Using strong action verbs is great for all types of writing, from fiction to business writing. But great action verbs are especially important for resumes. They impress hiring managers and HR representatives and help you get interviews.
We’ve compiled a list of resume action verbs you can use to beef up your job duties and work experience, making you a standout candidate for any job.
What Are Action Verbs (AKA Action Words)?
We can divide verbs into two categories: being verbs and doing verbs.
Being verbs show a state of existing rather than demonstrating an action. For example, you might say that in a past job you were a customer service representative.
An action verb, on the other hand, will focus on what you actually did. You helped customers with their problems and questions. You improved customer satisfaction.
When we talk about resume action verbs, however, we are often talking about power verbs. These are action verbs that are extra strong. They’re specific and positive, and they make your resume stand out to hiring managers.
For example, you resolved customer complaints. You achieved a 96% customer satisfaction rate. You recommended solutions based on customers' needs.
Action verbs are a good way to avoid using the passive voice in your resume, as well. Passive voice doesn’t showcase you as a worker the way active voice does.
Examples of Action Verbs Used in Sentences
To understand the best way to use the words in this action verbs list, let’s look at some examples of how to use action verbs in sentences.
Let’s say you want to describe your professional experience in sales to potential employers. You want to craft a perfect summary to put at the top of your resume or CV.
Let’s check out an example of a resume summary that uses more being verbs, or weak verbs, rather than strong action verbs.
- I am a seasoned sales manager who has a good rapport with my clients. I like to use data-driven sales techniques. I want to find a position where I am part of a team that can increase sales and have lasting client relationships.
Note the use of words like “am,” “like,” and “has.” These are weak because they aren’t descriptive. But the resume action words can make this summary shine. Let’s look at an improved resume summary.
- As a seasoned sales manager, I develop a rapport with my clients while implementing data-driven sales techniques. I’m eager to find a position where I can collaborate with a team to improve revenue and build lasting client relationships.
These summaries say the same thing, but one shows what you can DO, rather than who you are or what you want.
List of Action Verbs for Your Resume
If you want to stand out to a hiring manager, it’s best to avoid a generic resume. Resume action words are the easiest way to take your resume to the next level.
A great place to find action verbs to use is in job descriptions. You should tweak your resume to each position you apply for. Using some of the same words from a job description will help you get past automated hiring software.
But you also don’t want to look like you just copied a job posting. So, use action verbs for your base resume to describe your past experience, and then sprinkle some of the job description words in.
Use the following action verbs list to craft an exceptional base resume. We’ve divided the first part of this list into different types of job duties and careers.
Powerful Action Verbs for Leadership
Leadership requires excellent people skills and innovation. Using words like “managed” or “lead” are dull. Here are some powerful action verbs you can use to describe your leadership roles or include in your skills section.
Action Verbs List for Lead Generation and Sales
Words like “found leads“ and “sold“ are overused in resumes. Here’s a list of action verbs to better demonstrate your relevant experience in lead generation and sales.
Action Verbs List for Customer Support
Supporting customers when they have complaints and questions requires valuable interpersonal skills that many people overlook.
Customer service representatives must understand company policies, products, and communication systems while also problem solving and maintaining a cheery attitude.
If you have professional experience in customer support, use this action verbs list.
Action Verbs List for Research
Whether you have a job as a researcher or research is a major component of your career, there are many ways to describe the various responsibilities that come with research.
Researchers do more than just look for information. They must ask questions, organize data, and present their findings. Check out these great action verbs for research positions.
Action Verbs List for Communication
Most jobs require excellent communication skills. Everyone says they have good communication skills on their resumes. But don’t just tell. Show you know how to communicate with strong resume action words
We’ve already included some communication verbs in the previous sections, but here are more ways to say you are an exceptional communicator.
Action Verbs List for Success and Achievement
Resumes are an opportunity to brag about what you’ve achieved. Talking about your achievements is more than listing awards.
Success can include reaching or exceeding numerical goals for your position, implementing great ideas, and more. Use this action verbs list to highlight successes in your professional life.
A–Z Action Verbs List
With so many job types in the world, we can’t list every power verb for your specific resume. If you haven’t found the right words for your job description or professional skills, this action verbs list includes a range of words from generic to industry-specific.
Conclusion on Action Words
Action verbs are the quickest way to improve your resume and impress hiring managers.
You can use ProWritingAid not just to edit and proofread your resume and CV but also to help you find the best words. Double-click on any verb in the web editor to find synonyms.
You can also open the Word Explorer to find contextually related words to use to describe your professional experience.