Action Verb List for Resume: Powerful Resource

Writing a resume that gets you your dream job is not as easy as it may seem to average job seekers. You have to put in some extra efforts to ensure that your resume has the desired impact on the hiring manager.

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Action Verb List for Resume: Powerful Resource

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Write your resume in 15 minutes

Our free collection of expertly designed resume templates will help you stand out from the crowd and get one step closer to your dream job.

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People who seem to be able to get the jobs they want do not have good luck or happy coincidences, they write their resume in a manner that meets the professional standards, presents their profile information in appropriate manner and most importantly, their resumes are written with the goal of impact.

To make an impact you need several aspects i.e. numbers and facts, neat presentation, formal language, absence of errors and so on.

action verb list for resume

The language of resume has various points to consider such as tense, wording, tone. The action verb list for resume comes handy when you are considering the wording and language for your resume.

What's more, these action words have truly exceptional impact on human mind which are in our case- hiring managers.

What are action verbs?

You might be wondering what are action verbs! There are various types of verbs i.e. action verbs, modal or the helping verbs, linking verbs.

The action verbs are those that express action to put it simply. Action verbs reflect physical or mental actions which basically means you have actually 'done' something rather than just be spectator while things happened. It reflects real contribution which made difference.

Using action verbs can make a huge difference for you, action verbs throughout your resume will make you seem like a professional who is active and makes remarkable contribution instead of just being an average employee.

Why are action verbs important?

Action verbs convey the fact that you have acted and performed well with your job duties. Job duties can be done in two manners- just doing enough and taking action, taking control of the outcome and acquiring desirable results.

When hiring process is going on, the recruiter would look at your resume and look for an answer for- why should I hire this candidate.

The answer is always- this candidate will be making significant difference for us because they are active, takes initiative, takes control of the results.

The resumes that provide this answer, get shortlisted. And the resume action verbs help you with this.

This is something that needs to be discussed and emphasized because most candidates do not realize that particular candidate's personal qualities make a big difference if it is showcased carefully.

Many candidates think-

👉oh anyone can do this

👉I am supposed to do all this as part of job, I haven't done nothing exceptional

Some also downplay or do not present their experience in its true form that maybe valuable to hiring managers.

This happens in subtle ways in which the candidate describes the information of their profile, the experience, summary and even skills.

This can be solved by the use of resume action verbs throughout the resume in summary section, experience section and other sections.

Resume action words change the tone and impact of the information described altogether!

This is one of the most important reason why you should use action words in your professional resume. Resume action verbs and resume power words make a difference that nothing else can.

💡Impactful action verbs are also necessary because hiring managers spend on average 30 seconds looking at a resume and if your resume has long sentences instead of concise information with action words, you will not be able to grab recruiter's attention.


How to use action verbs in resume?

So you know what are action verbs and why they're important. But next question is, how to use them!

There are many parts of your resume where you can use the resume action verbs as well as resume power words.

In your resume when you are describing your resume summary you can include a lot of action verbs in the sentences. You can also use resume action verbs while describing your experience details.

The detailed experience is the most important space to use resume action verbs because it has the most impact on the resume reader's attention.

You can use the action verbs to describe your exceptional performances, the key accomplishments. The challenges you may have faced and overcame, you can use resume action verbs to talk about them as well.

More importantly you need to use the maximum action verbs to describe your usual responsibilities and work history.

When you use action words and power words, the readers will see you in a different light.

Passive words do not make much impact but action words and power words leave an impact because they are effective. Such language also has better recall value.

Recruiters will always be more impressed with someone who knows how to present their profile and their resume stand out easily.

Action verbs highlight the abilities you possess along with your skills and work history. A word may convey similar information but still make a big difference of meaning.

This presents you in a whole different light. We will cover several examples in this article, where we have provided the list.

Tips for using the resume action verbs

action verb list for resume

Before we get to the list of action verbs, let's learn some tips on using the resume action words.👇

Avoid overused ones

When you are writing your resume, you may think of action verbs and use them. These action verbs will likely be the most common ones which is why they cross your mind easily.

While it seems the easy option, you should not use these action verbs. Most likely they will be in every resume of your fellow job seekers and job applicants.

When something is overused, it loses the essence and the meaning, it is no longer perceived genuinely. Such thing becomes easily ignorable and worthless. This is true for action words in your resume as well.

You need to avoid all of the overused and most popular action words and only choose the ones that convey what you need to but in -not so usual and popular manner or words.

Doing this may seem difficult but rest assured, it is not. All you need to do is find synonyms or alternative action words that will convey the information.

Finding such synonyms and alternative action words is also not difficult. You can google the synonyms easily and choose the synonym that conveys your information with the right context. You can also refer to the resume action words list provided in this article.

Be specific

Ambiguous detailed resume may seem formal and professional but it has no impact on the recruiters.

When you want to make impact, you have to be specific. For example, when politicians give speeches, they use statistics and facts to achieve the desired effect on the public and listeners.

They never give any ambiguous statements that can be questioned or debated or have the scope of misinterpretation.

Specific details conveyed with numbers, particular words and manner have better impact than the ambiguous ones. When you say something ambiguous, it is not very believable or effective. But when you are specific, the information is perceived to be genuine and really valuable.

This applies to all kinds of communication whether it is a politician communicating with public through speech or a job candidate communicating with recruiters through the resume.

You can better reference of specific details from the job description. Use the power words from job description to describe your job duties.

Use active voice

You may very well be aware of language grammar. There are two voices: the active voice and the passive voice.

Active voice is when the subject is the center of sentence and passive voice is when the object is the center of the sentence.

When you use passive voice, as you may imagine, it reflects passivity of action. Passive voice in resume can reflect negatively.

While passive voice can be confusing and requires a lot of attention for comprehension, active voice is direct and easy to comprehend.

Sometimes, we use passive voice without any realization because often it comes naturally to our mind when the sentences are forming and flowing. You need to be alert and aware while writing your resume.

Active voice is simple and direct, which may seem a little different from the usual formal language that you need to write with in your resume.

However, direct communication also reflects a sense of honesty, genuine valuable data and that is what leaves real impact on recruiters.

Industry specific verbs

There are various types of verbs that can be included in your resume. Most job candidates end up using generic action verbs or power words. While they do convey the information, they also fail to have the desired effect.

We talked about how being specific is very important. Specific verbs have better impact and industry specific verbs have even better impact.

If you are a medical professional you should use the verbs that are specific for medical industry and your specific role. If you are a high school teacher, you should include the verbs of education and teaching industry.

These specific verbs also help you reduce the amount of content because you do not need explanations to back your points when you use action words. This helps when you are trying to go for two page or one page resume and your profile information doesn't seem to fit in.

Verbs for skills

When you describe skills section, you may end up describing generic skills which will not have much of an impact on the recruiter, they might even ignore the section altogether if they see the first skill that is very generic or ambiguous.

When you want to get rid of the ambiguity in your skills, you should use verbs. Verbs that showcase your capabilities in a light that makes you seem like an exceptional candidate.

Verbs for skills are especially useful in the combination resume format. In this resume format, you need to describe your transferable skills to prove the capability for career change in more than one or two words. In the description of skills, you can use the verbs that better expand and explain the skills.

action verb list for resume

List of Action verbs:

👉Finally here is the list of action verbs that you can utilize. Make sure you choose the ones that are specific for your industry, skills and role hence suitable for your resume.

👉To convey: Creativity

  • Designed
  • Enhanced
  • Initiated
  • Invented
  • Fashioned
  • Overhauled

👉To convey: Managed

  • Cultivated
  • Fostered
  • Aligned
  • Shaped
  • Supervised

👉To convey: Assisted

  • Abetted
  • Helped
  • Expedited
  • Endorsed
  • Facilitated

👉To convey: Utilized

  • Adopted
  • Deployed
  • Employed
  • Exerted

👉To convey: Research

  • Examined
  • Analyzed
  • Discovered
  • Explored
  • Calculated
  • Studied
  • Identified
  • Surveyed
  • Inspected
  • Probed

👉To convey: Improved

  • Boosted
  • Enhanced
  • Optimized
  • Redefined
  • Revamped
  • Remodeled
  • Refined
  • Remodeled
  • Restructured
  • Streamlined

👉To convey: Worked on

  • Engaged in
  • Developed
  • Forged
  • Formulated
  • Perfected
  • Undertook
  • Operated
  • Pursued

👉To convey: Achieved (achievements)

  • Accomplished
  • Advanced
  • Amplified
  • Boosted
  • Stimulated
  • Outpaced

👉To convey: communication (descriptive)

  • Advocated
  • Composed
  • Clarified
  • Conveyed
  • Consulted
  • Mediated
  • Influenced
  • Explained
  • Informed
  • Negotiated
  • Persuaded

👉To convey: Responsible

  • Secured
  • Partnered
  • Prepared
  • Executed
  • Created
  • Navigated
  • Performed
  • Supervised

👉To convey: Leadership skills

  • Authorized
  • Chaired
  • Cultivated
  • Headed
  • Delegated
  • Inspired
  • Fostered
  • Mentored
  • Spearheaded
  • Oversaw
  • Supervised

👉To convey: Team player

  • Collaborated
  • Diversified
  • Contributed
  • Partnered
  • Participated
  • Volunteered
  • Supported
  • Helped

👉To convey: Finance skills

  • Budgeted
  • Analyzed
  • Allocated
  • Audited
  • Appraised
  • Balanced
  • Calculated
  • Computed
  • Planned
  • Projected

👉To convey: Bringing in resources (partners, funding etc.)

  • Acquired
  • Closed
  • Forged
  • Pursued
  • Navigated
  • Partnered
  • Pitched
  • Secured
  • Signed
  • Sourced

Key takeaways

  • Action verbs are important because of the exceptional impact
  • Avoid overused action words
  • Use specific verbs
  • Put sincere effort in your resume
  • Avoid passive voice in your resume

To conclude, you now know the importance of action words and power words, make sure you use them in the manner discussed in this article. With a resume carefully written with resume action words, you will definitely improve the process of job seeking and land a job soon!

Check out our resume writing guides, resume examples and resume templates! All solutions for resume writing in one place! Good luck with job search!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do I need to use role specific action words?

Yes, you need to use specific words to your industry, role and also job description.

Is it okay to use action verbs multiple times?

You may want to use alternative synonyms to avoid repetition and achieve maximum impact on reader.

Can action verbs used with power words?

Yes, action verbs and power words, both are important to grab reader's attention and make an impact.

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