245 Powerful Resume Action Words

By Elsie Boskamp - Apr. 19, 2021

In order to make a great first impression during the hiring process is important to emphasize your most desirable skills, experiences, and accomplishments. The best way of doing this is through the use of powerful action words in a professionally formatted resume.

By using powerful verbs and strong and appropriate adjectives to convey your transferable abilities and job-specific skills, you’ll be able to easily create a targeted resume, designed with the intention of getting hired and advancing in your professional career.

When applying for jobs, whether you’re looking for a gig right out of college, switching careers, or searching for a new role to grow in your chosen industry, writing an effective resume is an essential step in the hiring process.

Since hiring managers typically review your resume and cover letter before ever meeting or speaking to you, it’s imperative that you use the professional documents to professionally introduce yourself, describe your qualifications, and make a lasting first impression.

Using several of the 245 power words outlined in this article will help you highlight your most desirable professional skills and job abilities and make your resume stand out from those of other competing applicants.

Closely following Zippia’s resume writing tips and guidebooks and diligently working to incorporate some of the top resume action words into the professional job application document will make your resume shine and bring you one step closer to landing your dream career.

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Resume Action Verbs, Power Words, and Buzzwords

So, you might be wondering, what exactly are resume action verbs, power words, and buzzwords?

To put it simply, resume action verbs, power words, and buzzwords, are insightful verbs, adjectives, and words which, when used effectively and deliberately, are designed to bring your resume to life and showcase your hireability and biggest professional strengths, skills, and abilities.

  • Action verbs are words that show your skills and abilities. These words express action, as their name indicates, and are used to demonstrate your skills and highlight previous work experience and job responsibilities. The best action verbs convey passion, enthusiasm, and drive and perfectly showcase your professional successes.

    When writing your resume, no matter what sort of job you’re applying for, it’s important to use unique and specific action verbs. These powerful words can help you capture a hiring manager’s attention and move forward in the hiring process.

  • Power words are similar to action verbs in that they showcase your workplace skills and abilities, but, instead of expressing an action, power words describe your experiences and qualifications. Moreover, power words are strong adjectives designed for use on your resume or in your cover letter to illustrate your dedication, expertise, and ambition.

    When writing your resume, using too many power words can sometimes be cause for concern, but, when used sparingly and mindfully, they can be great tools to enhance your resume and give your job application the “facelift” you need to get hired.

  • Buzzwords, also sometimes called action words, are words used to describe your roles and responsibilities in detail and are designed to add value to your resume. Buzzwords are important as they can differ from industry to industry.

    Usually, buzzwords can be found in job descriptions or advertisements and are used to narrow down the candidate pool.

    Nowadays, resumes are analyzed by computerized systems, which search for key buzzwords, before advancing to a hiring manager. Because of this, using the right buzzwords when writing your resume is vital to landing your dream job.

    Although important, too many buzzwords can sometimes take away from your skills and experience by crowding your resume with filler words. As essential as it is to use buzzwords, it’s also essential to use them sparingly and specifically.

    As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to avoid generalized, vague, and overused buzzwords, and, instead, focus on words that best describe your value as an employee.

What Power Words Accomplish

Resume power words, action verbs, and buzzwords work to convey your strongest professional skills, your qualifying job experiences, and your passion and excitement for working in the role you’re applying to.

Using strong and specific power words in your resume will place a bigger emphasis on the job-specific abilities you’re illustrating and allow your qualifications to speak for themselves.

Incorporating appropriate power words into your resume and cover letter can also help you avoid overly wordy descriptions that could mask your skills and strengths. Power words will work to keep your resume clean and concise and showcase your most desirable and relevant work experience and education.

Using power words in your resume and cover letter will help you convey confidence and illustrate a “go-getter attitude.”

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How to Use Action Verbs In Your Resume

Action verbs and power words are only as effective as the way you use them.

If your resume is sloppy, poorly written, and riddled with generic, overused verbs and adjectives, you’re not going to get the same effect as you would if you properly structure your resume with significant and relevant action verbs.

In order to reap the benefits of resume power words, you must have a properly structured and grammatically correct resume that highlights your biggest strengths and accomplishments and is appropriately tailored to the job or industry you’re applying to.

The key to properly using action verbs and power words in your resume is choosing phrases that specifically enhance your personal skill set and experiences, writing in an active voice, and using the correct tense when discussing your career highlights.

When using action words to describe your responsibilities at a current job or professional skills, make sure to use the present tense. Contrarily, when discussing responsibilities you were tasked with at previous jobs, your action verbs should be in the past tense.

Double-checking your grammar and tenses, and working to only include action words that closely align with your skills and experiences will enable you to properly and efficiently use resume action verbs and power words.

  1. Action Verbs to Showcase Management and Leadership

    Having solid leadership and management skills is a huge plus when applying to jobs. No matter the industry or job, hiring managers are always on the lookout for their company’s future leaders. If you have experience overseeing projects or coordinating a team, it’s essential to showcase this on your resume.

    Here are some of the most powerful words you can use to showcase your leadership abilities:

  2. Oversaw

  3. Planned

  4. Coordinated

  5. Headed

  6. Produced

  7. Orchestrated

  8. Administered

  9. Chaired

  10. Hired

  11. Implemented

  12. Cultivated

  13. Directed

  14. Fostered

  15. Enabled

  16. Empowered

  17. Supervised

  18. Shaped

  19. Trained

  20. Refocused

  21. Optimized

  22. Championed

  23. Coached

  24. Then again, there’s one more thing you can do.

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    Action Verbs to Showcase Accomplishments

    Since your resume in and of itself is a document used to showcase your professional accomplishments and abilities, it is imperative that you use strong verbs to describe your biggest and most relevant achievements. Using appropriate action verbs will clearly illustrate your work efficiency and allow you to put your best foot forward during the hiring process.

    To show your best professional accomplishments, try using verbs like these:

  25. Modified

  26. Replaced

  27. Remodeled

  28. Customized

  29. Clarified

  30. Integrated

  31. Revamped

  32. Streamlined

  33. Upgraded

  34. Transformed

  35. Achieved

  36. Sharpened

  37. Spearheaded

  38. Exceeded

  39. Drove

  40. Capitalized

  41. Surpassed

  42. Enacted

  43. Established

  44. Amplified

  45. Earned

  46. Guided

  47. Action Verbs to Illustrate Job Responsibilities

    Clearly and concisely conveying your previous job responsibilities is immensely important when creating your resume and searching for your dream job. Efficiently communicating your previous work experience and the specific responsibilities you were tasked with on your resume will give you a leg-up among competing applicants.

    Here are some of the most impactful verbs you can use to illustrate your previous job responsibilities:

  48. Analyzed

  49. Handled

  50. Improved

  51. Executed

  52. Initiated

  53. Created

  54. Accomplished

  55. Delivered

  56. Developed

  57. Constructed

  58. Built

  59. Assembled

  60. Operated

  61. Organized

  62. Facilitated

  63. Engineered

  64. Incorporated

  65. Devised

  66. Launched

  67. Centralized

  68. Led

  69. Grew

  70. Action Verbs to Describe Communication Skills

    Being able to effectively communicate, both verbally and in writing, is necessary to find professional success in nearly every industry. Whether you’re applying for a job as a delivery driver or a chief executive officer, you’ll be expected to have good communication skills. To make your resume shine, it’s essential to showcase your stellar communication skills.

    When describing communication skills on your professional resume or CV, consider using words like these:

  71. Promoted

  72. Illustrated

  73. Informed

  74. Negotiated

  75. Moderated

  76. Persuaded

  77. Consulted

  78. Corresponded

  79. Explained

  80. Clarified

  81. Defined

  82. Consulted

  83. Advocated

  84. Convinced

  85. Presented

  86. Documented

  87. Collaborated

  88. Campaigned

  89. Edited

  90. Reviewed

  91. Motivated

  92. Partnered

  93. Action Verbs to Express Creativity

    Creative thinkers are usually very highly regarded by hiring managers and prospective employers. Showcasing your creative skills and your efficiency in generating new and exciting ideas on your resume and throughout the employee onboarding process will help you continue on in the hiring process and land the job of your dreams.

    Here are some of the best action verbs you can use to express creativity and originality:

  94. Imagined

  95. Inspired

  96. Drafted

  97. Customized

  98. Published

  99. Translated

  100. Designed

  101. Visualized

  102. Edited

  103. Curated

  104. Conceptualized

  105. Storyboarded

  106. Modeled

  107. Authored

  108. Redesigned

  109. Piloted

  110. Fashioned

  111. Crafted

  112. Graphed

  113. Drew

  114. Modernized

  115. Bolstered

  116. Action Verbs to Illustrate Technical Experience

    Having technical experience and the job-specific skills and knowledge needed to complete tasks and be successful in your role is essential. Showcasing your practical, mechanical, mathematical, or scientific-technical skills on your resume will enable you to stand out during the hiring process.

    This is particularly applicable if you’re applying for a role in information technology, project management, programming, or business intelligence.

    When showcasing technical skills on your professional resume or CV, consider using words like these:

  117. Reengineered

  118. Fine-tuned

  119. Finalized

  120. Formatted

  121. Backed-up

  122. Equipped

  123. Accelerated

  124. Automated

  125. Reconstructed

  126. Balanced

  127. Coded

  128. Tested

  129. Expediated

  130. Installed

  131. Architected

  132. Discovered

  133. Diagnosed

  134. Programmed

  135. Refined

  136. Deployed

  137. Consolidated

  138. Delegated

  139. Action Verbs to Showcase Work Efficiency

    If you can’t be efficient at work, chances are you’ll cost your company valuable time and money. Because of this, hiring managers and prospective employers usually only hire people that they have total confidence in. Using strong action verbs on your resume to showcase your work efficiency will illustrate your passion and drive and help you get hired.

    Here are some of the top action verbs you can add to your resume to illustrate your work efficiency and high productivity levels:

  140. Maximized

  141. Stimulated

  142. Furthered

  143. Gained

  144. Generated

  145. Sustained

  146. Lifted

  147. Rewrote

  148. Enhanced

  149. Discerned

  150. Pioneered

  151. Outperformed

  152. Sparked

  153. Steered

  154. Endeavored

  155. Founded

  156. Expanded

  157. Completed

  158. Outpaced

  159. Configured

  160. Obtained

  161. Solved

  162. Action Verbs to Explain Research Skills

    These days, research skills are important in a wide range of professional careers, not just science and research analyst occupations. Hiring managers are looking for job-seekers who are well versed in collecting data, exploring and investigating new ideas, and analyzing information.

    To showcase your state-of-the-art research skills on your professional resume or CV, try using action verbs like these:

  163. Calculated

  164. Forecasted

  165. Evaluated

  166. Audited

  167. Assessed

  168. Identified

  169. Tracked

  170. Surveyed

  171. Qualified

  172. Investigated

  173. Inspected

  174. Verified

  175. Screened

  176. Inspected

  177. Targete

  178. Detected

  179. Updated

  180. Networked

  181. Troubleshoot

  182. Collected

  183. Classified

  184. Elicited

  185. Extracted

  186. Best Power Words to Add Adjectives to Your Resume and Cover Letter

    Resume action verbs are essential in highlighting your strongest skills, experiences, and accomplishments, but, that’s not to say that powerful adjectives aren’t equally as important. Incorporating a few thoughtfully placed and impactful adjectives around the action verbs in your resume will make your job application even stronger.

    Describing words and adjectives, when used sparingly and appropriately, can add an extra punch to your resume and cover letter and even give you a leg up among competing applicants.

    When using adjectives in your resume, it’s important to select the most relevant descriptors in order for them to have the biggest impact on hiring managers and future employers.

    Here’s an extensive list of the top adjectives you can add to your resume to help you stand out and get hired:

  187. Fast-learning

  188. Adaptable

  189. Passionate

  190. High-level

  191. Diligent

  192. Driven

  193. Confident

  194. Enthusiastic

  195. Organized

  196. Reliable

  197. Versatile

  198. Analytical

  199. Innovative

  200. Insightful

  201. Complex

  202. Intelligent

  203. Methodical

  204. Strategic

  205. Meticulous

  206. Practical

  207. Cutting-edge

  208. First-class

  209. Progressive

  210. Robust

  211. Revolutionary

  212. Imaginative

  213. Groundbreaking

  214. Sophisticated

  215. Expert

  216. Strong

  217. Significant

  218. Cost-effective

  219. Superior

  220. Proficient

  221. Skillful

  222. Sincere

  223. Committed

  224. Devoted

  225. Genuine

  226. Wholehearted

  227. Alert

  228. Focused

  229. Persistent

  230. Detailed

  231. Precise

  232. Structured

  233. Systematic

  234. Timely

  235. Detail-oriented

  236. Accurate

  237. Loyal

  238. Punctual

  239. Professional

  240. Dependable

  241. Consistent

  242. Clear

  243. Diplomatic

  244. Personable

  245. Flexible

  246. Multifaceted

  247. Unique

  248. Competent

  249. Ingenious

  250. Knowledgeable

  251. Honest

  252. Disciplined

  253. Dynamic

  254. Astute

Final Thoughts

Making use of powerful and insightful verbs and adjectives when writing your professional resume will help you highlight your key skills, stand out among job seekers, make a great first impression on hiring managers, and get the job of your dreams.

The best resumes stand out during the hiring process through the intelligent incorporation of action verbs, power words, and buzzwords.

By using the resume tips and action words outlined in this article, you’ll be well on your way to writing an impressionable professional resume, highlighting your strongest career successes during the hiring process, and landing the job of your dreams.

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Elsie Boskamp

Elsie is an experienced writer, reporter, and content creator. As a leader in her field, Elsie is best known for her work as a Reporter for The Southampton Press, but she can also be credited with contributions to Long Island Pulse Magazine and Hamptons Online. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Stony Brook University and currently resides in Franklin, Tennessee.

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