Resumes & Cover Letters

195 Action Verbs to Make Your Resume Stand Out

December 17, 2020

Some recruiters must read through hundreds of resumes, and so you have a limited amount of time to catch their attention. 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”).

Resume Format
Image description

Resume Format
1. Name and contact information
2. Summary or objective
3. Professional history
a. Company name
b. Dates of tenure
c. Description of role and achievement
4. Education
5. Skills
6. Optional (Awards & Achievements, Hobbies & Interests)

What are action verbs?

Action verbs are words that express an action. In a resume, action verbs are used to highlight your skills, experience and accomplishments. They are specific, clarify your contributions and bring a confident tone to your resume. Using action verbs that are unique and powerful can increase your chances of capturing the attention of an employer and moving to the next step in the hiring process. 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.”

Resume action verbs

Below, you will find several action verbs grouped by impact type so you can select the most relevant words for your resume.

Action verbs to showcase accomplishments:

  • Achieved
  • Amplified
  • Attained
  • Capitalized
  • Chaired
  • Consolidated
  • Deciphered
  • Decreased
  • Discerned
  • Drove
  • Enacted
  • Endeavored
  • Established
  • Exceeded
  • Founded
  • Pioneered
  • Outperformed
  • Overhauled
  • Sharpened
  • Shattered
  • Sparked
  • Spearheaded
  • Steered
  • Stimulated
  • Streamlined
  • Strengthened
  • Supervised
  • Surpassed

Action verbs to explain responsibilities:

  • Accelerated
  • Accomplished
  • Analyzed
  • Assembled
  • Built
  • Charted
  • Created
  • Constructed
  • Coordinated
  • Delivered
  • Developed
  • Executed
  • Expanded
  • Facilitated
  • Finalized
  • Forged
  • Guided
  • Handled
  • Headed
  • Improved
  • Increased
  • Initiated
  • Implemented
  • Instituted
  • Operated
  • Organized
  • Produced
  • Reached
  • Simplified
  • Volunteered

Action verbs to express communication skills:

  • Briefed
  • Campaigned
  • Collaborated
  • Composed
  • Conveyed
  • Convinced
  • Documented
  • Enlivened
  • Instructed
  • Performed
  • Presented
  • Promoted
  • Spoke
  • Trained

Action verbs for creative experience:

  • Authored
  • Brainstormed
  • Communicated
  • Conceptualized
  • Curated
  • Customized
  • Derived
  • Designed
  • Diagramed
  • Drafted
  • Edited
  • Illustrated
  • Imagined
  • Influenced
  • Inspired
  • Intensified
  • Modeled
  • Proofread
  • Published
  • Redesigned
  • Researched
  • Strategized
  • Storyboarded
  • Translated
  • Transformed
  • Visualized
  • Wrote

Related: Here's Everything You Should Include on a Resume

Action verbs for sales experience:

  • Acquired
  • Boosted
  • Captured
  • Conserved
  • Converted
  • Earned
  • Gained
  • Generated
  • Maximized
  • Negotiated
  • Outpaced
  • Won
  • Yielded

Action verbs for leadership and management:

  • Advised
  • Aligned
  • Arranged
  • Augmented
  • Centralized
  • Championed
  • Cultivated
  • Differentiated
  • Directed
  • Empowered
  • Enabled
  • Endorsed
  • Enforced
  • Ensured
  • Forecasted
  • Formalized
  • Formed
  • Fostered
  • Furthered
  • Hired
  • Identified
  • Implemented
  • Integrated
  • Leveraged
  • Mentored
  • Merged
  • Motivated
  • Orchestrated
  • Optimized
  • Predicted
  • Reconciled
  • Reduced
  • Refocused
  • Renovated
  • Reorganized
  • Replaced
  • Resolved
  • Restructured
  • Revitalized
  • Shaped
  • Supervised
  • Sustained
  • Trained

Action verbs for experience with finance:

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

Action verbs for technical experience:

  • Advanced
  • Architected
  • Automated
  • Coded
  • Deployed
  • Detected
  • Devised
  • Diagnosed
  • Discovered
  • Engineered
  • Enhanced
  • Expedited
  • Formulated
  • Installed
  • Launched
  • Modified
  • Networked
  • Planned
  • Programmed
  • Remodeled
  • Rewrote
  • Refined
  • Tested
  • Troubleshoot
  • Updated
  • Upgraded

Related: Create an Indeed Resume to easily apply to jobs

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