Wondering how to write a resume that makes a positive impression on the hiring manager? Using powerful resume action verbs in your resume bullet points is a good start. Appropriate use of action verbs on your resume will help you land more job interviews and keep your job search as short as possible.
Here is our list of resume verbs, categorized by when you would use them:
You increased something positive
Use these action verbs to highlight your resume accomplishments:
You reduced something negative
If you managed to save time or money for an employer, use one of these words:
- Shave down
- Drive down
You communicated with colleagues and customers
Demonstrate your communication skills with one of these strong resume verbs:
You managed projects or people
Management skills are essential if you manage a team. Include one of these action verbs if you’re applying for a manager role:
You took the initiative
If you’ve made a difference in your workplace by taking the initiative, showcase it on your resume with one of these verbs:
- Carry out
You led people
Every workplace needs team members with good leadership skills, so showcase them with one of these verbs:
You organized something
From keeping a calendar organized to holding projects together, organizational skills are in high demand. Use one of these descriptive action verbs:
You brought people together
Workplaces need employees who have effective people skills. Prove you’re a team player with one of the following actions verbs:
You achieved something incredible
Completed a project? Broken a sales record? Use these resume power verbs to highlight your accomplishments:
You created a new way of doing things
Words like those below show employers you can innovate on the job:
How to use strong action verbs on your resume
To effectively use resume power verbs, focus first on filling out your experience section with specific, quantified examples of your accomplishments. Then, use a compelling verb to enhance your bullet points.
Here’s a sample bullet point where the candidate improperly used resume action verbs:
“Went to all weekly company meetings to share department news.”
This example starts with a weak verb. “Went” doesn’t convey any positive information. This verb just indicates you did what was expected of you.
Hiring managers will be impressed if you show your proactiveness and back it up with quantifiable evidence.
Here’s the same example enhanced with resume action words:
“Spearheaded weekly company meetings by communicating departmental growth and productivity.”
The applicant opens with a much more targeted action verb. Unlike “went to,” “spearheaded” is decisive and suggests the candidate has leadership abilities, organizational skills, and a knack for planning.
The applicant also includes the strong verb “communicating,” which is among the most common resume keywords recognized by corporate applicant tracking systems (ATS). By using action verbs, your resume is more likely to bypass the ATS and land in the hiring manager’s inbox.
Finally, the candidate ends their bullet point by stating explicitly what they communicated: “departmental growth and productivity.”
As well as resume action verbs, there are other words to help you enhance your resume. For instance, you can include compelling resume adjectives in your experience section. Using power words such as action verbs and adjectives sets your resume apart.