139 Action Verbs to Make Your Resume Stand Out

When writing a resume, it’s important to avoid weak and passive verbs, stay away from business jargon or clichés, and watch out for tired words and phrases. These faulty word choices can undermine the strength and effectiveness of your resume. Instead, make a point of using powerful action verbs and avoid overusing the same verbs (such as “assisted,” “oversaw,” and “utilized”).

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Action words are specific, clarify your contributions, and bring a confident tone to your resume and list of accomplishments. Here’s an example:

Lacks strength and clarity: “Held weekly status meetings to share client updates.”

Empowered and detailed: “Spearheaded weekly status meetings to communicate agency revenue growth.”

Can you see how the second option is stronger and more detailed? The action verbs make your contribution clear and impactful.

[Read more: 6 Universal Rules for Resume Writing]

Pro tip: Combine your selection of action verbs with quantifiable results to show both what you did and the effect it had. For example, “Championed use of user feedback in program improvements, resulting in 50% boost in customer satisfaction ratings.”

Select from the following action verbs to give your resume an edge:

To demonstrate your strong work ethic or introduce your accomplishments, try:

Achieved
Capitalized
Deciphered
Discerned
Drove
Enacted
Endeavored
Established
Exceeded
Sharpened
Shattered
Sparked
Spearheaded
Steered
Stimulated
Supervised
Surpassed

Instead of “duties included,” “responsible for,” “served as,” or “actions encompassed,” try:

Accelerated
Accomplished
Analyzed
Assembled
Built
Founded
Created
Constructed
Delivered
Developed
Executed
Expanded
Finalized
Forged
Guided
Handled
Headed
Improved
Increased
Initiated
Implemented
Instituted
Produced
Reached
Simplified
Volunteered

To illustrate your communication skills, try:

Collaborated
Conveyed
Enlivened
Instructed
Performed
Presented
Spoke
Trained

For creative positions, try:

Authored
Brainstormed
Briefed
Communicated
Conceptualized
Curated
Derived
Designed
Diagramed
Drafted
Edited
Illustrated
Imagined
Influenced
Intensified
Modeled
Proofread
Published
Researched
Strategized
Storyboarded
Translated
Visualized
Wrote

For sales positions, try:

Captured
Conserved
Converted
Earned
Generated
Maximized
Negotiated
Won

For management positions, try:

Advised
Arranged
Augmented
Centralized
Championed
Differentiated
Directed
Empowered
Endorsed
Enforced
Ensured
Forecasted
Fostered
Identified
Integrated
Leveraged
Reconciled
Reduced
Replaced
Resolved
Orchestrated
Optimized
Predicted
Renovated

For financial positions, try:

Audited
Classified
Collected
Equalized
Dispensed
Halted
Investigated
Lowered
Maintained
Minimized
Recognized
Secured

For technical positions, try:

Advanced
Architected
Automated
Coded
Deployed
Detected
Devised
Diagnosed
Discovered
Formulated
Installed
Launched
Networked
Planned
Programmed
Rewrote
Refined
Tested
Troubleshoot
Upgraded

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