400+ Action Verbs for Your Resume (Examples + How-to Guide)

Kellie Hanna, CPRW
By Kellie Hanna, CPRW, Career Advice Expert Last Updated: September 20, 2023
280 Action Verbs For Resume Writing

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It’s no secret that verbs express action. For example, “They drove to the store,” or “The dog jumped over the fence.” But have you tried using action verbs on your resume?

When used on a resume, action words become power words because they make a huge impact. They bring your work experiences to life and make your skills shine, so you rise above the competition, compelling hiring managers to want to know you. 

In this guide, we will:

  • Explain what action verbs for a resume are. 
  • Provide more than 400 action words for you to use in your resume.
  • Give you tips for using action verbs on your resume (and CV, cover letter, letter of intent, elevator pitch and interview!).
  • Offer action verb examples for top jobs and industries.
  • Show you how to use action words effectively.

What is an action verb?

Resume action verbs are powerful action words that help to make a resume more engaging and emphasize your abilities for potential employers. 

Use action verbs to illuminate your skills, professional accomplishments and work experiences in a dynamic and impactful way. Some action words are more powerful than others, so be wise about which verbs you use to describe your accomplishments. 

For example, “Built a new customer database to help marketing and sales teams create targeted campaigns” is fine, but “Developed and deployed a robust customer database system that effectively captured and organized customer information, enabling targeted marketing campaigns and a 95% improvement in customer relationship management” is better because it expounds on what the job seeker did and highlights the impact of their work.

Action Verb Examples 

You are sure to find all the action words you need for your job application on this page. Here, we have curated more than 400 power words to use on every section of your resume, cover letter and CV and organized them by type, job title and industry.

Action verbs to describe accomplishments 

When used to showcase your work achievements on your resume, verbs like “achieved,” “implemented,” “managed,” “collaborated,” “developed,” “led,” “resolved,” “created” and “improved” help you to stand out to recruiters and hiring managers.

Below you will find 50 action words to describe a variety of accomplishments.

10 Strong resume action verbs to describe sales achievements

Have you surpassed a sales goal? Saved money for a company? Wow employers with these resume verbs. 

  • Completed
  • Earned
  • Exceeded
  • Outperformed
  • Reached
  • Surpassed
  • Targeted
  • Gained
  • Increased
  • Capitalized

10 Good resume words to showcase getting a promotion

Good job! You’ve made it to the next level. Highlight your accomplishment with these action words. 

  • Promoted
  • Selected 
  • Advanced
  • Rose
  • Grew
  • Progressed
  • Expanded
  • Developed
  • Evolved
  • Succeeded

10 Verbs to use in a resume to display awards

If you made employee of the month or best manager ever, don’t hide it! This resume verbs list will help you stand out. 

  • Awarded
  • Recognized 
  • Earned
  • Attained
  • Won
  • Obtained
  • Achieved
  • Honored
  • Acknowledged
  • Hailed

 10 Action verb examples to list inventions or innovations

Did your innovative idea make a difference? Use this list of resume action verbs to illuminate your vision.

  • Contrived
  • Patented
  • Pioneered
  • Conceived
  • Originated
  • Coined
  • Devised
  • Inaugurated
  • Formed 
  • Triggered

 10 Words to use in a resume to explain process improvements

Use these action verbs to convey how you have increased efficiency for an organization.

  • Enhanced
  • Furthered
  • Upgraded
  • Restored
  • Boosted
  • Revitalized
  • Remedied
  • Corrected
  • Augmented
  • Elevated

Resume words for skills 

Don’t limit resume verbs to work accomplishments! Use these powerful words throughout your resume to describe your core qualifications and areas of expertise for the best effect. 

30 Power words to showcase leadership skills

Show you’re in charge with these powerful resume words that express leadership.

  • Establish
  • Develop
  • Spearhead
  • Facilitate
  • Manage
  • Institute
  • Supervise
  • Execute
  • Preside
  • Host
  • Drive
  • Pioneer
  • Transform
  • Unite
  • Increase 
  • Motivate
  • Institute
  • Bolster
  • Elicit
  • Appoint
  • Cultivate
  • Direct 
  • Align
  • Enable
  • Recruit
  • Shape
  • Delegate
  • Galvanize
  • Initiate
  • Orchestrate

30 Action words to emphasize analytical thinking

Not sure how to present your impeccable analytical abilities? These power verb examples can help!

  • Peruse
  • Determine
  • Evaluate
  • Formulate
  • Interpret
  • Measure
  • Predict
  • Survey
  • Summarize
  • Examine
  • Explore
  • Collect
  • Research
  • Compute
  • Calculate
  • Investigate
  • Track
  • Troubleshoot
  • Project
  • Qualify
  • Quantify
  • Assess
  • Estimate
  • Reconcile
  • Test
  • Compare
  • Visualize
  • Forecast
  • Identify
  • Program

 30 Action words for a resume to display interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills are highly valued in most industries. Show employers how you put yours to use with the following resume action verbs.

  • Communicate
  • Persuade
  • Counsel
  • Mediate
  • Articulate
  • Interface
  • Convince
  • Negotiate
  • Critique
  • Arbitrate
  • Motivate
  • Mentor
  • Collaborate
  • Resolve
  • Inspire
  • Encourage
  • Listen
  • Assist
  • Help
  • Relate
  • Interpret 
  • Liaise
  • Translate
  • Guide
  • Interact
  • Express
  • Correspond
  • Advise
  • Support
  • Connect

30 Resume verbs to convey creativity

Express your creative side with these power verbs and let your unique ideas, projects, or products shine.

  • Illustrate
  • Augment
  • Brainstorm
  • Conceive
  • Invent
  • Express
  • Compose
  • Fashion
  • Assemble
  • Construct
  • Draft
  • Create
  • Make
  • Draw
  • Innovate
  • Conceptualize
  • Ideate
  • Modify
  • Transform
  • Improve
  • Author
  • Craft
  • Edit
  • Customize
  • Design
  • Model
  • Engineer
  • Fabricate
  • Improvise
  • Devise

30 Good resume verbs to highlight technical aptitude

Try some of these verbs for resumes to highlight your software and hardware expertise.

  • Adapt
  • Debug
  • Compute
  • Upgrade
  • Fabricate
  • Assemble
  • Operate
  • Repair
  • Fortify
  • Develop
  • Rectify
  • Scope
  • Decode
  • Authenticate
  • Extrapolate
  • Restore
  • Install
  • Maintain
  • Provision
  • Route
  • Mechanize
  • Program
  • Construct
  • Distribute
  • Equip
  • Remodel
  • Digitize
  • Certify
  • Reinforce
  • Overhau

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Action words for top jobs

We compiled our top 270 resume words for a variety of job titles so you can find the best power words for your resume. 

45 Action verbs for teachers

When you’re in charge of a classroom, you can tell potential employers that you teach, but so will every other teacher. Try some of these active verbs instead:

  • Present
  • Involve
  • Convey
  • Influence
  • Reinforce
  • Interact
  • Moderate
  • Mentor
  • Tutor
  • Outline
  • Interpret
  • Prepare
  • Facilitate
  • Lecture
  • Dispense
  • Advise
  • Clarify
  • Coach
  • Communicate
  • Conduct
  • Stimulate
  • Coordinate 
  • Critique
  • Lead
  • Develop
  • Diffuse
  • Review
  • Enable
  • Encourage
  • Demonstrate
  • Clarify
  • Guide
  • Create
  • Inform 
  • Install 
  • Instruct 
  • Motivate
  • Persuade 
  • Simulate
  • Stimulate
  • Test
  • Train
  • Champion
  • Suggest
  • Empower

 45 Resume power words for registered nurses 

As a registered nurse, you give a lot to your patients. This list of action verbs for a resume will help you articulate exactly what you do.

  • Address
  • Deliver
  • Develop
  • Perform
  • Catalog
  • Arrange
  • Guide
  • Support
  • Administer
  • Schedule
  • Report
  • Provide
  • Order
  • Execute
  • Assess
  • Diagnose
  • Assist
  • Treat
  • Advise
  • Rehabilitate
  • Help
  • Enforce
  • Refer
  • Represent
  • Identify
  • Liaise
  • Evaluate
  • Oversee
  • Enable
  • Support 
  • Document
  • Measure
  • Examine
  • Log
  • Track 
  • Enrich
  • Advocate
  • Improve
  • Organize
  • Improve
  • Prep
  • Determine
  • Explain
  • Apply
  • Consult

 45 Action words to use in a resume for accountants

Being in charge of finances is a big task. Adding some of these verbs for resumes will give your accountant job descriptions an edge. 

  • Chart
  • Analyze
  • Count
  • Adjust
  • Calculate
  • Resolve
  • File
  • Formulate
  • Post
  • Audit
  • Control
  • Balance
  • Budget
  • Forecast
  • Increase
  • Retrieve
  • Approve
  • Deduct
  • Conserve
  • Expend
  • Correct
  • Update
  • Allocate
  • Pay
  • Decrease
  • Trace
  • Estimate
  • Reduce
  • Compute
  • Process
  • Project
  • Appraise
  • Measured
  • Reconcile
  • Net 
  • Qualify
  • Justify
  • Enter
  • Fix
  • Depreciate
  • Distribute
  • Verify
  • Correct
  • Standardize
  • Credit

45 Action verbs for technical project managers

As a technical project manager, you make sure things get done. Describe how you manage tasks with these action verb examples.

  • Launch
  • Plan
  • Initiate
  • Assign
  • Conceive
  • Prioritize
  • Maximize
  • Achieve
  • Steer
  • Strategize
  • Appoint
  • Orchestrate
  • Communicate
  • Direct
  • Propose
  • Maintain
  • Arrange
  • Schedule
  • Administer
  • Manage
  • Expedite
  • Conduct
  • Maximize
  • Document
  • Monitor
  • Formalize
  • Enable
  • Consolidate
  • Partner
  • Drive
  • Merge
  • Streamline
  • Leverage
  • Compile
  • Track
  • Apply
  • Generate
  • Establish
  • Review
  • Institute
  • Delegate
  • Enforce

45 Resume action words for software engineers

You develop, create and improve valuable software applications. This resume verbs list will help you bring your software engineering accomplishments to life. 

  • Draft
  • Formulate
  • Redesign
  • Integrate
  • Oversee
  • Build
  • Master
  • Execute
  • Troubleshoot
  • Conceive
  • Devise
  • Systematize
  • Render
  • Code
  • Solve
  • Modify
  • Originate
  • Design
  • Enhance
  • Program
  • Resolve
  • Transform
  • Upgrade
  • Author
  • Display
  • Scope
  • Segment
  • Assemble
  • Engineer
  • Architect
  • Automate
  • Debug
  • Deploy
  • Install
  • Conceptualize
  • Customize
  • Innovate
  • Revamp
  • Execute
  • Review
  • Structure
  • Produce
  • Run
  • Implement
  • Improve

45 Resume action verbs for waitresses

You do a lot more than serve customers. Add these strong action verbs to your waitress resume and impress hiring managers with the full range of your skill set.

  • Engage 
  • Greet
  • Answer
  • Ensure
  • Assist
  • Carry
  • Memorize
  • Order
  • Coordinate
  • Reduce
  • Arrange
  • Prepare
  • Recite 
  • Promote
  • Provide
  • Recommend
  • Distribute
  • Solve
  • Train
  • Upsell
  • Introduce
  • Allocate
  • Optimize 
  • Sell
  • Clear
  • Resolve
  • Explain
  • Stock
  • Learn
  • Deliver
  • Relay
  • Package
  • Contribute
  • Collect
  • Clean 
  • Meet
  • Mitigate
  • Improve
  • Sanitize
  • Process
  • Operate
  • Handle 
  • Ready
  • Clarify
  • Comply

Action verbs for top industries

No matter what industry you’re in, we’ve got you covered with 50 action verbs examples to emphasize your contributions.

10 Good resume action words for the administrative industry

Give impact to your daily administrative tasks with these action words.

  • Organize
  • Provide
  • Consolidate
  • Process
  • Assist
  • Clarify
  • Supply
  • Coordinate
  • Aide
  • Contribute

10 Resume verbs list for the culinary industry

Workers in the culinary industry wear a lot of hats. Express your talents with these good action words for your resume.

  • Crafted
  • Deliver
  • Manage
  • Prepare
  • Expedite
  • Operate
  • Partner
  • Order
  • Launch
  • Arrange

10 Resume action words list for the transportation industry

Not sure how to describe your job history? This resume action words list for the transportation industry can get you moving in the right direction. 

  • Haul
  • Transfer
  • Coordinate
  • Verify
  • Survey
  • Inspect
  • Deliver
  • Route
  • Monitor
  • Transport

10 Power verbs for resumes in the customer service industry

As a job seeker in the customer service industry, you have a diverse range of skills. Present them powerfully with these strong resume action verbs. 

  • Increase
  • Diffuse
  • Enhance
  • Promote
  • Mitigate
  • Propose
  • Reconcile
  • Ensure
  • Cooperate
  • Inform

10 Resume action words list for the medical industry

If you work in the medical industry, you give your all to others. Emphasize your abilities with these action verbs to make your resume compelling. 

  • Care
  • Mend
  • Devise 
  • Treat 
  • Team
  • Document
  • Prescribe 
  • Record
  • Administer
  • Classify

Tips for using action words (with examples)

Verbs for resumes can be applied to every step of the job application process, including interviews. Choose a variety of action verbs for your resume and use a resume template to customize your resume in our Resume Builder.

How to use verbs for resumes

Resume verbs can be used in almost every resume section to describe responsibilities, accomplishments and skills. Use a variety of power verbs for a resume and make them the first word of each bullet point.

In a professional summary or objective statement

Using strong action verbs in a resume summary or objective statement makes a big impact because they are the first things hiring managers see after the contact information section. Use two to three action words in this section to compel hiring managers to want to read through your resume. 

Example: Human resources associate with four years of experience skilled in onboarding and training. Career highlights include instituting a new-employee training program for a 400+ employee startup, reducing recruitment lead time by 25% and increasing employee satisfaction by 40%.

In a resume work history section

Since your resume work history section should spotlight accomplishments and not responsibilities, the best verbs for resume employment sections are those that convey achievements. Start each job accomplishment with an action verb.

Examples: 

Examples:

  • Exceeded monthly customer leads target every month for two quarters.
  • Increased organic search traffic by 50% within three months post-launch.
  • Established reward system for students, resulting in marked improvement in test scores.  

In a resume skills section 

Most often, the skills section of a resume consists of a mix of hard and soft skills to underscore a job applicant’s ability to perform the job. Use strong action words to explain how you used your skills to make your resume stand out.

Example: To explain how you used leadership skills, you could write something like ”Spearheaded an integrated marketing campaign that boosted sales by 15% in the first quarter.

In an education section

You might use action words on a resume education section to display awards, honors, a high GPA, or a title. 

Examples:

  • Attained a 4.0 GPA three years in a row.
  • Earned the Magna Cum Laude distinction.
  • Honored with Academic Excellence Award, 2018.

Our professional resume templates are formatted to make it easy to add resume power phrases throughout your resume. Take it a step further and let our Resume Builder do the work for you.

How to use resume action words in a curriculum vitae (CV)

Like a resume, a CV outlines your relevant qualifications for the job, but it’s more in-depth.  incorporate an array of resume verbs throughout your CV and use our CV Maker with a template to create a CV that wows employers. 

It’s acceptable to add personal interests to a CV as long as they pertain to the target job. To make a great impression, frame your personal interests around volunteer work and use active verbs to make your qualifications shine.

Example: 

Congressional campaign volunteer

  • Spearheaded canvassing efforts and gained support from 300 local residents.
  • Conceived and crafted advertising materials that elevated the campaign’s marketing efforts.
  • Screened and trained new volunteers on scriptwriting and canvassing techniques.
  • Mentored student volunteers.

 How to use action verbs in a cover letter

Pairing a resume with a strong cover letter is a must if you want to rise above the competition, and there’s no better way to make your letter compelling than with active words. The trick is to disperse them throughout while not repeating the exact words from your resume. Mix job- and industry-specific action words with strong action verbs that emphasize the result of your work.

Examples:

If you’re in a creative field like graphic design, use power words to highlight how you used your creative skills to help a company reach a goal. For example, “I hatched a new web design for a fortune 500 company that increased web traffic by 20% one month after launch.”

If you’re an engineer, you might use action verbs to describe how you used your technical skills to solve a problem. For example, “While at Company X, I engineered and implemented backend tools that enhanced automation by 45%, which increased overall productivity by 30%.”

Our Cover Letter Builder makes it easy to customize your cover letter using resume action words. Simply choose a cover letter template, answer a few questions and we’ll take it from there!

How to use action verbs on a letter of intent

Write a letter of intent to express your desire to work for a company with no active job openings. Add a variety of action verbs to make your qualifications shine.

Example: As an executive assistant at Ocean Tides Nursing Facility, I greeted new patients, family members, staff and vendors daily in person and on the phone. In addition, I liaised with the Board via email in lieu of the President and addressed patron inquiries directly. I enjoyed arranging outings for our patients and I advocated for facility upgrades on their behalf. I was recognized as “Administrator of the Year” in 2022 for my support to our patients and their families.

How to use resume action words in an elevator pitch

An elevator pitch is a short, written or verbal speech that introduces you and explains what you offer, with the intent to connect with a person from a company you’re interested in. Optimize your elevator pitch with strong resume action verbs that show hiring managers that you can do the job better than anyone else. 

Example: As a seasoned ER nurse, I am passionate about providing the highest-quality patient care. In my current position, I oversee intake in a fast-paced emergency ward, where I evaluate injuries, assess patient needs and develop a care plan in collaboration with doctors and surgeons. I make decisions quickly, administer medications, log reports and track patient progress.

How to use power words for interviews

Project confidence and competence, and intrigue hiring managers by using resume verbs in a job interview. 

Examples: 

If you’re a teacher and an employer asks, What’s Your Proudest Accomplishment? You might reply, “The achievement I am most proud of is that I improved my class’s test scores  by 20% in one semester.”

If you’re a car driver interviewing for a job with a transportation services company and the hiring manager says, “Explain How you Would Be an Asset to This Organization,” you might say something like “In addition to my impeccable driving record and history of building relationships with customers, I’m innovative. For example, in my last job, I devised a package tracking system that saved the company $3,000 per month and grew their customer base by 20%.”

Resume action verbs key takeaways

  • Power verbs in a resume, CV, cover letter and interview engage potential employers because they illuminate your strengths. 
  • Some verbs for a resume are stronger than others. Choose wisely! 
  • Use a variety of resume verbs in your job application.
  • Use numbers with action words for the greatest effect. 
  • Active verbs should be used throughout your resume for maximum impact.
  • When used correctly, resume action words can help you stand out from other job candidates.

Action verbs for resumes: FAQ

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Since 2013, we have helped more than 15 million job seekers. We want to make your career journey accessible and manageable through our services and Career Center’s how-to guides and tips. In our commitment to bring you a transparent process, we present our Editorial Process.

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