30+ Powerful Action Verbs to Use to Maximize Your Resume's Potential

November 30, 2023
power words for resume

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A resume is your first impression in front of the recruiter. Communicating your strengths effectively in the resume is of utmost importance. Using action verbs and power words for resumes can make yours stand out and increase your likelihood of moving forward in the selection process. They enhance your CV and throw light on your bag of skills and achievements.

Power words and action verbs are adjectives and verbs that can be used to highlight your skills and abilities used in past jobs and experiences. They are striking words used in a resume that highlight your achievements and create an impact on the reader. These are effective in proving your suitability for the particular job.

Action verbs in Resume Headline convey a sense of movement and accomplishment, grabbing the recruiter’s attention from the get-go. Action verbs allow you to showcase achievements, emphasizing what you’ve accomplished in your previous roles. Using action verbs adds a professional and assertive tone to your resume, creating a positive first impression. They contribute to the overall readability of your resume, breaking the monotony of passive language and making the content more engaging. Here is an example of a sentence with and without a resume power word:

Incorrect example

Responsible for managing a team of five HR interns

Correct example

Managed and mentored a team of five HR interns

The first sentence shows that you were just performing a task you were assigned to. However, the second sentence highlights your role as the leader of the team. It implies that you have leadership qualities and teamwork skills. Thus, a power word can help put across what you are trying to convey.

In this article, we will discuss some power words for resumes that you can use to stand out in a pool of applicants. We will also see how you can choose the right action verbs and power words for resumes effectively.

Tips to Use Action Verbs in Resumes Effectively

Language matters in a resume. To make your resume capture the attention of the recruiter, how you present yourself is important. Merely stating your past experiences and achievements is not enough. Using resume power phrases and attention-grabbing words is a great idea. However, how you use them is even more important.

You should keep a few things in mind before choosing power words for your resume. Your resume should not be overflooded with action words. Instead, it should be a strong, moving piece with power words that bring out your professionalism.

Here are some things to keep in mind while using power words and action verbs in resume:

1. Do Not Overuse Them

Do not overuse power words in your resume. If your resume is swamped with power words, then it might leave a negative impression. This can make you seem trying very hard and can turn off the reader. Using too many action words can also make your resume difficult to read

You should use power words subtly in your resume. One or two power words for resumes in a sentence are enough.

2. Align With Your Skills and Achievements

To choose the right power words for resumes, you should scan the job profile and note the responsibilities and requirements. Next, you should use those words that align with your skills and abilities. The power words that you use should be effective in highlighting your skills that are suitable for the job profile. These should be industry-specific terms and should sit well with your qualities and achievements.

3. Avoid Commonly Used Words

Adding commonly used words will not set your resume apart. To make your application stand out, you must use words that make the sentence impactful as well as crisp.

Using words like ‘helped’, or ‘changed’ might not be that effective. These are not specific. It is preferable to use action words that can be measured such as, ‘raised’, ‘accelerated’, and ‘increased’.

Similarly, instead of using phrases like, ‘worked with’ you can use, words like ‘collaborated’ and ‘coordinated’. Thus choosing the right power words for resumes is important.

Example: Collaborated with a team of 5 coding experts and developed an e-commerce website

Earn in Six-figures with chegg

4. Use Variety but Keep It Simple

While using different action verbs in your resume can show variety, it must not make your resume complicated to read. The hiring manager must be looking through a hundred resumes for a job profile. You must ensure to make his/her task easy.

Sprinkling various resume power phrases and action words in your resume can be a good idea. However, using high-sounding words and phrases can have a counter-effect. It can affect the readability of your resume and hence reduce its effectiveness.

A good CV should have a good mix of power words for resumes to describe your skills and abilities while taking care not to make it incomprehensible.

5. Use Action Verbs to Describe Tasks

Action verbs in resumes can be used to describe a task that you might have performed in your past job/ experience. Using action verbs in resumes can be impactful as they describe your roles that are suitable for the job you’re applying for.

They convey how you have managed to perform the task at hand effectively and leave a strong impression on the hiring manager. The manager can get an idea of your skills and how you have applied them in bringing about results-oriented change.

Example of action verbs in a sentence:
Organized meetings with clients consistently to cater to their needs
Boosted sales revenue by 35%

List of Powerful Action Verbs to Include on Your Resume

Here are a few examples for you to choose from while making your resume. Use these power words for resumes, keeping in mind the tips mentioned above.

Action words list for your resume with examples:

1. Leadership and Management

Lead, optimize, manage, educate, delegate, motivate

Optimize

Optimized employee performance by introducing skill-based courses in their training programme.

Delegate

Delegated tasks to a team of 10 recruits.

Motivated

Mentored and motivated a group of 10 social media interns.

2. Communication

Collaborate, foster, guide, spearhead, motivate, and educate

Collaborate

Collaborated with other college societies to reap maximum benefits.

Foster

Fostered positive relationships with clients through regular meetings.

Spearheaded

Spearheaded a campaign to increase mental health awareness among employees.

Motivate

Motivated co-workers by communicating well.

3. Problem-Solving

Debug, solve, maintain, navigate, reduce, implement, and provide

Debug

Debugged internal server issues and enhance system performances.

Maintain

Maintained design development within a tight budget.

Navigate

Navigated four projects between three teams within a given time limit.

Implement

Implemented several existing skill development programmes.

Provided

Provided exceptional consulting services.

4. Results and Achievement

Accomplished, skilled, visionary, achievement, oriented, proficient

Accomplished

Accomplished the title of ‘best intern’ at XYZ company.

Skilled

A skilled individual with a curiosity to learn more.

Visionary

Visionary and self-taught digital artist.

5. Technical Skills

Exceed, develop, analytical, Strategic, streamline, profitable, educate

Analytical

Provided analytical solutions to ongoing problems related to sales growth.

Strategic

Ensured strategic partnerships to increase connections.

Streamline

Streamlined resources and sponsorships in college society.

Profitable

Brought about profitable outcomes as the marketing head of the startup.

6. Initiative and Proactivity

Self-starter, initiate

Self-starter

Highly motivated self-starter.

Initiate

Initiated several collaborations with other departments.

Overused Words in a Resume

Some of the very commonly used words that you should avoid overusing in your resume are:

  1. Passionate
  2. Career-Oriented
  3. Goal-Driven
  4. Excellent
  5. Best
  6. Responsible for
  7. Strategic thinker
  8. Results-driven
  9. Creative
  10. Successful
  11. Enthusiastic
  12. Track record
  13. Strategy

Role of Action Verbs in Your Resume

We have seen how important action verbs are in making your resume impactful. Action verbs and power words for resumes bring a huge difference in the language. They make your resume more convincing and can go a long way in impressing the recruiter.

Power words can effectively communicate your qualifications and achievements without trying to show them off. These are sophisticated terms that can describe your skills and abilities in a subtle yet strong manner. Using action verbs shows that you have accomplished something in your past jobs that you weren’t just responsible for. Instead, you have learned and achieved something.

Read more about effective resume and cover letter tips for a perfect job application.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are some power words for a resume?

Power words in a resume are words (verbs or adjectives) that can communicate your skills and abilities in an impactful manner. Using them can leave a lasting impression on the hiring manager and can make your application stand out from the rest.
Here are a few examples of power words for resumes:
1. Achievement-Oriented
2. Results-Driven
3. Analytical
4. Creative
5. Innovative
6. Strategic
7. Motivated
8. Proactive
9. Visionary
10. Skilled

How can action verbs help my resume stand out?

Using action verbs to describe your tasks and past experiences can make your resume stand out. Action verbs are words that have a strong impact on the reader. They show how you were in charge of successfully executing a task.
For example: if you were in charge of a project, you can use words like ‘directed’, ‘delegated’, ‘managed’, etc.

Which power words can I use on my resume to improve the chances of selection?

You must use powerful words that align with your skills. Choosing the right power words for resumes is imperative for your selection. For this, scan the job profile and mark the roles and responsibilities. Next, choose power words that highlight your skills and abilities required for that job. These words should be varied but simple.

Some examples of power words for resumes are motivated, proactive, visionary, skilled, experienced, accomplished, dedicated and self-starter.

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