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Resume Action Verbs and How to Use Them [For 2023]

Resume Action Verbs That Will Boost Your Interview Chances

Resume action verbs demonstrate your strengths and communicate your expertise in a powerful manner. The correct use of action verbs can transform your resume from bland to impactful. In fact, action verbs can put you way ahead in your job search and make you stand out. Most importantly, resume action verbs clearly communicate why you are the perfect fit for the position.

Your resume should give off a confident tone and illustrate your strengths. And the best way to do this is to use resume action verbs. Essentially, these verbs will help you define your contribution to each job persuasively and highlight your expertise. 

Resume Format D Small

What are resume action verbs?

Action verbs describe the responsibilities and acquired skills on your resume. Unlike passive, overused verbs, action verbs are dynamic and powerful. Using them in bullet points will communicate your expertise in a concise yet persuasive manner. Additionally, a hiring manager is more likely to read through your resume if you use strong, active verbs. Altogether, action verbs are a powerful way to describe your capabilities and set you apart from other applicants.

Why are action verbs important in a resume?

Action verbs make sentences more concise, easy to understand, and persuasive. Because of this, they are perfect for resumes. They allow you to save space on position descriptions yet still highlight your experience. Because action verbs describe the exact actions you carried out, they create a more specific and detailed image of your responsibilities. Also, they are not as overused and cliché, which will make your resume stand out.

But, possibly the most crucial reason to use resume action verbs is that they improve scannability and readability. Using action verbs from the job listing will help you pass through the ATS (applicant tracking system). Also, it will make it easier for the hiring manager to find essential skills and experience on your resume. Generally, resume action verbs leave a more significant impact on the reader. They will make your resume memorable and unique and increase your chances of landing the job.

How to Use Action Verbs in Your Resume

Maximizing the effectiveness of action verbs in your resume starts with using the following strategies:

1. Start sentences with powerful action verbs

Within the work experience section, ensure that each bullet point starts with a strong action verb. Instead of the mundane phrase “worked on a project,” consider alternatives like “spearheaded a project” or “managed a project.” By utilizing action verbs such as “spearheaded,” “executed,” and “managed,” you can captivate the recruiter’s attention and convey your accomplishments with confidence.

2. Use specific action verbs

Your resume won’t stand out if you repeatedly use generic action verbs such as “did” or “made”. Instead, opt for specific and unique action verbs that vividly showcase your skills and expertise. Not only will this help you eliminate hard-to-read and lengthy sentences in your resume, but it will also describe your skills more effectively.

3. Match the verbs to the job description

Analyze the job description to identify keywords and phrases utilized by the employer when applying for a new position. Then, incorporate those action verbs and phrases into your resume. This shows that you understand the job requirements and possess the necessary skills and experience.

4. Replace passive voice with active voice

Action verbs should only be used in the active voice. That means the subject of the sentence should be the one performing the action. This makes your resume more dynamic and captivating to read. So, instead of writing “A meeting was led by me,” rephrase it as “I led a meeting.” The active voice highlights your skills and shows that you are proactive.

5. Highlight accomplishments

Rather than just listing your everyday tasks and responsibilities, use action verbs to illustrate specific successes. Using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method, you can concisely provide context for your achievements and highlight the impact you had in previous positions.

Here is an example of how to utilize the STAR method:

  • Situation: Describe the situation at hand.
  • Task: Describe the assigned task.
  • Action: Describe the action you took to fulfill the task.
  • Result: Describe the positive outcome of your actions.

For example, using the STAR method, you can describe an accomplishment as follows:
“Implemented a new sales software focusing on repeat customers, increasing annual sales volume by 19%.”

6. Incorporate metrics to support your claims

Quantitative data lends credibility to your achievements. Moreover, using clear metrics in your resume highlights the impact of your work. Include numbers, percentages, and other relevant metrics to describe your accomplishments. For instance, instead of saying you “directed a branch office,” you could specify that you “supervised a team of 20+ sales consultants and branch workers, achieving a 20% revenue increase in 1 year.”

7. Focus on industry-specific action verbs

Your industry most likely has its own language and jargon that is used every day. So, when writing your resume, use action verbs specific to your industry or job function. This proves your expertise and familiarity within the industry, enabling your resume to stand out among other applicants.

List of resume action verbs

Creative Skills



Communication Skills

AdvocatedConsulted      Explained         Presented            


Leadership Skills

Advocated    EnabledInfluenced    Owned              


Management Skills

Accounted      ChargedEstimated       Outsourced         


Helping Skills

Accepted          ConductedFacilitated         Performed             


Research Skills

Analyzed      Detected Extracted       Located            
Assessed Determined Formulated Organized
Clarified Diagnosed IdentifiedRecognized
CollectedDocumented Inspected Researched
Compiled Examined Invented Solved
Compared Explored Linked Surveyed


Financial Skills

Administered Budgeted     Forecasted Predicted         
Adjusted Calculated InvestedReconciled
Analyzed Corrected Measured Reduced
Appraised Decreased Netted Researched
Audited Detailed Planned Retrieved
Balanced Determined Programmed Solved


Efficiency Skills

Accelerated EnhancedMergedReduced
Allocated ExpandedOptimizedRevised


Technical Skills

Aggregated   Conducted   OverhauledRestored          
Built EngineeredReengineeredSolved


Teaching Skills

Achieved         Compared      Enhanced        Lectured             


Remember: Action verbs can completely transform and improve your resume. When writing your resume, use this list of resume action verbs to find the words that best describe your experience. They will make your resume unique and compelling, giving you a competitive advantage over other candidates.

Resume Action Verbs


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