90 Action Verbs for Your Resume

90 Action Verbs for Your Resume

When you apply for a job, you’re solely focused on your own application materials. But consider this: recruiters and hiring managers may be looking at hundreds of resumes for each open position! With so many applications to go through, recruiters don’t have time to thoroughly read through and evaluate each one.

In fact, research shows that recruiters only skim a resume for about 7.4 seconds. This means that to impress a potential employer, you’ll need to make sure your resume packs a punch right out of the gate.

One of the best ways to stand out is by using action verbs to highlight your work experience, career achievements, and skills on your resume.

What Are Action Verbs and Why Do They Matter?

Action verbs are words that describe or express an action. Including these dynamic verbs on your resume can help employers visualize your accomplishments and what you can bring to the job. Powerful, descriptive action verbs bring a confident tone to your resume and enable hiring managers to see who you are as a candidate—and potential employee.

Including plenty of action verbs also makes your resume easier to read. When you begin each bullet point with a strong action verb, recruiters can more easily scan your resume for your most important and relevant skills and accomplishments.

90 Action Verbs to Highlight Your Experience

As you customize your resume for your next application, swap out those passive and overused words and phrases for some of these powerful action verbs. They may help you land an interview, if not a brand new job!

Action Verbs for Leadership and Management

Words like “led” and “managed” are a dime a dozen on resumes and don’t adequately describe your management skills. They also tend to lose their meaning to recruiters simply because they’re used so often. Try these leadership-focused action verbs instead:

  • Aligned
  • Championed
  • Cultivated
  • Directed
  • Empowered
  • Enabled
  • Fostered
  • Headed
  • Implemented
  • Inspired
  • Mentored
  • Motivated
  • Shaped
  • Supervised
  • Unified

Action Verbs for Growth

Anytime you’re able to increase or grow an aspect of your job—sales, traffic, revenue, or customer satisfaction, for example—you’ll want to demonstrate that on your resume with verbs that exemplify growth:

  • Accelerated
  • Amplified
  • Boosted
  • Capitalized
  • Delivered
  • Drove
  • Enhanced
  • Exceeded
  • Expedited
  • Grew
  • Lifted
  • Maximized
  • Outperformed
  • Stimulated
  • Surpassed

Action Verbs for Changes and Improvements

If you successfully made changes in a past position that led to process improvements, like implementing a new system that increased efficiency, you can explain your accomplishments using action verbs such as:

  • Accelerated
  • Converted
  • Customized
  • Delivered
  • Deployed
  • Expanded
  • Integrated
  • Overhauled
  • Reorganized
  • Resolved
  • Restructured
  • Standardized
  • Updated
  • Upgraded
  • Transformed

Action Verbs for Collaborating With Others

No matter where you work (or where your colleagues work), communication and collaboration skills are essential. Here are action verbs you can use to explain how you’ve worked on a team, whether it was in-person or virtually:

  • Advocated
  • Assisted
  • Collaborated
  • Combined
  • Communicated
  • Cooperated
  • Documented
  • Educated
  • Fielded
  • Instructed
  • Joined
  • Participated
  • Presented
  • Trained
  • United

Action Verbs for Awards, Recognition, and Accolades

You’ll, of course, want to list any awards or recognition you’ve received in your career. But, instead of just saying, “Received award for XYZ,” give your descriptions some more “oomph” by including some of these powerful action verbs:

  • Achieved
  • Accomplished
  • Attained
  • Awarded
  • Completed
  • Earned
  • Garnered
  • Landed
  • Netted
  • Reached
  • Rewarded
  • Scored
  • Secured
  • Succeeded
  • Won

Action Verbs for Ownership and Responsibilities

Most of your resume will be bulleted lists of all your main responsibilities in past jobs. Although these tend to be fairly straightforward, you can still spice up your daily tasks beyond just saying, “Responsible for the company’s payroll management software.” Try presenting your responsibilities by using unique action verbs:

  • Acquired
  • Constructed
  • Created
  • Demonstrated
  • Developed
  • Ensured
  • Established
  • Facilitated
  • Finalized
  • Handled
  • Incorporated
  • Instituted
  • Organized
  • Produced
  • Simplified

How to Add Action Verbs to Your Resume

Because recruiters will most likely be skimming your resume, concentrating your action verbs within the bullet points will give you the most bang for your buck. Start by going through all of the duties and responsibilities for your previous positions and consider beginning each with an action verb that makes a strong statement about your job performance and experience.

But don’t stop there! Also take a pass through your resume’s summary of qualifications and skills section to upgrade your wording. Once your resume is spruced up, check out your cover letter to see where you can add action verbs that will catch a hiring manager’s attention.

Ready to Start Taking Action?

Incorporating action verbs on your resume can make your application more compelling and impactful to recruiters and hiring managers. And when your resume stands out from all the rest, you’re much more likely to land the coveted interview! 

If you’re looking for resume advice, we’ve got you covered.

Check Out More Resume Tips >

By Emily Courtney | January 7, 2021 | Categories: Work Remotely


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