A verb expresses action or a state of being. In English, every word sits in a specific place and plays a specific role in a sentence. As such, verbs typically come.
You’ve probably heard the advice that action verbs should be sprinkled throughout your resume. By starting each bullet point about your past experience with a powerful action verb, you draw hiring managers in and give them a concrete picture of your expertise. Certain action verbs are also likely to help your resume get past automated scanning tools.
But it’s not as simple as just throwing a bunch of verbs on a piece of paper and hoping something sticks. Here’s how to use action verbs on your resume intelligently to help you land the job of your dreams.
“It is important to be strategic on the action verbs used to describe your skills and experience,” notes Jessie Czerwonka Roller, Manager of Career Services at Turning the Corner. “Being in the career services field for over a decade, I have seen an abundance of resumes: the good, the bad and the ugly.” The ones that stand out, she says, are resumes that are tailored toward both the job and the industry, using verbs that feel relevant and targeted.
Shefali Raina, an NYC-based executive coach, agrees. “For maximum impact, use action verbs selectively and convey simple, direct messages. Nothing dilutes the impact of action verbs than being surrounded by many other action verbs!” In other words, you definitely want action verbs throughout your resume, but don’t go overboard.
How to Write a Resume
It’s a good idea to include action verbs that showcase your personality. “Empowered speaks to your ability to give energy, authority, confidence and power to a group or a team to achieve a certain result,” Raina says. “It suggests that you possess the confidence and the influence to be able to authorize and energize a team or group to have a powerful impact.”
“Organized is a wonderful verb that denotes an individual who can prioritize not only the items on their desk, but their tasks too,” says Gabrielle Pitre, Recruiting Team Lead at Coalition Technologies. “This lets employers see that you understand what is valuable to your job. But, perhaps, an even better verb is orchestrated, as it’s rarer and more likely to attract attention.”
“Initiated is a powerful one because it demonstrates that you are proactive and that you spent the time and energy to begin a project or originate an idea,” Raina notes. “To employers and recruiters, it speaks to a positive, ‘can-do’ mindset and says that you will be a solution starter.”
One of the most important rules for using action verbs effectively is to choose them based on the jobs you’re applying to. “If you are a job seeker who wants to gain a leadership position, you want to describe both your skills and experiences using strong leadership action verbs such as advocated, bolstered, drove, engaged, elicited and spearheaded,” Roller explains.
To highlight management experience, you’ll want to use verbs like established and delegated, Pitre says. “These words can say much more than more common verbs, such as led or oversaw. You want to show how proactive you are and these verbs express that well.”
Try brainstorming industry-specific action verbs, as well. For example, “if you are a job seeker targeting the IT industry, use action verbs such as administered, centralized, configured, engineered, installed and programmed,” Roller recommends. These show that you know the space inside and out and you won’t need to be brought up to speed.
If you’re looking at creative jobs, you might want to consider the verb designed. “This word tells me that the candidate has built something new that did not exist before,” says Amanda B. Gulino, founder of A Better Monday.
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“A job seeker’s goal is to entice the recruiter or search committee member to read more and get excited about their background to elicit an interview invite,” Roller points out. “You know your resume isn’t working if you aren’t getting interviews.” If your current resume isn’t working for you, be flexible in switching it up until you find the right eye-catching combination of words and phrases.
And remember, it’s not just about the verbs. “We love to see candidates stray from ordinary statements,” Pitre says. “It’s not always just about a specific adjective or verb, but everything around it. The best candidates often understand how important it is to share their specific stories, give examples and show how and why they are good at something, rather than just stating that it’s a skill.”
Need a little more inspiration? Here are some of our favorite action verbs to get your resume-updating wheels spinning.
Entry level and above:
Audited, Built, Collaborated, Created, Delivered, Earned, Exceeded, Generated, Identified, Improved, Minimized, Negotiated, Obtained, Outperformed, Planned, Presented, Produced, Redesigned, Reduced, Researched, Solved, Trained, Tested
Manager level and above:
Championed, Coached, Consolidated, Decreased, Enabled, Facilitated, Grew, Hired, Implemented, Instituted, Integrated, Launched, Managed, Mentored, Partnered
Advised, Aligned, Cultivated, Developed, Evaluated, Founded, Guided, Motivated, Transformed
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List of action verbs in alphabetical order to help you write a more proactive resume with more impact.
Identify to ascertain the origin or definitive characteristics of; to affiliate or associate closely with a group or person; to unite.
Illuminate to brighten or provide with light; to decorate with lights; to clarify or make understandable; to enlighten spiritually or intellectually; to endow with splendor or fame; to celebrate.
Illustrate to clarify (especially by use of examples); to make clear or apprehensible; to give honor to; to glorify.
Immerse to devote or engage deeply or fully; to involve; to submerge or dip in a liquid.
Impart to share or give a part; to make known or disclose; to hold a consultation or conference.
Implement to do; to carry out; to bring about; to accomplish; to fulfill.
Import to be significant; to signify; to carry or bring in from an outside source (especially goods or materials for sale or trade); to express.
Impress make someone feel respect and admiration; to affect and impress strongly (especially favorably); make a design or mark on an object using a seal or stamp.
Improve to make or become better; to increase or advance productivity, value or quality.
Improvise to do or perform something extemporaneously; to do something with whatever materials are at hand.
We must improvise, and we must experiment, and we must do things that might go wrong, and everything we bring - the people and the equipment - must serve us in that goal. Flea TWEET THIS
Incorporate to unite with (especially with something that already exists); to embody.
Increase to become or make greater or larger; to multiply.
Index to signal or indicate; to provide with an index.
Individualize to personalize, characterize or differentiate.
Inebriate to excite; to arouse.
Infant to produce or bring forth.
Influence to affect or modify by gentle action.
Inform to instruct or train (especially in matter of knowledge); to make known; to animate or give life to.
Initiate to introduce, commence or begin; to take the initiative.
Innovate to introduce, change or begin something new or fresh.
Input to enter data or information; to contribute.
Inspect to examine carefully, closely and critically.
Inspire to affect, stimulate, guide or arouse; to intensify; to heighten; to inhale; to breath into.
Inspirit to hearten or strengthen; enliven; animate; give new life, impetus or vigor to.
Install to establish; to give a place; to set in position or connect and prepare for use.
Institute to organize; to establish; to initiate; to nominate; to appoint; to begin.
Instruct to advice; to direct; to teach.
Insure to make certain, sure or secure; to arrange or provide with insurance.
Integrate to unite; to unify; to complete; to make part of a larger unit or make into a whole by bringing all parts together; become one or integrated; to admit to equal membership or status in a group, institution or society.
Interact to act together or with others.
Interest to attract or engage attention; to affect; to excite; to concern.
Interface to coordinate or interact smoothly.
Interpret to tell or explain the meaning of; create a likeness or image of.
Intertwine to become, united or joined by twining together.
Intimate to announce, publish, communicate or declare; to hint; disclose discreetly.
Introduce to present or bring forward something (especially for the first time); to begin or open; preface.
Invent to produce, create or design something new; to come upon.
Inventory to create an inventory of.
Investigate to examine; to inquire or observe.
Invigorate make lively; give energy or life to; intensify; heighten.
Invite to entice; to welcome; to request; to encourage.
Involve include; to affect or influence; to entwine; to take in.
Irradiate to illuminate or brighten; to shine; to enlighten or give spiritual insight.
Issue to accrue as profit or proceeds; to proceed or spring from a source; to deliver of send out for use; to publish, circulate or distribute; to be descended or born; to come out or go.
ps. See also positive adjectives starting with i and positive nouns starting with i.
List of Verbs! Learn useful list of 700+ common verbs in English with example sentences and ESL printable worksheets. Learn verbs list with different types classified by their grammatical functions.
In English grammar, verbs are one of the nine parts of speech. A verb is a word or group of words that describes an action, experience or expresses a state of being.
Alphabetical list of verbs in English (from A to Z) with verbs examples.
List of verbs that start with A with verb examples.
List of verbs that start with B with verb examples.
List of verbs that start with C with verb examples.
List of verbs that start with D with verb examples.
List of verbs that start with E with verb examples.
List of verbs that start with F with verb examples.
List of verbs that start with G with verb examples.
List of verbs that start with H with verbs examples.
List of verbs that start with I & J with verbs examples.
List of verbs that start with K with verbs examples.
List of verbs that start with L with verbs examples.
List of verbs that start with M & N with verbs examples.
List of verbs that start with O with verbs examples.
List of verbs that start with P with verbs examples.
List of verbs that start with Q & R with verbs examples.
List of verbs that start with S with verbs examples.
List of verbs that start with T with verbs examples.
List of verbs that start with U & V with verbs examples.
List of verbs that start with W with verbs examples.
Useful list of verbs classified by their grammatical functions.
List of common stative verbs in English
Stative Verbs Examples in English | Image
In English grammar a “dynamic verb” means that the verb describes an action rather than a state. In contrast, a “stative verb” means that the verb describes a state rather than an action.
Dynamic verbs are sometimes known as “action verbs.”
List of Verbs Can be Both Stative and Dynamic Verbs
Stative and Dynamic Verbs Examples | Image
List of modal verbs in English
Modal Verbs Examples in English | Image
Learn useful list of Irregular Verbs in English
Irregular Verbs Examples in English | Image
The three verbals— gerunds, infinitives, and participles—are formed from verbs, but are never used alone as action words in sentences. Instead, verbals function as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs. These verbals are important in phrases.
A participle is a verbal that is used as an adjective and most often ends in -ing or -ed. They function as adjectives, thus participles modify nouns or pronouns.
Learn more how to form Present and Past Participles in English.
Gerunds are verbals that function as nouns and have an –ing ending.
Useful list of Verbs Followed by Gerunds in English
List of Verbs Followed by Gerunds | Image
A to-infinitive is a verbal consisting of to + a verb, and it acts like a subject, direct object, subject complement, adjective, or adverb in a sentence. Infinitives are easy to identify because they’re written with to + a verb.
Useful list of commonly used Verbs Followed by Infinitives
List of Verbs Followed by Infinitives | Image
List of Auxiliary Verbs in English
List of Causative Verbs in English
Causative Verbs Examples | Image
Common English Verbs List | Image 1
English Verbs List | Image 2
Common English Verbs List | Image 3
English Verbs List | Image 4
List of different types of verbs with pictures in English.
List of action verbs commonly used in English.
|Pick up||Kick||Put down|
Learn 450+ Most Common English Verbs List with Pronunciation.
Learn 250+ verb examples with pictures and American English pronunciation.
Action verbs start each sentence off with a bang! The alternative is writing your achievements out in complete sentences, with 'I worked on' and.
Action verbs are verbs that describe the action used to achieve a result. Using these at the beginning of bullet points will make it overwhelmingly clear to any HR the objective and task that was undertaken and how it was achieved.
Resume Genius has a multitude of solutions for improving almost any resume. From resume design to resume formatting, there are many different ways to build an effective resume. One time-tested method for increasing the targeting of your resume is to start each bullet point with a unique action verb.
Here are some examples of bullet points describing the same activity and how they can be improved by simply switching around some words and adding targeted action verbs as well.
“Went to all weekly company meetings to share department news”
“Spearheaded weekly company meetings by communicating departmental growth and productivity.”
*Note above the red example starts with a weak and non-descript verb. By indicating the applicant “went” to meetings they fail to convey any positive information besides stating that they simply complied with what was expected of them.
The second version of the same duty starts with a much more targeted (both figuratively and literally) action verb, indicating leadership, organizational and planning qualities. The applicant continues to target the bullet point by including the golden keyword “communicating” which will surely be picked up my corporate applicant tracking systems (ATS) .
Finally the bullet point is concluded by stating explicitly what was communicated. The first example simply stated vaguely that “news” was shared, whereas the second point specified “departmental growth and productivity” were communicated.
Simply taking a second look at your bland bullet points and figuring out how to write them in the most impactful way can increase a resume’s effectiveness by over 50%.
So, to help you write a better resume Resume Genius has compiled the largest list of action verbs on the Internet. Literally, this is the biggest action verb list you will ever see in your lifetime. Enjoy it at your leisure by either copying and pasting or simply downloading the list in a Microsoft Document format below.Click Here to Download The Longest Action Verb List in the Universe
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Here is the A-Z list of action verbs. If you think of any others, please add them. List of action Verbs Sorted Alphabetically. List of action verbs starting with A.