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I wrote the following sentence in my resume and got blasted with criticism (intended to help me of course):

Delivered over 100 reports summarizing x, y, and z for ...

Complaint 1: Did you deliver these reports like they deliver pizza? Did you carry the reports to your boss in a tray? It says nothing about you writing these reports. You can deliver something that someone else wrote.

I changed "delivered" and used "prepared".

Prepared over 100 reports summarizing x, y, and z for ...

Complaint 2: Did you just photo-copy them? Staple some pages together?

I assume they'd have the same complain about using "Produced"? But I am more inclined to using "Produced" here than the other two.

What action verb leaves no room for misinterpretation? "Wrote" definitely works, but it isn't the best of choices for a formal context. Doesn't have that "oomph" factor. "Draft" wouldn't be suitable as that indicates someone might have reviewed my writing afterward.

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Sometimes, when you open yourself up to advice from all sides, you get conflicting advice and can't please everyone. There are many sources that offer actual, paid resume advice. If you can afford it, and if you can find a source you trust, it's usually a worthwhile investment (because a lot of resumes need a lot of help!).

That said... Honestly, your suggestions aren't bad. But if we're going for the best ever choice, let me just pile onto the existing criticisms!

  • delivered: Pizza aside, one issue here is that it suggests that you presented the report, perhaps in a live demonstration. If that isn't true, or if you want to focus more on the work you put in, it's not the best choice.
  • prepared: This focuses only on what you did before the report was used. Since you didn't give a presentation, maybe this is a good choice. I find the complaints you got ("did you just photo-copy it?") dismissible; the point of the complaint is it doesn't show how much of a role you had in the presentation, but as a resume reader I would assume "I prepared reports" means "I single-handedly generated them." If someone did in fact just staple them together, I would take "prepared reports" as deliberate misrepresentation, and we have to start with a baseline assumption that you're not lying.
  • wrote: You know, sometimes the most obvious choice is the best. This is clear. (Yes, use powerful and vivid language when possible in a resume to make an impact, but only in the interests of clearly communicating.) On the other hand, if you put in effort outside the act of writing (research, data processing), some of the other words capture this better.
  • drafted: Really not a good choice, as it implies you left it half-finished.
  • created: I stand by my personal favorite: it's an engaging word without being excessively contrived or high-flown. It also carries a connotation that the value of the report lived on after its presentation, something that none of the words focusing on the preparation process accomplish.
  • authored: A great choice for putting the spotlight on you. It's perhaps a smidge pretentious when you're not in fact writing a work of classic literature.
  • wordsmithed or penned: With apologies to Lambie, unless these had the value of making the reader grin, they really are a bit too pretentious (and make the point less clear, and really put the emphasis on the linguistic and physical task of writing, rather than any of the other aspects of preparation).
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  • Great answer Andy! Yes, I did perform a lot of data manipulation, statistical analysis, testing, model comparison, etc. And then, wrote summary reports for the stakeholders. I address these things in different bullet points. Do you till think "created" captures this better than the other alternatives? I personally really like "It also carries a connotation that the value of the report lived on after its presentation, something that none of the words focusing on the preparation process accomplish."
    – AIQ
    Oct 22 at 20:00
  • Also, would you say "produced" is very similar to "prepared" in this instance?
    – AIQ
    Oct 22 at 20:05
  • I think "prepared," out of all the choices, puts the most emphasis on those earlier steps, but if you've already covered them, you don't have to let that sway your choice. "Produced" is similar, yes, but with a slight emphasis on the finished product (like "delivered") rather than the process. Oct 22 at 20:09

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