Resume action verbs

Resume Action Verbs to Use to Stand Out


You only have a small window to capture the attention of a busy recruiter who is reading through hundreds of resumes. While crafting a resume, avoiding certain terms that can undermine the efficacy and strength of your resume. These include the use of passive and weak verbs and worn-out business clichés and buzzwords. As an addition to soft and hard skills, making use of powerful action verbs instead and negating the overuse of verbs like ‘utilized’, ‘assisted’, and ‘oversaw’, is equally prudent.

What Are Action Verbs?

Words that convey an action are called action verbs. These are effective when used in a resume to highlight your experience, accomplishments, and skills. They are not only specific, but they also bring a tone of confidence and point to your contributions. By using action verbs on your resume, you stand a higher chance of capturing the recruiter’s attention, helping you to progress to the next stage of the hiring process. Consider the following examples and note the difference in how these statements read:

“Held weekly status meetings to share client updates.” (vague, unclear, and lacking strength)

“Spearheaded weekly status meetings to communicate agency revenue growth.” (strong in terms of detail, sounds empowered)

With the use of action words:


  • Responsible transforms to Improved…
  • Worked with transforms to Collaborated on a team that…
  • In Charge Of changes to Directed 20 employees to…

Instead of merely describing your job, these verbs help to manifest a vivid portrait of your professional accomplishments and your experience.

How Good Resume Action Verbs Make For Stronger Writing

There are two reasons why action verbs make resumes stronger.

The first reason is that they increase the engagement factor by eliminating redundant terms and phrases that hiring managers see all the time. The second is that they direct your specific job-winning attributes. By using action verbs you didn’t simply handle a responsibility, you slashed costs by X% or saved your employer X hours per week.

Employers inherently want to hire people who are team players, but that is not a term they like seeing on resumes. That puts the onus of showing that they are a team player without actually stating it outright on the resume writer. Therefore, a resume should contain bullet points of your accomplishments as well as examples of times you have worked with others, getting the optimal output and results. You need to state that you made a process more efficient, raised revenue, and/or cut costs in the process. Don’t be shy about throwing in exact hour numbers, dollar amounts, or specific percentages.

Pairing these quantifiable results with action verbs to illustrate not only what you did, but what effect your actions had. For instance: “Championed the use of user feedback in process improvements, resulting in a 50% boost in customer satisfaction ratings.”

Resume Action Verbs

Here you are a list of action verbs, grouped by impact type. Start your bullet points with one of these powerful verbs. Use them to enhance your quantified accomplishments and qualifications.

Resume action verbs

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