- Use specific, concise, and relevant action verbs throughout your resume to effectively showcase your accomplishments, skill, and experiences.
- Align your action verbs with the job description to demonstrate how your skills and experiences match the requirements of the job, increasing your chances of getting hired.
- Use the Teal AI Resume Builder to craft and customize multiple versions of your resume
The language you use on your resume is a tool to communicate your impact and achievements.
And one way that language will make your resume stand out is by incorporating dynamic action verbs.
Action verbs not only make your resume more vibrant and engaging, but they also convey your skills and accomplishments with a sense of movement, initiative, and proactivity. Think: results.
Below is a carefully curated list of these power verbs; you'll also learn more about why they're so important and how to strategically add them to your resume so you can crush that application with qualifications and experience that stand out.
What are action verbs and how are they used in resumes?
Action verbs, or power verbs, are words that describe physical or mental actions or activities, and they are often used in resumes to describe the duties, responsibilities, and achievements of a job candidate. They are important in a resume because they help to create a more dynamic and engaging description of your work experience.
Action verbs can be used in your resume to:
- Describe the tasks and responsibilities that you performed in your previous roles
- Describe past accomplishments and achievements
- Highlight the skills and abilities you possess
When using action words in your resume, it's important to use them in the past tense for previous job experiences and in the present tense for current job experiences. For example, instead of writing "Responsible for managing a team of 10 employees," you could write "Managed a team of 10 employees." This not only makes your resume more concise, but it also helps to emphasize your accomplishments and responsibilities.
By using strong and effective action verbs for resume writing, you can communicate your skills and experiences in a clear and concise way and demonstrate to potential employers that you are a capable and accomplished candidate for the job.
Making improvements to a resume often comes down to word selection and language. If you're looking for guidance on when, where, or how to use certain phrases, be sure to explore our new resume synonym library for specific guidance on optimizing your word choice.
Why is it important to use action verbs in your resume?
Using action verbs in your resume is important for several reasons:
Make a more dynamic and engaging resume
Action verbs make your resume more dynamic and engaging because they create a sense of movement and action. Instead of using passive verbs, such as "was responsible for" or "assisted with," action verbs convey a sense of action and accomplishment.
For example, instead of writing "Assisted with event planning," you could write "Coordinated all aspects of event planning, including venue selection, catering, and guest invitations." This sentence uses the action verb, or power word, "coordinated" to convey a sense of active involvement and accomplishment.
Using action verbs also helps to vary the language in your resume, making it more interesting to read. When every sentence begins with a passive phrase, such as "was responsible for," the resume can become repetitive and boring. By using a variety of action words, you can create a more dynamic and engaging resume that holds the reader's attention.
Demonstrate skills and accomplishments
Using action verbs in your resume is an effective way to demonstrate your skills and accomplishments to potential employers. Action verbs are powerful because they help you describe your experiences in a way that is more engaging and impactful than simply listing tasks or responsibilities.
When you use power verbs, you are highlighting the specific actions you took and the results you achieved. This gives potential employers a clearer picture of your abilities and the impact you can make in their organization. For example, instead of saying "Responsible for managing a team," you could say "Managed a team of 10 people to achieve a 20% increase in sales revenue."
Stand out from the competition
Action verbs create a sense of movement and forward progress, which can help your resume stand out from more static, passive resumes. When you use action words in your resume, you demonstrate your potential to take initiative and make things happen. This can signal to potential employers that you are a proactive and capable candidate.
The use of action verbs can help your resume stick in the mind of a hiring manager or recruiter. By using memorable and strong verbs, you can leave a lasting impression that can help you stand out from other candidates.
Show that you are results-oriented
Action verbs can help you demonstrate that you are capable of achieving tangible results in your previous roles. They can show that you are a proactive individual who takes ownership of your work and strives to achieve specific outcomes.
Using action verbs can also demonstrate that you are a results-oriented individual who is capable of solving complex problems. Verbs such as "resolved," "solved," or "optimized" can show that you are capable of identifying and addressing challenges in order to achieve specific goals.
Where to include action verbs in your resume
Action verbs can be included in various sections of your resume to help you showcase your skills, achievements, and experiences. Here are some examples:
Work experience and achievements
The purpose of the work experience section of your resume is to showcase your previous employment history and demonstrate how your skills and experiences align with the requirements of the job you're applying for.
When detailing your accomplishment examples and responsibilities in past jobs, begin your resume bullet points with an action verb that accurately describes the task you performed or the result you achieved. Using these strong verbs can help show the impact of your work with quantifiable metrics and results.
For example, "Managed a team of 10 people and increased sales by 20%," "Developed a new marketing strategy that resulted in a 30% increase in website traffic," "Increased revenue by 25% through effective sales strategies," or "Reduced costs by 15% through process optimization."
This section should showcase you as a qualified candidate and provide a quick and easy way for employers to identify if you possess the required skills for the job you're applying for. The skills section of your resume should include both hard skills and soft skills.
Use action verbs to highlight your skills and abilities. For example, "Demonstrated expertise in project management," or "Expert in using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator."
Professional summary statement
Your resume summary, or short professional bio, provides a brief overview of the candidate's personal qualities, qualifications, skills, and experience that make you a strong candidate for the job you're applying for. The summary statement is an opportunity to make a strong first impression on the hiring manager or recruiter.
Use action verbs to describe your goals and ambitions. These resume action words can help grab the attention of the reader. Here are some examples of action verbs you can use in your summary statement:
- Led teams to achieve project goals on time and within budget
- Created and implemented successful marketing campaigns that increased revenue
- Improved customer satisfaction ratings by developing and implementing new processes
- Developed and delivered training programs for employees on new software systems
- Managed cross-functional teams to complete complex projects
- Streamlined operations to reduce costs and increase efficiency
- Coordinated logistics for large-scale events with thousands of attendees
- Analyzed data to identify trends and opportunities for improvement
Use the AI technology integrated within Teal's AI Resume Builder to generate professional summaries directly within the Teal platform.
The education section is important because it can demonstrate to employers that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to perform the job you are applying for. It can also help to establish your credibility and expertise in a particular field.
By including action verbs in the education section of your resume, you can highlight your academic accomplishments and demonstrate your relevant skills and experience.
For example, "Earned a degree in Marketing," "Completed a research project on consumer behavior," or "Participated in a leadership program."
When using action verbs in your resume, it's important to choose strong and specific verbs that accurately describe your experiences and achievements as they relate to the job you're applying for. Avoid using generic or overused verbs, and instead, choose verbs that showcase your unique skills and accomplishments and help you stand out from other candidates and land job interviews.
What are good action verbs for resumes that work for multiple types of roles?
If you're looking for action verbs that work well for multiple types of roles, consider using resume power words that are versatile and can be applied to a variety of different situations and job functions.
Action verbs that can be used in resumes for multiple types of jobs are typically those that highlight transferable skills and competencies. These are skills and experiences that are relevant and applicable across different industries, roles, and functions.
By using these versatile action verbs in your resume, you can effectively communicate your experience and accomplishments in a way that emphasizes your transferable skills and value as a candidate, regardless of the specific role or industry you're applying to.
Here are some examples of versatile action verbs to use in your resume for multiple types of roles:
- managed; developed; created; implemented; analyzed; improved; resolved; advised; communicated; coordinated; trained; facilitated; evaluated; strategized; negotiated; led; organized; designed; conducted; supervised
Resume action verbs for different types of experience
Any resume can be full of action verbs, regardless of the type of work you do. Whether you're a product manager, software engineer, marketing manager, painter, or hedge fund manager, your resume is more likely to resonate with a prospective employer if you take the time to use the right language.
Finding and choosing action verbs for your resume, where space is limited, can be time-consuming. We organized several buckets of action verb ideas into general categories, depending on your line of work. These categories will help you pick the right verbs to write a targeted resume.
Action verbs to show management experience
Supervised, organized, or led: these aren't just for executives! It's worth taking a look through this list of managerial action verbs if you've ever had specific responsibility over a project's completion, other employees, or a third party.
- Authorized; coordinated; chaired; controlled; executed; headed; operated; orchestrated; organized; oversaw; planned; produced; programmed; supervised; managed; directed; facilitated; advised; arranged; augmented; centralized; championed; directed; empowered; enabled; endorsed; enforced; ensured; formalized; formed; founded; hired; identified; implemented; merged; mentored; optimized; predicted; refocused; replaced; reorganized; resolved; supervised; shaped; trained; sustained; revitalized
Action verbs to show that you're a leader
Created: these work great for when you were the mastermind behind something.
- Built; established; pioneered; founded; devised; created; designed; developed; founded; initiated; spearheaded; modeled; visualized; wrote; drafted; authored
Action verbs to show impact
Increased, changed, or improved something: you had a positive impact on something that needed your specific involvement/expertise.
- Maximized; expanded; delivered; accelerated; achieved; boosted; amplified; converted; customized; integrated; overhauled; revamped; simplified; standardized, transformed
Action verbs to show creative expertise
Creative skills and experience: you can use these action verbs to strengthen your resume's portrayal of your innovation, imagination, artistry, and more.
- Brainstormed; communicated; curated; customized; conceptualized; wrote; visualized; modeled; imagined; influenced; inspired; illustrated; edited; diagrammed; designed
Action verbs to show sales experience
Sales experience: these sales power words make your resume stand out and provide valuable specifics
- Accomplished; accelerated; convinced; constructed; cultivated; designed; developed; encouraged; exceeded; excelled; executed; facilitated; formed; generated; grew; initiated; launched; led; managed; negotiated; operated; promoted; presented; produced; pitched; recognized
Action verbs to show finance knowledge
Finance-related: these can be quite useful in the business world.
- Administered; audited; allocated; analyzed; appraised; balanced; billed; budgeted; calculated; computed; developed; earned; estimated; forecasted; grossed; managed; halted; investigated; secured; classified; collected; controlled; dispensed; lowered; minimized; maintained; secured
Action verbs to show technical expertise
Technical experience: these action verbs are critical for experience and accomplishments that require a specific technical skill. You definitely want to be sure you're leaning into those skills and making them come to life on your resume, especially when applying to roles in the tech industry.
- Advanced; architected; automated; coded; deployed; detected; devised; diagnosed; discovered; engineered; enhanced; expedited; formulated; installed; launched; modified; networked; planned; programmed; remodeled; rewrote; refined; tested; updated; upgraded
Action verbs to show marketing experience
Marketing experience: these marketing action verbs help convey a sense of action, accomplishment, and results-oriented thinking
- Created; analyzed; implemented; managed; collaborated; optimized; communicated; strategized; developed; executed; monitored; research; generated; launched; planned; positioned; segmented; targeted; evaluated; measured
Action verbs to show that you're data-driven
Data-drive experience: these action verbs help to communicate your experience and achievements in a way that emphasizes your ability to analyze and use data to make informed decisions. They can help to convey your analytical skills and demonstrate to potential employers that you are capable of using data to drive business results.
- analyzed; evaluated; quantified; measured; calculated; optimized; modeled; forecasted; interpreted; synthesized; monitored; tested; tracked; validated; verified; visualized; identified; recommended; implemented; improved
Action verbs to show your communication skills
Communication skills: these action verbs help to convey your ability to effectively communicate ideas, information, and results to others. Communication skills are often essential to building strong working relationships, collaborating effectively with colleagues, and achieving business goals.
- presented; facilitated; negotiated; persuaded; coordinated; collaborated; informed; convinced; instructed; guided; educated; resolved; clarified; responded; documented; conveyed; translated; mediated; advocated; influenced
How to align action verbs with a job description
Aligning action verbs with a job description is an important step to tailor your resume to a specific job and demonstrating that you have the skills and experiences that are required for the role. Here are some steps to help you align your action verbs with a job description:
- Review the job listing carefully: Read the job description thoroughly and highlight the key requirements and responsibilities of the role. Take note of any specific skills or experiences that are mentioned.
- Identify relevant action verbs: Look for action verbs in the job posting that are used to describe the required skills and experiences. Make a list of these verbs and consider how you can use them in your own resume.
- Use action verbs that match the job description: Select action verbs from your list that match the skills and experiences required in the job description. Use these action verbs throughout your resume to demonstrate that you have the relevant skills and experiences for the role.
- Provide specific examples: Use specific examples in your resume that demonstrate how you have used these skills and experiences in previous roles. This will help to provide evidence of your abilities and make your resume more compelling to potential employers.
- Avoid overusing generic action verbs: While generic action verbs like "managed" and "led" can be useful in demonstrating transferable skills and can make a positive impact in your resume, it's important to avoid overusing them. Instead, try to use more industry specific verbs that are directly relevant to the job and demonstrate your expertise in the required areas.
By aligning your action verbs with a job description, you can tailor your resume to the specific requirements of the role and demonstrate that you have the skills and experiences that are needed to be successful in the position.
You don't need expert research skills to identify strong action verbs in a job listing. Teal's Job Application Tracker & AI Resume Builder help extract the top keywords so you can quickly customize your resume and let a company know exactly why you are applying for a specific position.
Build a better resume with Teal
Action verbs are one of the most reliable ways to strengthen your resume and make an impact on whoever's reading it. They can help you transform your resume from a basic list of responsibilities and accomplishments to a dynamic, powerful portrayal of your professional life.
It's important to customize your resume for each job you're applying to. The closer your resume is aligned with the job duties and company requirements, the better chance of it getting noticed by hiring managers.
To avoid overusing generic words, use Teal's AI Resume Builder to quickly compare the skills and keywords in the job posting to those in your resume. Make sure to add any relevant experience to your customized resume and to your application answers.
Teal’s AI Resume Builder compares the skills in a job description to the skills in your resume to give you a match score.
The job of your resume is to get you in the door. Optimizing it will help you land interviews for the next opportunities that excite you.
Teal can help you keep your work history up to date and help you write metric-driven achievements using the AI integration feature within Teal's AI Resume Builder. To get quality achievements, make sure to attach a job description to incorporate relevant keywords.
Teal even has you covered when it comes to using action words in your cover letter, too. Read this article to learn more: How to Use ChatGPT to Write Your Cover Letter.
Be original. Get creative.
Don't be afraid to play around with different versions of your resume. With an endless supply of verbs, creativity is your friend. In addition to our action verbs list, you may want to also consult a thesaurus. Or perhaps spend some time looking at examples of great, interesting resumes to get inspiration and ideas from.
Ultimately, you'll probably know when your resume feels like the best portrayal of you. Then it's time to start landing those interviews.