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300+ Resume Words (Action Verbs & Power Words)

300+ Resume Words (Action Verbs & Power Words)

Got stuck repeating words like “managed” and “responsible for” over and over? Try various power words for a change and use the right action verbs for resumes.

As seen in:

If only there was a way to make my resume sound better…

 

Guess what—there is a way, and it’s an easy one. You simply need to replace boring phrases and cliché words in your application with strong resume words. You know, like action verbs and resume power words. And you don’t have to search for them anywhere, because you’ll find them in this article, faster than you’ll say abracadabra.

 

You’ll see:

  • 300+ action verbs for a resume grouped by keyword synonym.
  • Easy-to-use lists of resume power words, organized to save you time.
  • 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.

 

Create your resume now

 

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

 

Want to improve your resume ASAP? Check these guides:

 

 

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.”

 

See, the thing is, people tend to minimize their own achievements. Maybe you do that, too. Instead of being proud of your successes, you say: “Oh, anyone could do that.” But in a resume, minimizing your accomplishments is a bad thing. 

 

Using weak words may make recruiters think: “But why should we hire you?” And that’s why you should replace all these 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.”

 

Action Verbs for Your Resume

 

Hey, hey—put down that Oxford Dictionary. You don’t have to frantically browse through thousands of words to find the right ones. We’ve done that for you. You can find lists of strong resume words below:

 

Best Resume Action Verbs

 

 

Just click one of those categories above and jump to the list you need.

 

One more thing—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. 

 

20 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

 

When creating your job application, try to mirror the words from the job ad to make a tailored resume. Learn more: How to Tailor Your Resume to a Specific Job

20 Best Leadership Power Words for Resumes

 

Did you just use the word “led” for the fifth time in your job application? Replace it with “chaired team meetings.” Isn’t that better? 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 want to describe your work history by saying, “I was responsible for carrying out various duties,” just stop. Instead, be specific and use good resume words to showcase your accomplishments.

 

Here’s a bunch of resume action verbs you can use 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 Power Words

 

Communication skills are all the rage today. But if you type “Communicated with XYZ departments” again and again, the word becomes empty. Instead, try power words. For example, 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

 

 

Resume Power Words #1

 

Achiever Action Words

 

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.” Boooriiing. How about being more specific? Replacing words devoid of meaning with resume action verbs that are more specific 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, our easy resume builder will score your resume and our resume checker will tell you exactly how to make it better.

 

20 Resume Power Words for Improved

 

If improving things is your specialty, you might end up repeating this word over and over. Try using other resume verbs to replace it. 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

 

 

20 Best Resume Action Verbs for Researched

 

A scientist’s resume might turn out swarmed with the word “researched.” But there are other strong resume words you can use to show your analytical skills

 

Here’s a collection of resume action words to replace the verb “to research”:

 

Analyzed

 

Assessed

 

Audited

 

Calculated

 

Checked

 

Discovered

 

Examined

 

Explored

 

Identified

 

Inspected

 

Investigated

 

Mapped

 

Measured

 

Probed

 

Proved

 

Quantified

 

Studied

 

Surveyed

 

Tested

 

Tracked

 

 

Resume Power Words #2

 

Good Resume Words 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, you could try saying, “Drafted a mock design for a smartphone app,” “Built a prototype of an engine,” or “Designed a collection of 10 garments”. It’s better, trust me.

 

Try these resume power words 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

 

 

Words to Use in a Resume 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.

 

Try to 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

 

 

Assist Resume Action Verbs

 

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 use instead of “assist”:

 

Abetted

 

Aided

 

Advanced

 

Boosted

 

Helped

 

Counseled

 

Coached

 

Cooperated

 

Collaborated

 

Dispatched

 

Expedited

 

Endorsed

 

Facilitated

 

Maintained

 

Promoted

 

Reinforced

 

Supported

 

 

Words to Use in a Resume Instead of 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.

 

Try changing the word ‘utilize’ on a resume with the ones 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

Resume Adjectives

 

Verbs aren’t the only resume words that are good to know. There are also resume adjectives. You know, like hard-working, creative, or diligent. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to come up with too many clever words to describe yourself on a resume. And that’s why we’ve compiled a handy list you can use.

 

Astute

 

Attentive

 

Competent

 

Cutting Edge

 

Dedicated

 

Devoted

 

Determined

 

Diligent

 

Disciplined

 

Dynamic

 

Genuine

 

Honest

 

Ingenious

 

Insightful 

 

Intelligent

 

Knowledgeable

 

Meticulous

 

Motivated

 

Organized

 

Passionate

 

Persistent

 

Professional

 

Reliable

 

Self-starter

 

Skilled

 

Sincere

 

Thoughtful

 

Unique

 

When can these words become useful? For example, when you need to write a resume summary and add a good personal characteristic to your job title

 

Honestly, no matter what you want to put on your resume, there’s a good chance that you can improve the information using resume adjectives. For example, in a resume with no work experience, you can describe yourself in a resume objective as a reliable high-school graduate and then show proof of your reliability when describing volunteer work or educational experiences.

Once you upgrade your resume with some of the action verbs from this guide, don’t stop. Make sure that other application documents are also of the highest quality. Use the proper cover letter format, and then add some strong resume words to the content for an extra boost.

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.
  • 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 you love to hate and hate to love!

 

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. 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 have 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.

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Roma Kończak
Roma is a career expert with international work experience and a background in education and humanities. She strives to provide the most up-to-date advice for resume and cover letter writing techniques to help readers land their dream jobs.

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