Action Words to Use in Resumes

The words you choose to use in your resume are a key way to show your strengths. Well-chosen action words, or power words, give you the opportunity to clearly describe your prior responsibilities and accomplishments.

Action Words to Use in Resumes Action Words to Use in Resumes
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Benefits of Using Action Words

There are four main reasons to use action words in your resume.

  1. They make sentences easier to understand, so you avoid confusion.
  2. They make sentences more concise, so you're not wasting the hiring manager's time.
  3. They make your writing more impactful--portraying you as the ideal candidate for the position.
  4. They make your writing more persuasive, thus increasing your odds of being asked to come in for an interview

Fresh Alternatives to Overused Resume Action Words

Action words are the verbs used to describe your responsibilities and accomplishments. Each bullet point in a resume typically starts with an action word, which is why it's important to vary your language and choose words that best describe what you did. Instead of resorting to endless repetitions of "achieved" and "led", try varying your language with some of the following suggestions.

Achieved

Attained

Demonstrated

Reached

Surpassed

Awarded

Earned

Outperformed

Completed

Exceeded

Succeeded

Budgeted

Allocated

Calculated

Inventoried

Reduced

Appraised

Compared

Invested

Assessed

Conserved

Planned

Audited

Corrected

Projected

Balanced

Forecasted

Quantified

Changed

Centralized

Merged

Restructured

Streamlined

Clarified

Modified

Revamped

Strengthened

Converted

Overhauled

Simplified

Updated

Customized

Replaced

Standardized

Upgraded

Created

Administered

Designed

Formed

Instituted

Built

Developed

Formulated

Introduced

Charted

Devised

Implemented

Launched

Constructed

Engineered

Incorporated

Defined

Established

Initiated

Helped

Advocated

Clarified

Encouraged

Referred

Aided

Coached

Facilitated

Supported

Answered

Counseled

Guided

Arranged

Demonstrated

Motivated

Assisted

Educated

Provided

Increased

Accelerated

Enhanced

Gained

Lifted

Advanced

Expanded

Generated

Maximized

Amplified

Furthered

Improved

Led

Administered

Executed

Mentored

Presided

Chaired

Headed

Moderated

Spearheaded

Controlled

Hosted

Orchestrated

Directed

Mediated

Oversaw

Advertisement

Organized

Arranged

Compiled

Maintained

Reviewed

Catalogued

Filed

Monitored

Sorted

Categorized

Inspected

Processed

Collected

Logged

Recorded

Participated

Collaborated

Contributed

Listened

Shared

Combined

Coordinated

Represented

Researched

Analyzed

Discovered

Interpreted

Tested

Assessed

Evaluated

Measured

Tracked

Audited

Examined

Quantified

Calculated

Identified

Surveyed

Wrote

Authored

Corresponded

Documented

Persuaded

Co-authored

Counseled

Drafted

Promoted

Condensed

Critiqued

Edited

Publicized

Composed

Defined

Explained

Reviewed

Context Is Key

While this list of action words should give you some inspiration for creating a more effective resume, remember that context is key. The words in this list are not all interchangeable synonyms. For example, the words "presided" or "chaired" are appropriate for describing a position leading a professional committee. If you were a referring to supervising a team of junior employees, you might use "directed" or "mentored" to more accurately describe what you did.

Once you've created a rough draft of your resume, ask a friend to help you proofread the document to make sure the words you've selected are appropriate for your particular needs.

And now you have selected your action words take a look at Examples of Resume Objectives to find out if an objective statement is right for your resume.