These are just some of the most overused action verbs for a resume. Honestly, recruiters are growing tired of seeing these words over and over. They’ve even gotten to the point where they’ve lost their meaning. In most cases, they fail to show off the candidate’s accomplishments.
When you’re learning how to write a modern resume, you need to be a little creative. So, why don’t you switch some of the common phrases and words with compelling, impactful resume action verbs that will catch a hiring manager’s eyes?
Whatever achievements or responsibilities you want to show off, we’ve got the best action verbs for your resume. Keep reading to learn how you can make yourself stand out from other candidates.
Table of Contents
What Are Action Verbs for a Resume?
Any word that expresses an action is considered an action verb. When you’re listing your work experience in your resume, you use action verbs to highlight your accomplishments and duties. They need to be specific to ensure that they bring an assured tone to your resume. These resume power words also provide clarity to your contributions.
Action verbs for a resume increase your chances of getting noticed by employers, allowing you to move to the next hiring phase. Here is an example:
Handled status meetings to provide client updates every week.
This example lacks clarity and strength. However, if we turn that into something more detailed and empowered, we can say:
Spearheaded status meetings every week to communicate progress in agency revenue.
As you can see in the second option, action verbs for a resume make the statement more impactful and clearer.
You can also combine action verbs with quantifiable achievements. Doing so will highlight how your contributions provided positive results. For example, you can say, “Streamlined project workflows which resulted in a 70% boost in productivity.”
The Importance of Power Words
Action verbs for a resume or power words are useful for several reasons. You need to remember that hiring managers usually go through several resumes and cover letters. So, in most cases, they skim through the content to discover candidates that stand out.
When you use power words in your resume, recruiters will notice your accomplishments easily. They’ll quickly discover that you have the qualifications and skills necessary to get the job done.
Hiring managers have grown tired of seeing the phrase “responsible for” across resumes. So, instead of saying:
Responsible for handling the company’s TikTok account.
Responsible for reaching out to content creators in the niche.
You could say:
Managed the company’s TikTok account.
Identified and collaborated with content creators in the niche.
Another key reason why action verbs for a resume are important is because of applicant tracking systems (ATS).
Companies use this program to screen applications and discover candidates who are fit for the open position. An ATS will disregard resumes that do not contain the specific keywords that a hiring manager is looking for.
Now, if you include power words, you’re increasing your chances of getting chosen by the ATS. This is quite important, especially since 75% of hiring managers and recruiters use an ATS.
How to Use Action Verbs for Your Resume
In this section, we’re going to discuss what you should consider when using resume power words. We’ll also talk about what you should avoid.
How to Choose the Right Action Verbs
Remember that the position you’re applying for will determine the type of power words you will use. So, before you submit your resume, make sure you carefully study the job posting. You should also identify the key requirements and responsibilities.
During the process, identify your experiences and skills that suit the position’s requirements. Once you’ve done that, go through our list of action verbs for resumes and choose the terms that best describe your achievements.
The steps may be straightforward, but you still need to follow certain guidelines:
Use measurable resume action verbs
We cannot stress enough how critical it is to use a power word with a tangible achievement. Doing so ensures a stronger impact on your resume. For example, you can say, “Boosted SaaS sales by 70%.”
Avoid using subjective terms
You may think that it’s pleasing to hear phrases like, “I’m awesome at,” or “I’m incredible at.” However, you’ll only turn away recruiters, especially since these statements make you seem narcissistic. They are unlikely to believe you when you say you’re amazing. Instead, give them a measurable power word.
When Do Power Words Become Excessive?
Action words, like anything in life, can lose their value when you overuse them. So, providing compelling content for your resume, power words end up making you look pretentious on paper. The recruiter might be appalled and think that you’re trying too hard.
So, besides learning the ideal number of bullet points per role on a resume, you should also use power words in moderation. Ideally, there should be no more than one or two power verbs in a sentence.
Resume Action Verbs and Power Words Examples
If your role required you to supervise and organize projects and tasks, you:
Streamlined project workflows and assigned tasks to meet monthly team deliverables.
If you were part of a team and your role involved communicating information or providing guidance, you:
Formulated a monthly website and social media marketing strategy and reported the plan to the team.
If your job involved creative tasks or a role in the performing arts, you:
Conceptualized the stage design for all the acts of the screenplay and illustrated a digital mockup.
If you performed technical and computer tasks, you:
Upgraded components and refined network administration systems.
If your job is in the banking and finance field, you:
Analyzed financial statements and forecasted the company’s future performance.
If your responsibilities included training and teaching people, you:
Delivered group and individual instruction and evaluated strengths and weaknesses to identify training needs.
In this article, we determined:
- Power words are essential in providing compelling content for your resume. These action verbs can also add variety to your language
- It’s important to choose the right action verbs according to the position you’re applying for. You can decide which ones to use by reviewing the job listing and identifying the key requirements. The power words you choose will highlight the traits that will enable you to fulfill the role.
- Action verbs for a resume are important but you should be careful not to overdo them.