employee one can trust or count on.
This person is also willing to “take one for the team”, or perform duties that are not necessarily defined in the scope of their employment but are nonetheless necessary or helpful.


This word means that you will put out the maximum amount of effort required to get the job done. In other words, you will not stop until everything is completed to satisfaction. It is good to use because you are an employee your boss can depend on.


5 Words to Describe Based on Industry Demands

The boss will also consider the demands of the industry you are in. Different industries have different demands, and there are a few choice words that can make you stand out among other applicants.
Here are 5 words to describe work ethic that show you are the cream of the crop!

Being adaptable simply means that you are flexible and you can adjust to new situations. This is especially important in fast-paced industries where things can change very fast and if a company is not able to keep up with demands, it will sink.


group of people smiling in the office two people sitting and another standing holding tablet

Photo by Jopwell under pexels license


This is a key work ethic in creative and innovative industries. An enterprising work ethic means that you show initiative and you are ready to think outside of the box and explore areas that have not been ventured.
It is key to keeping things new and fresh where it is easy to get tired and boring.


Someone with a meticulous work ethic pays close attention to detail and won’t miss any of the “little big things” that many people tend to overlook.
This is especially important in industries where precision and carefulness are important. It shows your boss that you take the job seriously.


serious black woman carrying documents in office ask for time to consider job offer

Photo by Sora Shimazaki under pexels license


This is a good word to use when you want to show your boss that you are someone who can “make do” with whatever is put in front of you.
It means you don’t require much oversight and you are capable of thinking outside of the box.
You can come up with new ideas from scratch, or reinvent old ones.


It is good to use this word when you are in an industry which requires deep thought and long-term plans.
It shows that you can think ahead of time, predict future events, and have contingency plans in place for whatever the industry throws at the company.



How to Use these Words to Describe Work Ethic on Your Resume

You have the words, but it’s important to not just toss them around on your resume, otherwise, they won’t be effective. You have to know how to use them properly for them to resonate with your potential employer.
It’s important to use full sentences in your executive/professional summary or experience summary.
Here are some examples of how you can use these words to describe work ethic in your summary on your resume:

01“I am a self-motivated and enthusiastic [insert job title], with a brilliant sense of humor and a passion for all things [insert job-related subject], and I am seeking a role in…”


people closeup colleagues joining hands jar go for it pens
Image from rawpixel under Pixabay license


02“I promote accountability amongst co-workers for the execution of projects and daily tasks”


03“I have encouraged discipline and respect in diverse workplaces”


04“I am a highly enthusiastic [insert job title] with [insert number of years] of experience and I have a habit of seeking continuous improvement”


05“I am an expert in handling [insert duty] while being committed to producing consistent results”


discussing laughing coffee laptiop

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash


06“I am a respectful team leader with excellent communication skills, a tireless work ethic, and a history of getting results”


07“In a previous role, I was promoted to a supervisory position within 6 months due to consistent results and cooperative efforts”


08“I work tirelessly and meticulously to ensure projects run smoothly”


Photo of a newcomer shaking hands and thanking his colleagues in the same team

Photo by on Pexels – under CC0 license


09“I am a results-based, resourceful [insert job title] with the ability to perform under pressure and adapt to new challenges”


10“I have managed over 300 accounts requiring strategic planning and an adaptable outlook in an enterprising, fast-changing industry”



These words to describe work ethic should fit seamlessly into your existing resume or help inspire you when creating one for the first time.
Remember, when it comes to resumes, your choice of words is very important and could determine whether or not you move to the next phase in the hiring process.
Good luck!