195 Action Verbs to Make Your Resume Stand Out
Updated January 3, 2023
Published May 10, 2017
Jennifer Herrity is a seasoned career services professional with 12+ years of experience in career coaching, recruiting and leadership roles with the purpose of helping others to find their best-fit jobs. She helps people navigate the job search process through one-on-one career coaching, webinars, workshops, articles and career advice videos on Indeed's YouTube channel.
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”).
Name and contact information
Summary or objective
a. Company name
b. Dates of tenure
c. Description of role and achievement
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:
Action verbs to explain responsibilities:
Action verbs to express communication skills:
Action verbs for creative experience:
Action verbs for sales experience:
Action verbs for leadership and management:
Action verbs for experience with finance:
Action verbs for technical experience:
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