Action Verbs for Resumes

How to use action verbs to make your resume stand out.

Action Verbs for Resumes

June 10th, 2020

Resume action words are creative and powerful verbs that you should use on your resume to make it stand out. Most bullet points on resumes start with the same words, to the point that they lose their efficacy. By using a compelling action verb, you can catch the recruiter's eye and paint a vivid picture of how you are the best candidate.

Best Action Verbs for Resumes:

Action Verb

Skill Illustrated

achieved

Shows your work ethic and accomplishments.

improved

Shows your organization skills and how you made a positive difference at your previous position.

mentored

Shows your leadership and management skills.

created

Shows your creativity skills.

resolved

Shows your problem solving, management, and teamworking skills.

volunteered

Shows your teamworking skills as well as your work ethic.

influenced

Shows your leadership and customer service skills.

increased/decreased

Shows how you added value to your previous position.

developed

Also shows your creativity and shows recruiters that you are innovative.

launched

Shows your leadership and project management skills.

won

Shows your accomplishments as well as sales skills.

Creativity and Problem-Solving Action Verbs:

aided

alleviated

altered

ameliorated

augmented

built

corrected

counseled

crafted

customized

debugged

designed

determined

devised

drafted

eased

elevated

enhanced

enlarged

established

extended

extracted

fashioned

finalized

fixed

founded

formed

formalized

fulfilled

generated

identified

implemented

initiated

interceded

invented

launched

lightened

overhauled

patched

piloted

pioneered

polished

procured

rebuilt

reconciled

rectified

reduced

refined

reformed

rehabilitated

reinforced

rejuvenated

relieved

remedied

remodeled

repaired

resolved

restored

retrieved

revitalized

revived

settled

solicited

solved

spearheaded

streamlined

strengthened

supplemented

transformed

Creativity often goes hand in hand with problem-solving as coming up with out-of-the-box solutions to solve a problem requires a creative mind. Using these action verbs will show recruiters how you are creative, more than simply stating "I am creative," which doesn't actually prove that you are.

Example:

Overhauled our operating systems which increased production output by 35%.

Teamwork Action Verbs:

acknowledged

assessed

assimilated

assisted

blended

clarified

coached

coalesced

collaborated

contributed

cooperated

counseled

demonstrated

diagnosed

diversified

educated

embraced

encouraged

energized

facilitated

familiarized

gathered

guided

harmonized

ignited

inspired

joined

mediated

melded

merged

motivated

participated

partnered

provided

referred

reinforced

represented

supported

taught

trained

united

verified

volunteered

Using teamwork active verbs will display your achievements during times when you worked with others and got great results.

Example:

Built and motivated an international team to adjust our product for international markets that increased our sales by 60%.

Communication Action Verbs:

addressed

advocated

apprised

arbitrated

arranged

attested

authored

briefed

campaigned

clarified

co-authored

collaborated

communicated

composed

consulted

conveyed

convinced

corresponded

counseled

critiqued

defined

developed

directed

documented

drafted

edited

enlisted

enlivened

explained

fielded

formulated

illustrated

influenced

informed

instructed

interpreted

lectured

lobbied

marketed

mediated

moderated

negotiated

performed

persuaded

presented

promoted

proposed

publicized

queried

reconciled

recruited

reported

reviewed

spoke

summarized

trained

translated

wrote

A resume with powerful action verbs is a great way to demonstrate your communication skills. You can emphasize them even more with targeted communication action verbs.

Example:

Authored the bi-monthly company newsletter that was directly responsible for enlisting at least 5 new subscribers each month.

Leadership Action Verbs:

administered

advised

allocated

allowed

analyzed

appointed

approved

arranged

assigned

augmented

authorized

centralized

chaired

championed

coached

consolidated

contracted

controlled

coordinated

cultivated

delegated

designated

developed

differentiated

directed

educated

elicited

employed

empowered

enabled

encouraged

endorced

enforced

enhanced

ensured

evaluated

executed

facilitated

fostered

founded

guided

headed

hired

hosted

identified

influenced

inspired

instructed

integrated

interviewed

judged

led

leveraged

mentored

mobilized

moderated

monitored

motivated

officiated

operated

optimized

orchestrated

organized

oversaw

planned

predicted

prioritized

produced

programmed

recommended

reconciled

recruited

reduced

renovated

reorganized

replaced

resolved

reviewed

sanctioned

spearheaded

supervised

trained

Demonstrate your leadership skills with these action verbs and show the recruiters what makes you a great leader.

Example:

Spearheaded a project to increase foot traffic to our retail store which was successful in driving sales up by 15%.

Work Ethic Action Verbs:

accelerated

achieved

attained

awarded

capitalized

completed

conceived

convinced

deciphered

demonstrated

discerned

discovered

drove

doubled

earned

effective

eliminated

enacted

endeavored

established

exceeded

expanded

expediated

founded

improved

increased

initiated

innovated

introduced

invented

launched

mastered

originated

outperformed

overcome

overhauled

pioneered

reached

reduced

resolved

revitalized

sharpened

shattered

showcased

sparked

spearheaded

steered

stimulated

strengthened

succeeded

supervised

surpassed

targeted

transformed

upgraded

Your work ethic can be shown through your accomplishments on behalf of your previous jobs.

Example:

Improved the arrangements in the kitchen which allowed staff to move more freely and so improved efficiency.

Organization Action Verbs:

approved

arranged

assembled

boosted

budgeted

calculated

catalogued

centralized

charted

clarified

classified

collected

compiled

consolidated

converted

correlated

customized

dispatched

executed

filed

generated

grew

implemented

indexed

influenced

inspected

integrated

lifted

linked

merged

modified

monitored

operated

orchestrated

ordered

organized

oriented

overhauled

planned

prepared

processed

purchased

raised

recorded

redesigned

refined

refocused

regulated

rehabilitated

remodeled

reorganized

replaced

restructured

retrieved

revamped

revitalized

saved

scheduled

screened

simplified

slashed

specified

standardized

streamlined

strengthened

systematized

tabulated

transformed

updated

upgraded

Show off your organization skills by letting the recruiter know how you improved things at your previous job.

Example:

Scheduled morning meetings to discuss the day's activities and ensure all team members knew their duties.

Time Management Action Verbs:

accelerated

achieved

advanced

amplified

boosted

capitalized

conserved

consolidated

decreased

deducted

delivered

diagnosed

enhanced

expanded

expediated

furthered

gained

generated

improved

lessened

lifted

maximized

outpaced

reconciled

reduced

stimulated

sustained

yielded

Recruiters look for candidates who can show great time management skills. Using these action verbs can demonstrate how you saved your company time or money.

Example:

Consolidated the Software Development Roadmap to ensure all critical projects were completed on time.

Flexibility Action Verbs:

accommodated

adapted

adjusted

altered

amended

balanced

converted

grew

improvised

tailored

Show how you adapt to changes by using these great action verbs.

Examples:

Adjusted my tasks to cover for a coworker who unexpectedly had to take an extended sick leave.

Customer Service Action Verbs:

advanced

advised

advocated

aided

arbitrated

boosted

coached

consulted

cooperated

counciled

educated

endorsed

facilitated

fielded

helped

informed

maintained

promoted

reinforced

resolved

supported

There are a variety of words that can be used to describe how you assisted customers. Use one of these action verbs to grab the recruiter's attention.

Example:

Promoted the company's products and maintained a customer satisfaction rating of 85%.

Action Verbs for Different Activities:

Candidates tend to use various tired phrases when describing their work activities that can lead to a boring, repetitive resume. Spice things up with some action verbs and synonyms for these over-repeated phrases:

We have also gathered lists of action verbs that are great for specific positions, such as:

"Responsible For" Action Verbs:

accelerated

accomplished

achieved

acquired

acted as

analyzed

assembled

built

completed

constructed

created

delivered

developed

executed

expanded

finalized

finished

forged

founded

guided

handled

headed

improved

increased

initiated

implemented

instituted

made

navigated

negotiated

operated

partnered

performed

prepared

produced

reached

secured

simplified

suceeded in

undertook

volunteered

Instead of simply stating what you were responsible for, try saying how you improved your tasks.

Example:

Succeeded in improving table turn over times by delivering consistent service.

"Created" Action Verbs:

acted

administered

arranged

authored

brainstormed

briefed

built

chartered

communicated

conceptualized

constructed

created

customized

derived

designed

developed

devised

diagramed

directed

drafted

edited

engaged in

engineered

envisioned

established

fabricated

fashioned

forged

formalized

formed

formulated

illustrated

imagined

implemented

incorporated

influenced

initiated

instituted

integrated

intensified

introduced

launched

made

made progress on

modeled

operated

organized

perfected

performed

pioneered

planned

produced

proofread

proved

published

pursued

put together

researched

revised

revitalized

set up

shaped

spearheaded

storyboarded

strategized

streamlined

structured

tabulated

translated

validated

visualized

undertook

If in your previous job you worked on any projects or created, developed, or introduced a project, use one of our action verbs to help the recruiter visualize your creativity.

Example:

Engaged in updating our job board articles to provide readers with the most up-to-date information.

"Improved" Action Verbs:

accelerated

accomplished

achieved

acquired

advanced

bolstered

boosted

built

centralized

clarified

converted

coordinated

created

customized

dedicated

demonstrated

enriched

established

expanded

expediated

grew

implemented

improved

increased

influenced

initiated

innovated

inspired

integrated

introduced

launched

lifted

merged

minimized

mobilized

modernized

modified

multiplied

overhauled

pioneered

raised

redesigned

refined

refocused

rehabilitated

remodeled

reorganized

restructured

revamped

revised

revitalized

saved

simplified

slashed

spearheaded

standardized

stimulated

streamlined

strengthened

suggested

transformed

updated

upgraded

Instead of simply repeating "improved...", show the amazing changes you made with these action verbs.

Example:

Suggested a new layout in the beverage supply closet which improved the servers' efficiency by 15%.

"Managed" Action Verbs:

advised

aligned

arranged

augmented

authorized

blocked

centralized

championed

cultivated

delegated

differentiated

directed

dispatched

empowered

enabled

endorsed

enforced

ensured

facilitated

forcasted

fostered

guided

hired

identified

inspected

inspired

integrated

itemized

leveraged

mentored

mobilized

monitored

motivated

orchestrated

optimized

predicted

reconciled

recruited

reduced

regulated

renovated

replaced

resolved

screened

scrutinized

shaped

supervised

taught

trained

unified

united

verified

Those candidates who were in management positions in previous jobs can demonstrate their leadership skills by discussing their duties with these action verbs.

Example:

Authorized signatories on banking documents and maintained 100% financial security.

"Researched" Action Verbs:

analyzed

ascertained

assembled

assessed

audited

calculated

checked

clarified

collected

compared

computed

conceptualized

concluded

confirmed

critiqued

deciphered

deliberated

determined

devised

diagnosed

discovered

estimated

evaluated

examined

explored

extracted

forecasted

formulated

identified

inspected

inspired

integrated

interpreted

interviewed

investigated

justified

mapped

measured

negotiated

organized

prescribed

prioritized

probed

projected

proved

qualified

quantified

questioned

rated

recommended

researched

reviewed

scrutinized

studied

substantiated

summarized

surveyed

synthesized

systemized

tested

tracked

validated

verified

When the job description calls for research skills, use our list of action verbs to discuss your research, analysis, and fact-finding duties in your work history.

Example:

Extracted sales performance metrics from data analyses that improved sales by 15%.

"Utilized" Action Verbs:

applied

adopted

deployed

employed

exerted

handled

mobilized

operated

promoted

put to use

restored

revived

specialized in

"Utilized" is a common word applied to resumes when describing previous work experience. Spice things up with these action verbs.

Example:

Specialized in Microsoft SPSS statistical software for data analysis.

Action Verbs for Sales Positions:

captured

conserved

converted

earned

generated

maximized

negotiated

won

Example:

Successfully negotiated and won 3 new accounts on average each month.

Action Verbs for Financial Positions:

administered

allocated

analyzed

appraised

audited

balanced

budgeted

calculated

classified

collected

computed

developed

dispensed

equalized

halted

investigated

lowered

maintained

managed

minimized

planned

projected

recognized

researched

secured

Example:

Audited companies in various industry sectors for financial discrepancies and maintained a 95% accuracy rate.

Action Verbs for Technical Positions:

advanced

architected

assembled

automated

built

calculated

coded

computed

deployed

designed

detected

devised

diagnosed

discovered

engineered

fabricated

formulated

installed

launched

maintained

networked

operated

pinpointed

planned

programmed

refined

remodeled

repaired

rewrote

solved

tested

troubleshoot

upgraded

Example:

Remodeled booking software systems that reduced bugs by 20%.

Action Verbs for Teaching Positions:

adapted

advised

clarified

coached

communicated

conducted

coordinated

developed

enabled

encouraged

evaluated

explained

facilitated

guided

informed

instructed

lectured

persuaded

set goals

stimulated

taught

trained

Example:

Evaluated students on the use of verbs in writing resumes.

Why Should You Use Resume Action Verbs?

Using resume action verbs will make your resume stronger by replacing those common, over-used words and phrases that recruiters see all the time with dynamic and compelling words that will catch the recruiter's eye. By starting your bullet points with action verbs, you can keep descriptions of your skills and work experiences short and powerful.

FAQs:

What are good action verbs for a resume?

There are a wide variety of resume action words that you should use on your resume to make it stand out. Using resume action verbs will make your resume stronger by replacing those common, over-used words and phrases that recruiters see all the time with strong, dynamic, and compelling action verbs that will catch the recruiter's eye.

How do you use action verbs in a resume?

You should use action verbs at the start of your bullet points when describing your responsibilities at your previous work experience or the skills you have achieved. By starting your bullet points with action verbs, you can keep descriptions of your skills and work experiences short and powerful.

What are some examples of action verbs?

  • Instead of "problem-solving skills," try starting with "overhauled."
  • Instead of "team working skills," try starting with "cooperated."
  • Instead of "communication skills," try starting with "lobbied."
  • Instead of "leadership skills," try starting with "founded."
  • Instead of "strong work ethic," try using "exceeded" to describe how you have his skill.
  • Instead of "organization skills," try describing your skills with "modified."
  • Instead of "time management skills," try using "expediated."
  • Instead of "flexibility," try using "adapted" to demonstrate.
  • Instead of "customer service skills," try using "promoted" to explain.

What are action verb lists?

Action verb lists are categorized lists that you can use to replace commonly-used phrases or words in your resume to make your sentences more powerful and concise.

What are power words in a resume?

Power words are action verbs that are used in a resume to help recruiters better visualize your skills and qualifications. They are generally used to make your resume stand out.

What can I say instead of "responsible for"?

  • Accelerated.
  • Built.
  • Completed.
  • Delivered.
  • Executed.
  • Finalized.
  • Guided.
  • Handled.
  • Improved.
  • Made.
  • Navigated.
  • Operated.
  • Partnered.
  • Reached.
  • Secured.
  • Undertook.
  • Volunteered.

What words do employers look for in a resume?

In a resume, employers tend to look for skills, so they will look for words that describe the skills they want, such as problem-solving skills, leadership skills, communication skills, team working skills, and work ethic.