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Maximize Your Impact: 205 Action Verbs to Use on Your Resume

So you're working on your resume. maybe you haven't submitted your updated resume anywhere yet, or maybe you have,

So you're working your resume. Maybe you haven't submitted your updated resume anywhere yet, or maybe you have, and it doesn't seem to get anyone's attention. Either way, you might be missing one of the most important elements of any resume: Action verbs.

If you're unfamiliar with action verbs, you might wonder how they're different from those on your resume. If that's the case, this article has some critical information you don't want to miss.

The best part? Even if your resume is 100% complete right now, adding action verbs is as simple as replacing existing verbs with them. Keep reading to learn more about the best action verbs for your resume and how much you might miss out on without them.

Table of Contents

How Action Verbs Help Your Resume
The Benefits of Action Verbs
Action Verbs at Work
Resume Action Verbs

How Action Verbs Help Your Resume

So what are action verbs? Well, they're words that express and describe things that someone or something does. In the case of your resume, action verbs can help you illustrate all the hard you've put into your career.

Wait, isn't that what every word on your resume should do? To an extent, yes, but action verbs do more than describe your achievements.

They explain everything you've done and how you've done them. Actions speak louder than words — and action verbs speak louder than everyday words.

Now before we look at some of the most powerful action verbs and how to use them, let's dig little deeper into how action verbs can make your resume catch the eyes of your next interviewer.

The Benefits of Action Verbs

If we wanted to detail every benefit of action verbs, we'd be here all day. To save you some time (time you can spend crafting the perfect resume), here are four of the best reasons to use action verbs.

If even one of these benefits could add something to your resume, it might be time to revise it with some powerful action verbs.

Action verbs show what you do (not just who you are).

Let's think about the phrase “action verbs.” Verbs are straightforward enough: They're words that describe doing or being something. Action verbs are more specific. They describe doing something, not any of being.

This might not sound like a huge difference, but let's look at an example of a regular verb you might see in a resume:

“I was the general manager at a fine dining establishment.”

Let's swap that boring “was” out for some exciting action verbs:

“I supervised and managed the operation of a fine dining establishment.”

It's a small change, but that should give you an idea of how more impactful action verbs can be compared to verbs that describe your state of being.

Action verbs make your resume more eye-catching.

Have you ever sifted through a stack of resumes? If you have, you might know how tedious and -inducing that process can be. If not, reading a book full of passive verbs — you know, the opposite of action verbs.

“I had many responsibilities… I was a department head…”

You get the picture.

While these might be great accomplishments, anyone reading that resume will probably move on to the next one in no time.

The language itself won't win any awards, but the real issue is its overuse. You're not just competing against subpar language. You're competing against every resume that uses the same language.

Action verbs help your chances with tracking systems.

Like so many things these days, applying for a job might involve . Depending on your stance, that might be a good or bad . One thing is for sure, though: You should write your resume with that in mind.

See, applicant tracking systems (ATS) streamline the application process for employers. These systems use AI to scan resumes for certain words and phrases. Some of these words and phrases include — believe it or not — action verbs.

While you may not need to include any specific words to pass through ATS, you should focus on using action verbs.

Action verbs make your resume easier to scan and read.

How long do you spend on a website before leaving? Is your mind made up after the headline?

Do you scroll through the page and look at the headers? Or do you scan the page in an instant, looking for one specific thing to tell you whether the page is worth your time or not?

Chances are you do one or all of those things — but did you know the same applies to your resume? That's right. You can expect every employer reading your resume to scan through your resume like you would a website.

That's where action verbs come in. Imagine someone scanning through dozens of resumes a day. What do you think would get their attention? Yep, action verbs — and the more specific to your industry, the better.

If you can get their attention with the right action verbs, you're one step to having your resume read.

Action Verbs at Work

Before we get into some specific examples of action verbs, let's see how and why they work so well on resumes. Here's a quick example to better understand how action verbs compare to other verbs.

For this example, imagine this sentence is part of a resume:

“I was in charge of multiple teams and had many responsibilities that changed daily.”

While it might sound impressive by itself, that type of language will get lost in a typical resume. Instead, let's try the same sentiment with action verbs:

“I organized teams and directed combined efforts, ensuring we cleared every deadline and secured more clients in the process.”

See the difference? Put yourself in the of someone reading resumes all day. Which example would instill more confidence in the candidate? Keep that in mind as you write or update your resume; you'll have an edge over the competition.

Resume Action Verbs

Now we're ready to look at some action verb specifics. While knowing individual action verbs is crucial, you should also familiarize yourself with verb categories. These are different from passive and action verbs, though.

Here, we'll look at some action verbs for your resume by category. Some of these categories may overlap, so use them as you see fit.

Achievements

Every employer is interested in your achievements. After all, achievements serve as proof of how hard you've worked and how much time you've dedicated to your career.

These action verbs should prop you up as an accomplished person who can help a business reach milestones and goals.

action verbs relating to achievements

Accelerated

Decreased

Won

Pioneered

Accomplished

Delivered

Founded

Produced

Achieved

Demonstrated

Generated

Raised

Advanced

Drove

Grew

Reached

Amplified

Earned

Improved

Saved

Attained

Enacted

Lifted

Sharpened

Boosted

Endeavored

Managed

Showcased

Capitalized

Enhanced

Maximized

Sparked

Completed

Established

Outpaced

Spearheaded

Consolidated

Exceeded

Outperformed

Steered

Converted

Expanded

Overcame

Stimulated

Created

Expedited

Overhauled

Streamlined

Targeted

Surpassed

Succeeded

Strengthened

Best for: Demonstrating your most exceptional accomplishments, placing you far ahead of the pack of applicants.

Responsibilities

Do you wear many hats at work? Good, leverage that in your resume. Some positions require quick thinking and flexibility; action verbs can demonstrate that on your resume.

These action verbs should give a potential employer a good idea of what you can handle.

Action verbs relating to responsibilities

Forged

Coordinated

Handled

Organized

Accomplished

Created

Headed

Partnered

Achieved

Delivered

Implemented

Performed

Acquired

Developed

Improved

Prepared

Acted as

Executed

Increased

Produced

Analyzed

Expanded

Initiated

Reached

Assembled

Facilitated

Instituted

Secured

Built

Finalized

Made

Simplified

Charted

Finished

Navigated

Succeeded in

Completed

Accelerated

Negotiated

Undertook

Constructed

Guided

Operated

Volunteered

What we like: Focusing on responsibilities with action verbs can posture you as the perfect candidate for leadership and more specialized positions.

Communication

You've heard it many times before: Communication is . That's because it's true — in personal life and business.

So what could be better than some action verbs that communicate how well you communicate?

action verbs relating to communication

Addressed

Consulted

Explained

Performed

Advocated

Conveyed

Fielded

Persuaded

Apprised

Convinced

Formulated

Presented

Arbitrated

Corresponded

Illustrated

Promoted

Arranged

Counseled

Influenced

Proposed

Attested

Critiqued

Informed

Publicized

Authored

Defined

Instructed

Queried

Briefed

Developed

Interpreted

Reconciled

Campaigned

Directed

Lectured

Recruited

Clarified

Documented

Lobbied

Reported

Co-authored

Drafted

Marketed

Reviewed

Collaborated

Edited

Mediated

Spoke

Communicated

Enlisted

Moderated

Summarized

Composed

Enlivened

Negotiated

Trained

Translated

Wrote

 
 

Best for: These action verbs have the potential to show what a great team player you are, so they're great when applying for anything like a managerial role.

Experience

Not much can overshadow experience. It's undeniable proof of your career until now, and you should use that to your advantage.

After all, your experience might be the one thing that gets you hired instead of a comparable candidate.

Action verbs relating to experience

Adapted

Coordinated

Guided

Recommended

Administered

Critiqued

Individualized

Reorganized

Advised

Delegated

Informed

Reviewed

Analyzed

Developed

Installed

Scheduled

Assigned

Directed

Instructed

Simulated

Chaired

Enabled

Motivated

Stimulated

Clarified

Encouraged

Organized

Supervised

Coached

Evaluated

Oversaw

Taught

Communicated

Executed

Persuaded

Tested

Conducted

Explained

Planned

Trained

Consolidated

Facilitated

Prioritized

Transmitted

Contracted

Focused

Produced

Tutored

What we like: Experience-oriented action verbs can position you as an all-around great candidate with a proven track record.

There's No Better Time for Action

Whether your communication skills are unmatched, your style is cutting-edge, or you've just been in the game for longer than your competition, action verbs can tell employers what you've done and what you do.

There are countless strong action verbs for your resume as well, so you have many choices regardless of what you do or want to do. So which action verbs will go in your resume? Are you a creative , a rocksteady leader, or a communications expert?

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