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300+ Action Verbs for a Resume to Make It Stand Out

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I’ve made a comprehensive resume, but it still sounds plain like 100 other resumes. Seems familiar?

Might be that it repeats some worn-out phrases that no longer serve your resume’s main purpose—standing out from other competitive resumes. Replace boring phrases and cliché words in your application with strong action verbs for a resume, and see how it changes.

In this guide:

  • What are action verbs for a resume, and how to use them smartly.
  • 300+ action verbs for a resume grouped by keyword synonym.
  • Separate lists of resume adjectives to make your work stand out.

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

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Sample resume made with our builder—See more resume examples here.

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Action Words: Resume Example

Matthew Lawson

Web Designer

801-456-7890

matthewlawson@email.com

linkedin.com/in/matthew.lawson

Summary

Creative Web Designer with over 10 years of experience in website design. Enthusiastic about supporting DesignDazzle Studios in creating compelling websites with the best user experience by using strong expertise in user experience design. Increased conversion rate by 25% for a high-traffic website at WebWeave Creations by improving navigation.

Experience

Web Designer

WebWeave Creations, West Valley City, UT

June 2016–Present

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Coordinating with the marketing team on the creation of blog posts, leading to a 30% increase in organic search traffic.
  • Designing and developing a mothly average of 5 responsive website layouts using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  • Collaborating with clients to understand their vision and implement it.
  • Utilizing user testing and feedback to make improvements to website functionality and design.

Key Achievement:

  • Redesigned the company's main client's website, leading to a 25% increase in conversion rates within two months.

Web Designer

PixelPerfect Design Co., West Valley City, UT

January 2013–May 2016

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Managed multiple design projects for diverse industry clients.
  • Collaborated with developers to create clean and efficient code.
  • Assisted in the creation of a mobile-first responsive website design.

Key Achievement:

  • Recognized for exceptional aesthetics in overall design.

Education

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Web Design

University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

August 2010–May 2014

Relevant extracurricular activities

  • Web Design Club member
  • Graphic design workshop participant.

Academic achievements:

  • Graduated with a 3.8 GPA.
  • Awarded "Best Senior Project" in Graphic Design.

Skills

  • Web design
  • UX design
  • Graphic design
  • SEO
  • Project management
  • Client communication
  • Team collaboration

Certifications

  • Certified Professional Web Designer, WebProfessionals.org, 2016

Awards

  • 2017, "Best Website Design," WebWeave Creations

Memberships

Member of the AIGA since 2014

  • Presented a lecture on "The Importance of Website Aesthetics" at the AIGA 2017 National Conference, San Francisco.

Languages

  • English—Native proficiency

Interests

  • Running a local web design meet-up group.
  • Writing a blog on the latest web design trends.

What Are Action Verbs?

Action verbs (or power words) are words you can use on your resume to describe your work activities and professional duties. These words have positive connotations and can highlight your initiative and strengths. You should use them to replace passive-sounding words such as “responsible for.”

People tend to minimize their own achievements. Instead of being proud of their successes, they say: “Oh, anyone could do that.” But in a resume, minimizing your accomplishments is a bad thing, and you should avoid it. 

Using weak words may make recruiters doubt your candidature. And that’s why you should replace all the phrases that downplay your role with resume power words. No more “assisted,” “was in charge of,” or “worked with.” Instead, say: “initiated,” “coordinated,” or “collaborated,” and see the impact.

260+ Action Verbs for a Resume

You don’t have to frantically browse through thousands of words to find the right ones. We’ve done that for you. Just click one of those categories and jump to the action verbs list you need:

Pro Tip: Remember that you should use past tenses in a resume when describing your work activities from previous jobs. You can use the present form of resume action verbs to talk about the job you have at the moment.

Best Resume Action Verbs for Team Players

You don’t have to write “worked with 4 other team members on a project” over and over when presenting your work experience in your resume. Instead, use one of these resume action verbs to highlight your teamwork skills. How about “Partnered with team members” or “Contributed to a team project” instead?

Here’s a selection of resume words you can use to describe teamwork activities and collaboration skills:

  • Acknowledged
  • Assimilated
  • Blended
  • Coalesced
  • Collaborated
  • Contributed
  • Diversified
  • Embraced
  • Encouraged
  • Energized
  • Gathered
  • Harmonized
  • Ignited
  • Joined
  • Melded
  • Merged
  • Participated
  • Partnered
  • United
  • Volunteered

Best Leadership Action Words for a Resume

Did you just use the word “led” for the fifth time in your job application? Replace it with “chaired team meetings.” It’s a small change but makes all the difference.

Use the following resume power words to highlight your leadership skills:

  • Authorized
  • Chaired
  • Cultivated
  • Delegated
  • Directed
  • Enabled
  • Executed
  • Facilitated
  • Fostered
  • Guided
  • Headed
  • Hosted
  • Inspired
  • Mentored
  • Mobilized 
  • Operated
  • Orchestrated
  • Oversaw
  • Spearheaded
  • Trained

Resume action verbs are great for describing achievements on a resume. See more: Examples of Accomplishments for a Resume

Resume Action Verbs to Use Instead of Responsible For

If you plan to describe your work history by saying, “I was responsible for carrying out various duties,” don’t do this. Instead, be specific and use good resume words to showcase your accomplishments.

Here’s a bunch of resume action verbs you can apply to describe your duties:

  • Accomplished
  • Acquired
  • Achieved
  • Acted As
  • Completed
  • Created
  • Executed
  • Finished
  • Forged
  • Made
  • Navigated
  • Negotiated
  • Operated
  • Partnered
  • Performed
  • Prepared
  • Produced
  • Secured
  • Succeeded In
  • Undertook

Best Communication Action Words for a Resume

Communication skills are all the rage today. But if you type “Communicated with XYZ departments” multiple times, the word becomes empty. Instead, try power words. Say: “Consulted subject-matter experts to clarify the key aspects of the project” or “Informed project stakeholders about updates and milestones.”

The following resume action words are great for describing communication at work:

  • Advocated
  • Authored
  • Clarified
  • Composed
  • Consulted
  • Conveyed
  • Convinced
  • Corresponded
  • Defined
  • Explained
  • Fielded
  • Illustrated
  • Influenced
  • Informed
  • Mediated
  • Moderated
  • Negotiated
  • Promoted
  • Persuaded
  • Publicized

Achiever Action Words for a Resume

If you’re one of those high achievers that headhunters seek, your resume might be filled to the brim with the word “achieved.” Try using other words to replace it—they’ll also carry more concrete meaning, thus making your work profile more attractive.

See these resume words that can replace the verb “achieve”:

  • Accelerated
  • Accomplished
  • Advanced
  • Amplified
  • Boosted
  • Completed
  • Created
  • Delivered
  • Enacted
  • Enhanced
  • Expanded
  • Expedited
  • Generated
  • Improved
  • Lifted
  • Managed
  • Maximized
  • Outpaced
  • Produced
  • Stimulated 

Worked On Action Verbs for a Resume

“At my previous company, I worked on multiple projects.” Boring. How about being more specific? Replacing words devoid of meaning with resume action verbs not only sounds better but also helps save space on the document. And that’s the key to making a one-page resume.

These resume power words can replace the verb “work on”: 

  • Arranged
  • Compiled
  • Composed
  • Constructed
  • Created
  • Developed
  • Engaged In
  • Fashioned
  • Forged
  • Formulated
  • Made
  • Made Progress On
  • Operated
  • Organized
  • Perfected
  • Prepared
  • Pursued
  • Put Together
  • Set Up
  • Undertook

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building a professional resume template here for free.

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and our resume checker will tell you exactly how to make it better.

Resume Power Words for Improved

If improving things is your specialty, you might end up repeating this word endlessly. Try using other resume verbs as opposed. For example, if you’re writing a resume for a UX designer, you can change “improved the app interface” to “redesigned the app interface.”

These action verbs for a resume can be used to replace the word “improve”:

  • Boosted
  • Converted
  • Customized
  • Grew
  • Integrated
  • Lifted
  • Merged
  • Overhauled
  • Raised
  • Redesigned
  • Refined
  • Remodeled
  • Reorganized
  • Restructured
  • Revamped
  • Saved
  • Slashed
  • Streamlined
  • Strengthened
  • Updated

Best Resume Power Words for Researched

A scientist’s resume might turn out swarmed with the word “researched.” But you can use other strong resume words to show your analytical skills, and we’ve featured them on the action verbs list below. 

Here’s a collection of resume action words to use instead of “to research”:

  • Analyzed
  • Assessed
  • Audited
  • Calculated
  • Checked
  • Discovered
  • Examined
  • Explored
  • Identified
  • Inspected
  • Investigated
  • Mapped
  • Measured
  • Probed
  • Proved
  • Quantified
  • Studied
  • Surveyed
  • Tested
  • Tracked 

Power Words for a Resume to Describe Creativity and Problem-Solving

Maybe you’re an artist, a designer, an engineer, or a natural innovator. You create something all the time. But repeating this word makes it meaningless. Instead, say: “Drafted a mock design for a smartphone app,” “Built a prototype of an engine,” or “Designed a collection of 10 garments”.

Try these action verbs examples to highlight your creative skills and problem-solving activities:

  • Altered
  • Built
  • Corrected
  • Crafted
  • Designed
  • Determined
  • Devised
  • Drafted
  • Enhanced
  • Established
  • Fashioned
  • Fixed
  • Initiated
  • Invented
  • Overhauled
  • Patched
  • Piloted
  • Pioneered
  • Rebuilt
  • Resolved

Strong Action Verbs to Use Instead of Managed

Managers manage, and haters gonna hate. Don’t want a hiring manager reading your application to become one of those haters? Then replace the word “managed” with other good resume words that can help highlight management skills.

Change the word “manage” to one of these resume action verbs:

  • Aligned
  • Cultivated
  • Directed
  • Enabled
  • Facilitated
  • Fostered
  • Guided
  • Hired
  • Inspired
  • Mentored
  • Mobilized
  • Motivated
  • Recruited
  • Regulated
  • Shaped
  • Supervised
  • Taught
  • Trained
  • Unified
  • United

Resume Action Verbs to Replace Assist

Maybe you’re writing an assistant resume, and the word “assisted” just sounds natural. But after using it for the 5th time, it just sounds bad. Show what your job duties really involve by using a different resume word.

Here are 10+ resume power words to employ instead of “assist”:

  • Abetted
  • Aided
  • Advanced
  • Boosted
  • Helped
  • Counseled
  • Coached
  • Cooperated
  • Collaborated
  • Dispatched
  • Expedited
  • Endorsed
  • Facilitated
  • Maintained
  • Promoted
  • Reinforced
  • Supported

Resume Power Words to Replace Utilize

At work, you might utilize various resources, methods, teams, approaches… But you could also substitute this word with a different one. For example, you can “apply a new method” instead of utilizing it.

Consider changing the word ‘utilize’ for the action verbs examples below:

  • Applied
  • Adopted
  • Deployed
  • Employed
  • Exerted
  • Handled
  • Mobilized
  • Operated
  • Promoted
  • Put to Use
  • Restored
  • Revived
  • Specialized In

You can use resume power words to upgrade your LinkedIn profile, too. That’s just one of the ways to improve it. Learn more: How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Key Takeaways

Here’s a recap of resume words and how to use them: 

  • Resume action verbs are words that introduce accomplishments. They describe job duties but leave room for all-important metrics.
  • Some of the best resume action verbs examples are:
    • Accomplished
    • Achieved
    • Adapted
    • Advised
    • Clarified
    • Coached
    • Communicated
    • Conducted
    • Coordinated
    • Critiqued
    • Developed
    • Enabled
    • Encouraged
    • Evaluated
    • Explained
    • Facilitated
    • Focused
    • Guided
    • Individualized
    • Informed
    • Installed
    • Instructed
    • Motivated
    • Persuaded
    • Simulated
    • Stimulated
    • Taught
    • Tested
    • Trained
    • Transmitted
    • Tutored
    • Upgraded
    • Utilized
    • Visualized
    • Volunteered
  • Don’t ever simply say you’re skilled, a go-getter, or hardworking. Back it up with resume power words and concrete figures.
  • Action verbs for resumes can make your resume more readable. They’ll also help you prove your worth and get many more interviews.

Do you have questions about resume action words? Not sure how to use resume power words to get the best effect? Give us a shout in the comments! Let's talk about phrases to level up your resume wording.

About Zety’s Editorial Process

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team to make sure it follows Zety's editorial guidelines. We’re committed to sharing our expertise and giving you trustworthy career advice tailored to your needs. High-quality content is what brings over 40 million readers to our site every year. But we don't stop there. Our team conducts original research to understand the job market better, and we pride ourselves on being quoted by top universities and prime media outlets from around the world.

Sources

Frequently Asked Questions about Action Verbs and Resume Words

What are power words in a resume?

Power words are words and phrases that catch the reader’s attention. Power words in a resume are used to make the candidate’s job application stand out from others.

The most powerful resume words are verbs. They can be used to describe actions, duties, and tasks from the candidate’s most relevant experience. For example, instead of writing “responsible for running internal projects”, the candidate can use a power word and write “coordinated internal projects” and make a better impression on the recruiter. This way, it’s easier for applicants to showcase the qualities that employers value.

What are good verbs for a resume?

The best resume verbs are action verbs. They describe activities that involved physical or mental actions and provided a significant result. Good verbs for resumes suggest that the action was successful, which automatically boosts the candidate’s qualifications. They are perfect for describing accomplishments and worth researching when you're learning to write a good resume.

Here’s a sample action verb list: 

  • Accomplished
  • Applied
  • Audited
  • Clarified
  • Collaborated
  • Conducted
  • Constructed
  • Coordinated
  • Created
  • Customized
  • Decreased
  • Delegated
  • Demonstrated
  • Developed
  • Directed
  • Eliminated
  • Enhanced
  • Established
  • Evaluated
  • Facilitated
  • Forecasted
  • Formulated
  • Guided
  • Helped
  • Illustrated
  • Implemented
  • Initiated
  • Maintained
  • Managed
  • Marketed
  • Motivated
  • Operated
  • Performed
  • Programmed
  • Projected
  • Represented
  • Resolved
  • Revitalized
  • Simulated
  • Supplied
  • Supported
  • Trained
  • Upgraded
  • Utilized
  • Visualized
  • Volunteered

What are good action words for a resume?

Action words in resumes are synonymous with action verbs. These words or phrases are best for describing achievements, work experience, as well as skills in a functional resume. Using resume action verbs helps to catch the recruiter’s attention and to stand out from other applicants.

Some examples of good action words for a resume include: administered, advocated, created, completed, demonstrated, designed, enabled, estimated, facilitated, fixed, implemented, investigated, merged, managed, operated, overhauled, tested, transformed, utilized, updated.

You can find different categories of resume action words in this article:

What are resume buzzwords?

Resume buzzwords are verbs, nouns, and adjectives that can help the candidate to stand out from other applicants. They include action verbs for describing work experience, nouns that describe tasks and responsibilities, and personality adjectives that describe the candidate’s personal qualities and can be used during job interviews to talk about yourself.

While using buzzwords is encouraged, the candidates must do it right. Many resume buzzwords, such as “team player” or “passionate” are so overused that they became cliché, and can make a resume look bad. When writing a resume, it’s best to take a look at lists of useful resume buzzwords, as well as use a thesaurus to find synonyms whenever necessary. You can also easily improve your old resume by editing it and adding a few buzzwords here and there.

Should a resume start with verbs?

It’s good practice to start some sentences in a resume with action verbs. While the candidate’s personal profile usually starts with a strong personality adjective, job title, or a strong resume headline, the description of work experience should start with action verbs. For example, instead of writing “I was responsible for designing the app user interface”, they might say: “Designed the app user interface”. It not only saves space. Such descriptions of candidates’ duties make a better impression on the recruiter.

How to use action words in a resume?

Before you sit for your resume writing, read the job advertisement thoroughly. It often contains a whole host of hints to help you create a resume tailored to a specific job profile. When scanning the job ad, look particularly for key responsibilities, skills, and other requirements. Collate this information with your own experiences and abilities, and look for similarities. Then, find action words that describe such experiences and accomplishments accurately. While infusing your resume with action words, mind the right balance. Don’t try to stuff your resume with power words that finally make your document sound unnatural and stuck-up. One power word is fairly enough for one sentence, as it already gives it some extra boost.

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Marta Bongilaj, CPRW
Marta Bongilaj is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer and career specialist. She's a member of the National Career Development Association and the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. Her extensive marketing background serves as a strong foundation, enabling her to offer pertinent guidance in accentuating candidates' most compelling attributes and crafting resumes that captivate attention. Through her written works, Marta emphasizes the critical role of showcasing unique skills, experiences, and qualifications in a resume, essential for standing out in today's competitive job markets. She furnishes precise and invaluable advice on effectively presenting one's candidacy across various career stages. With a degree in philology, Marta firmly advocates for the significance of concise, persuasive language as the cornerstone of a successful resume. If you're seeking expert counsel on marketing yourself to employers, regardless of your current stage in the recruitment process, Marta's articles are your ultimate destination.

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