195 Action Verbs to Make Your Resume Stand Out

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated May 19, 2022 | Published March 25, 2020

Updated May 19, 2022

Published March 25, 2020

Related: Resume Writing: 4 Tips on How to Write a Standout Resume

In this video, Holl explains how to choose the best type of resume for your application, the best resume format, how to maximize the impact of your resume bullet points and some insider information on what you should include.

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.

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.”

Read more: 6 Universal Rules for Resume Writing

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:

  1. Achieved

  2. Amplified

  3. Attained

  4. Capitalized

  5. Chaired

  6. Consolidated

  7. Deciphered

  8. Decreased

  9. Discerned

  10. Drove

  11. Enacted

  12. Endeavored

  13. Established

  14. Exceeded

  15. Founded

  16. Pioneered

  17. Outperformed

  18. Overhauled

  19. Sharpened

  20. Shattered

  21. Sparked

  22. Spearheaded

  23. Steered

  24. Stimulated

  25. Streamlined

  26. Strengthened

  27. Supervised

  28. Surpassed

Related: Why Action Verbs Are Important for Resumes (With Examples)

Action verbs to explain responsibilities:

  1. Accelerated

  2. Accomplished

  3. Analyzed

  4. Assembled

  5. Built

  6. Charted

  7. Created

  8. Constructed

  9. Coordinated

  10. Delivered

  11. Developed

  12. Executed

  13. Expanded

  14. Facilitated

  15. Finalized

  16. Forged

  17. Guided

  18. Handled

  19. Headed

  20. Improved

  21. Increased

  22. Initiated

  23. Implemented

  24. Instituted

  25. Operated

  26. Organized

  27. Produced

  28. Reached

  29. Simplified

  30. Volunteered

Related: How to Write Resume Job Descriptions (With Examples)

Action verbs to express communication skills:

  1. Briefed

  2. Campaigned

  3. Collaborated

  4. Composed

  5. Conveyed

  6. Convinced

  7. Documented

  8. Enlivened

  9. Instructed

  10. Performed

  11. Presented

  12. Promoted

  13. Spoke

  14. Trained

Related: 4 Types of Communication and How to Improve Them

Action verbs for creative experience:

  1. Authored

  2. Brainstormed

  3. Communicated

  4. Conceptualized

  5. Curated

  6. Customized

  7. Derived

  8. Designed

  9. Diagramed

  10. Drafted

  11. Edited

  12. Illustrated

  13. Imagined

  14. Influenced

  15. Inspired

  16. Intensified

  17. Modeled

  18. Proofread

  19. Published

  20. Redesigned

  21. Researched

  22. Strategized

  23. Storyboarded

  24. Translated

  25. Transformed

  26. Visualized

  27. Wrote

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

Action verbs for sales experience:

  1. Acquired

  2. Boosted

  3. Captured

  4. Conserved

  5. Converted

  6. Earned

  7. Gained

  8. Generated

  9. Maximized

  10. Negotiated

  11. Outpaced

  12. Won

  13. Yielded

Related: How to Write a Sales Resume Summary (With Examples)

Action verbs for leadership and management:

  1. Advised

  2. Aligned

  3. Arranged

  4. Augmented

  5. Centralized

  6. Championed

  7. Cultivated

  8. Differentiated

  9. Directed

  10. Empowered

  11. Enabled

  12. Endorsed

  13. Enforced

  14. Ensured

  15. Forecasted

  16. Formalized

  17. Formed

  18. Fostered

  19. Furthered

  20. Hired

  21. Identified

  22. Implemented

  23. Integrated

  24. Leveraged

  25. Mentored

  26. Merged

  27. Motivated

  28. Orchestrated

  29. Optimized

  30. Predicted

  31. Reconciled

  32. Reduced

  33. Refocused

  34. Renovated

  35. Reorganized

  36. Replaced

  37. Resolved

  38. Restructured

  39. Revitalized

  40. Shaped

  41. Supervised

  42. Sustained

  43. Trained

Related: 10 Common Leadership Styles (Plus How To Find Your Own)

Action verbs for experience with finance:

  1. Audited

  2. Calculated

  3. Classified

  4. Collected

  5. Equalized

  6. Evaluated

  7. Dispensed

  8. Halted

  9. Investigated

  10. Lowered

  11. Maintained

  12. Minimized

  13. Recognized

  14. Secured

Related: Finance Skills to Include on Your Resume by Job Type

Action verbs for technical experience:

  1. Advanced

  2. Architected

  3. Automated

  4. Coded

  5. Deployed

  6. Detected

  7. Devised

  8. Diagnosed

  9. Discovered

  10. Engineered

  11. Enhanced

  12. Expedited

  13. Formulated

  14. Installed

  15. Launched

  16. Modified

  17. Networked

  18. Planned

  19. Programmed

  20. Remodeled

  21. Rewrote

  22. Refined

  23. Tested

  24. Troubleshoot

  25. Updated

  26. Upgraded

Related: Create an Indeed Resume to Easily Apply to Jobs

Related: Job Cast: Tips for Making a Resume That Stands Out

Learn how to create an effective resume that may help you stand out to employers in this virtual workshop with Career Consultant Jackie Mitchell.


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