If you’re looking for ways to strengthen your resume, try using more resume action words.

According to one study, resume action words can increase your chances of getting an interview by 140%.

Action words are verbs that convey doing. For example, “He collaborated with the marketing team,” or “She fostered better community relations.” 

Action verbs are effective on resumes because they immediately grab the reader’s attention and paint a clear, concise picture of what you, the job seeker, are capable of.

To help you spice up your resume with action verbs, we’ve put together a list of more than 500 of the ones recruiters love to see the most. 

Using these words on your resume is a great way to get more job interviews!

Table of Contents

4 tips for using action verbs on your resume

Action verbs are one of the most important elements of a strong resume, but they can sometimes be tricky to use. Here are three tips for using action verbs effectively:

1) Avoid overused action verbs

Chances are your resume already includes some action verbs. But are you choosing the most compelling words? 

While some action verbs pack a punch, others are so familiar to recruiters that their eyes may skim right over them. 

Overused action verbs include: 

  • Worked with
  • Responsible for
  • Managed
  • Led
  • Assisted

If you find these overused action words on your resume, try switching them out with something from the action verbs list below.

Read the full guide: 500 Synonyms for Common Resume Power Verbs

2) Be as specific as possible

Being specific is the best way to paint a clear picture of what you’ve accomplished in your past work experience.

One way to be specific is to use numbers. Another way is to use action verbs. Using both numbers and action verbs together is even more powerful.

Take a look at the three examples below and see how each example becomes more detailed, specific, and compelling.

Good: Led a team of designers, engineers, and writers in the creation of a new blog series that resulted in over 1 million unique users visiting the site. 

Better: Spearheaded a new blog initiative that united engineers, designers and writers and introduced over 1 million unique users to the site.  

Even Better: Conceptualized and spearheaded a new blog initiative that united engineers, designers and writers, generating over 3 million organic sessions and introducing over 1 million unique users to the website. 

Read the full guide: Resume Words: Keywords, Adjectives, Skills, and Power Verbs

3) Avoid writing in the passive voice

We often use the passive voice unconsciously and it can sometimes be challenging to detect. 

In passive voice, the subject is acted upon by the verb. For example, “The ball was hit by the batter.” In active voice, the subject performs the verb. For example, “The batter hit the ball.” 

Active voice is more concise, clear, and direct. Passive voice, meanwhile, often leaves readers confused about who is doing what. Ultimately, active voice is just more interesting to read.

“Active voice is more concise, clear, and direct. Ultimately, it’s just more interesting to read.”

One simple way to tell if you are using active voice or passive voice on your resume is to see if your verbs contain one word or two. 

For example, the verb “was grown” comprises two words, meaning that it is in the passive voice. If it were in the active voice, it would have only one word: “grew.”

You can also easily check to see if your resume is using the passive voice with a free online tool called HemingwayApp. Just paste your resume into the app and it will highlight where you used passive voice. 

4) Use industry-specific verbs

It’s important to use language that is specific to the industry you’re applying to. 

For example, if you’re applying for a job in the financial industry, using verbs like “invested,” “audited,” or “calculated” will quickly show employers that you have the relevant skills, experience, and knowledge that they are looking for.

“When hiring a staff attorney I want to see ‘proofread’ or ‘shepardized’ law cases. The less superficial the action verb, the more confident I become that the person is the real deal and won’t need a lot of training on the job.”

David Reischer, Esq., Hiring Partner at LegalAdvice.com

500 power action verbs recruiters love to see

We asked recruiters and hiring managers which action verbs impact them the most during the recruiting and hiring process. 

Here is a list of their favorite 500 action words, organized by category. We’ve also included some expert tips to help guide you in choosing the best action words for resume optimization.  

NOTE: No matter what kind of action verb you choose, make sure that it is relevant to the job you are applying for and that it accurately reflects your skills and experiences.

Quick Navigation

Management and Leadership Action Verbs

Use the following verbs to show that you have the ability to lead and manage effectively.

Try to avoid generic verbs like “led” or “managed” and opt instead for words that provide insight into your management style and achievements.

“You need to think about how you approached that facet of your job and how you felt about it, then choose appropriate words. For example, the action verb ‘advocate’ evokes a sense of someone who’s willing to passionately support their reports through their career growth, and that’s the kind of energy I want to see.”

Courtney Keene, Director of Operations, MyRoofingPal
  • Achieved
  • Administered
  • Advanced
  • Advised
  • Advocated
  • Aligned
  • Analyzed
  • Appointed
  • Approved
  • Arranged
  • Assigned
  • Attained
  • Authorized
  • Chaired
  • Coached
  • Consolidated
  • Contracted
  • Coordinated
  • Counseled
  • Cultivated
  • Decided
  • Delegated
  • Developed
  • Directed
  • Educated
  • Empowered
  • Enabled
  • Enforced
  • Established
  • Evaluated
  • Executed
  • Facilitated
  • Formed
  • Fostered
  • Furthered
  • Guided
  • Handled
  • Headed
  • Hired
  • Hosted
  • Implemented
  • Improved
  • Initiated
  • Inspired
  • Instructed
  • Mentored
  • Merged
  • Mobilized
  • Motivated
  • Navigated
  • Operated
  • Orchestrated
  • Organized
  • Overhauled
  • Oversaw
  • Planned
  • Presided
  • Prioritized
  • Produced
  • Programmed
  • Recommended
  • Recruited
  • Regulated
  • Reorganized
  • Resolved
  • Restructured
  • Restored
  • Reviewed
  • Scheduled
  • Shaped
  • Spearheaded
  • Streamlined
  • Strengthened
  • Supervised
  • Supported
  • Taught
  • Trained
  • Unified
  • United

Creative Action Verbs

Use the following action verbs to highlight your ability to conceptualize and create.

“When talking about a project, the word ‘created’ is more inspiring than simply saying you developed an idea. ‘Created’ suggests more original thinking and the ability to come up with innovative and unusual ideas.”

Sue Andrews, HR & Business Consultant at KIS Finance
  1. Acted
  2. Adapted
  3. Altered
  4. Authored
  5. Brainstormed
  6. Built
  7. Composed
  8. Conceived
  9. Conceptualized
  10. Condensed
  11. Constructed
  12. Crafted
  13. Created
  14. Curated
  15. Customized
  16. Designed
  17. Developed
  18. Devised
  19. Diagrammed
  20. Directed
  21. Displayed
  22. Drafted
  23. Edited
  24. Engineered
  25. Enhanced
  26. Entertained
  27. Established
  28. Fashioned
  29. Forged
  30. Formulated
  31. Founded
  32. Illustrated
  33. Imagined
  34. Initiated
  35. Inspired
  36. Instituted
  37. Integrated
  38. Introduced
  39. Invented
  40. Launched
  41. Modeled
  42. Modified
  43. Originated
  44. Outlined
  45. Patched
  46. Performed
  47. Photographed
  48. Piloted
  49. Pioneered
  50. Planned
  51. Produced
  52. Proofread
  53. Published
  54. Rebuilt
  55. Redesigned
  56. Researched
  57. Resolved
  58. Revised
  59. Revitalized
  60. Shaped
  61. Strategized
  62. Storyboarded
  63. Translated
  64. Transformed
  65. Visualized
  66. Wrote

Worker Action Verbs

Use the following action verbs to communicate your willingness and ability to implement projects. 

While management and leadership are commonly desired abilities, hiring managers also want to know you’re willing to get your hands dirty.

“The word ‘implement’ means the candidate did the work themselves rather than just directing another who is more skilled to do it, making them a more attractive candidate in my eyes.”

Stacy Caprio, Founder at Accelerated Growth Marketing
  1. Accomplished
  2. Actualized
  3. Administered
  4. Completed
  5. Developed
  6. Enforced
  7. Executed
  8. Fulfilled
  9. Implemented
  10. Operated
  11. Organized
  12. Performed
  13. Prepared
  14. Realized

Teamwork Action Verbs

Use the following action verbs to highlight your ability to collaborate and work well with others.

“Words like ‘collaborated’ show potential employers how well you are able to work with others.”

Dana Case, Director of Operations at MyCorporation.com
  1. Adapted
  2. Advised
  3. Advocated
  4. Aided
  5. Answered
  6. Assessed
  7. Assisted
  8. Blended
  9. Clarified
  10. Coached
  11. Co-authored
  12. Collaborated
  13. Contributed
  14. Cooperated
  15. Coproduced
  16. Corresponded
  17. Counseled
  18. Demonstrated
  19. Diagnosed
  20. Diversified
  21. Educated
  22. Enabled
  23. Encouraged
  24. Energized
  25. Expedited
  26. Facilitated
  27. Familiarized
  28. Forged
  29. Fostered
  30. Furthered
  31. Gathered
  32. Guided
  33. Harmonized
  34. Helped
  35. Ignited
  36. Informed
  37. Inspired
  38. Instructed
  39. Joined
  40. Married
  41. Melded
  42. Merged
  43. Motivated
  44. Participated
  45. Partnered
  46. Persuaded
  47. Provided
  48. Resolved
  49. Referred
  50. Regulated
  51. Rehabilitated
  52. Reinforced
  53. Represented
  54. Simplified
  55. Supplied
  56. Supported
  57. Taught
  58. Teamed (up)
  59. Trained
  60. United
  61. Verified
  62. Volunteered
  63. Wove

Communication Action Verbs

Use the following action verbs to show that you can effectively communicate with colleagues, clients, or the public.

  1. Addressed
  2. Advocated
  3. Arbitrated
  4. Arranged
  5. Authored
  6. Briefed
  7. Campaigned
  8. Clarified
  9. Collaborated
  10. Composed
  11. Consulted
  12. Conveyed
  13. Convinced
  14. Corresponded
  15. Counseled
  16. Critiqued
  17. Defined
  18. Developed
  19. Directed
  20. Drafted
  21. Documented
  22. Drafted
  23. Edited
  24. Enlisted
  25. Enlivened
  26. Explained
  27. Fielded
  28. Formulated
  29. Illustrated
  30. Influenced
  31. Informed
  32. Interpreted
  33. Instructed
  34. Lectured
  35. Lobbied
  36. Mediated
  37. Moderated
  38. Negotiated
  39. Outlined
  40. Performed
  41. Persuaded
  42. Presented
  43. Promoted
  44. Proposed
  45. Publicized
  46. Reviewed
  47. Spoke
  48. Trained
  49. Translated
  50. Wrote

Goal Achievement Action Verbs

Use the following success-related action verbs to show that you set and achieve your goals.

“Keywords like ‘improved’ or ‘achieved’ are important to me because it shows that you are always trying to get better no matter what position you have.”

Bobby Bodette, Operations Recruiter at CRH Americas
  1. Accomplished
  2. Accelerated
  3. Achieved
  4. Advanced
  5. Amplified
  6. Attained
  7. Boosted
  8. Capitalized
  9. Completed
  10. Consolidated
  11. Converted
  12. Created
  13. Decreased
  14. Delivered
  15. Demonstrated
  16. Drove
  17. Earned
  18. Enacted
  19. Endeavored
  20. Enhanced
  21. Established
  22. Exceeded
  23. Expanded
  24. Expedited
  25. Finished
  26. Founded
  27. Generated
  28. Grew
  29. Improved
  30. Lifted
  31. Managed
  32. Maximized
  33. Pioneered
  34. Produced
  35. Outpaced
  36. Outperformed
  37. Overcame
  38. Overhauled
  39. Produced
  40. Raised
  41. Reached
  42. Saved
  43. Sharpened
  44. Showcased
  45. Sparked
  46. Spearheaded
  47. Steered
  48. Stimulated
  49. Streamlined
  50. Strengthened
  51. Succeeded
  52. Surpassed
  53. Targeted
  54. Won

Research/Analysis Action Verbs

Use the following action verbs to show that you can identify a problem, gather information about it, and come up with a solution.

  1. Analyzed
  2. Assembled
  3. Assessed
  4. Audited
  5. Calculated
  6. Checked
  7. Clarified
  8. Collected
  9. Compared
  10. Compiled
  11. Conducted
  12. Critiqued
  13. Detected
  14. Determined
  15. Diagnosed
  16. Discovered
  17. Evaluated
  18. Examined
  19. Experimented
  20. Explored
  21. Extracted
  22. Forecasted
  23. Formulated
  24. Gathered
  25. Identified
  26. Inspected
  27. Inspired
  28. Interpreted
  29. Interviewed
  30. Invented
  31. Investigated
  32. Located
  33. Mapped
  34. Measured
  35. Modeled
  36. Organized
  37. Probed
  38. Projected
  39. Proved
  40. Qualified
  41. Quantified
  42. Reported
  43. Researched
  44. Reviewed
  45. Searched
  46. Solved
  47. Studied
  48. Summarized
  49. Surveyed
  50. Systematized
  51. Tested
  52. Tracked
  53. Visualized

Accounting/Finance Action Verbs

Use the following action verbs to show that you have experience working with and understanding numerical data.

  1. Adjusted
  2. Administered
  3. Allocated
  4. Analyzed
  5. Appraised
  6. Assessed
  7. Audited
  8. Balanced
  9. Budgeted
  10. Calculated
  11. Checked
  12. Classified
  13. Collected
  14. Computed
  15. Conserved
  16. Controlled
  17. Converted
  18. Corrected
  19. Crafted
  20. Decreased
  21. Determined
  22. Developed
  23. Documented
  24. Equalized
  25. Estimated
  26. Evaluated
  27. Examined
  28. Dispensed
  29. Forecasted
  30. Halted
  31. Inventoried
  32. Invested
  33. Investigated
  34. Lowered
  35. Managed
  36. Maintained
  37. Marketed
  38. Measured
  39. Minimized
  40. Netted
  41. Planned
  42. Prepared
  43. Programmed
  44. Projected
  45. Qualified
  46. Quantified
  47. Recognized
  48. Reconciled
  49. Recorded
  50. Reduced
  51. Researched
  52. Retrieved
  53. Secured
  54. Tested
  55. Tracked
  56. Verified

Technical Action Verbs

Use the following action verbs if you are pursuing a career in the tech industry.

  1. Adapted
  2. Advanced
  3. Applied
  4. Architected
  5. Assembled
  6. Automated
  7. Built
  8. Calculated
  9. Coded
  10. Computed
  11. Conserved
  12. Constructed
  13. Converted
  14. Debugged
  15. Deployed
  16. Designed
  17. Detected
  18. Determined
  19. Developed
  20. Devised
  21. Diagnosed
  22. Discovered
  23. Engineered
  24. Enhanced
  25. Expedited
  26. Fabricated
  27. Formulated
  28. Fortified
  29. Installed
  30. Launched
  31. Maintained
  32. Modified
  33. Networked
  34. Operated
  35. Overhauled
  36. Pinpointed
  37. Planned
  38. Printed
  39. Programmed
  40. Regulated
  41. Remodeled
  42. Repaired
  43. Replaced
  44. Rewrote
  45. Refined
  46. Restored
  47. Solved
  48. Specialized
  49. Standardized
  50. Studied
  51. Tested
  52. Troubleshoot
  53. Updated
  54. Upgraded
  55. Utilized

Teacher/Training Action Verbs

Use the following action verbs to show your experience working with students in some capacity, helping them learn new information or skills.

  1. Adapted
  2. Advised
  3. Clarified
  4. Coached
  5. Communicated
  6. Conducted
  7. Coordinated
  8. Critiqued
  9. Developed
  10. Enabled
  11. Encouraged
  12. Evaluated
  13. Explained
  14. Facilitated
  15. Focused
  16. Guided
  17. Individualized
  18. Informed
  19. Installed
  20. Instructed
  21. Lectured
  22. Motivated
  23. Persuaded
  24. Set goals
  25. Simulated
  26. Stimulated
  27. Taught
  28. Tested
  29. Trained
  30. Transmitted
  31. Tutored

FAQs

What are action verbs and how can you use them on your resume?

Action verbs describe physical or mental actions. Examples of common action verbs include “run,” “jump,” “think,” and “read.” 

Action verbs can really spice up your resume and make it more interesting to read. They can also help potential employers see the value in what you can bring to their company.

On your resume, use action verbs to describe your accomplishments rather than simply listing your job duties.

For example, if you’re a salesperson, you might use verbs like “negotiated,” “sold,” or “closed.” If you’re in customer service, you might use verbs like “assisted,” “resolved,” or “helped.” 

Why should you use resume action verbs?

Resume action verbs help grab and hold the reader’s attention. This is important because hiring managers only spend six to seven seconds looking at each resume, on average

Using action verbs on your resume will paint a clear and convincing picture of your work experience. They enable potential employers to visualize not only what you did, but how you did it, and how your accomplishments benefited the company. 

Finally, action verbs convey a sense of enthusiasm and energy. This is important because employers want to see that you’re excited about the job and willing to put in the work.

How to list strong action verbs on your resume

Action verbs convey your skills and accomplishments in a way that is both clear and concise, and they can really help you stand out from the competition. 

But how do you list action verbs on your resume? Here are a few tips:

  1. First, make a list of all of your relevant skills and accomplishments.
  2. Next, take a look at that list and identify the most powerful verbs that accurately describe what you did. (If you need help, choose from our list of 500 action verbs for resume optimization above).
  3. Once you have your verbs picked out, use them throughout your resume, including in your job titles, descriptions, and bullet points.
  4. Use action verbs in the present tense when describing current roles, and past tense for previous positions.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your resume packs a punch and gets noticed by employers!

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