40 Action Verbs & Other Words To Power Your Resume in 2024

Unlock the full potential of your resume with the power of action words. With our help, you will learn how to transform your resume into a compelling narrative of your achievements and skills, making you stand out to employers. Start making a memorable first impression today with our easy-to-follow tips and examples.

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Why Action Words Matter in Your Resume

When you’re competing in a job market where every candidate is striving to showcase their best attributes, your resume needs to pop.

Action words, or verbs, are the secret sauce that can make your resume stand out. These powerful words transform your experiences and skills into vivid showcases of your accomplishments, portraying you as a proactive and result-oriented candidate.

Instead of merely listing your job duties, action words help you tell a compelling story about how you’ve made a difference in your roles, highlighting your ability to act and achieve.

Understanding Action Words vs. Passive Language

The difference between action words and passive language in a resume can be the deciding factor in capturing a hiring manager’s attention.

Passive language often makes your experiences seem lackluster and can obscure your role in achievements. For example, saying “Was responsible for leading a team…” passively suggests involvement without direct action.

In contrast, action words like “Led a team…” immediately position you as an active participant and leader in your experiences. By using action verbs, you emphasize your initiative and effectiveness, two qualities every employer values.

How to Use Action Verbs Effectively

Crafting Impactful Bullet Points

The most effective resumes use concise and powerful bullet points to describe experiences and accomplishments.

Start each bullet point with a dynamic action verb to grab attention and paint a clear picture of your skills and achievements.

For instance, “Increased sales by 20% within the first quarter by implementing a new strategic marketing plan.”

This bullet point clearly states the action taken and the result achieved, showcasing your initiative and the impact of your work. Remember to keep your bullet points short, impactful, and focused on outcomes.


Tailoring Action Words to Your Industry

The action verbs you choose should resonate with your industry and the position you’re applying for.

Each sector has its jargon and keywords that can make your resume more relevant and appealing to employers in that field.

For example, if you’re in the tech industry, words like “Developed,” “Engineered,” or “Programmed” can be powerful, whereas in sales, terms like “Negotiated,” “Increased,” or “Achieved” might be more appropriate.

Researching job listings in your field can give you insights into the action words that are most effective and expected by employers in your industry.

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Top Resume Action Verbs by Category

Crafting a resume that stands out requires carefully chosen language that highlights your strengths in a way that resonates with hiring managers.

Depending on your skills and experiences, incorporating specific action words related to your capabilities can significantly enhance your resume’s impact.

Here’s a breakdown of top resume action words categorized by the skill sets they best illustrate:

Leadership & Management

Orchestrated: Demonstrates the ability to coordinate complex projects and initiatives.

Championed: Shows how you’ve taken the lead on initiatives or advocated for important changes.

Streamlined: Indicates efficiency improvements, often in processes or procedures, under your leadership.

Empowered: Highlights your ability to give your team the tools and confidence to succeed.

Delegated: Reflects your ability to distribute tasks effectively, trusting in the strengths of your team members.

Creativity & Innovation

Pioneered: Indicates that you initiated a novel idea or project.

Revitalized: Shows how you breathed new life into existing processes, products, or services.

Engineered: Reflects your role in creatively solving problems or designing solutions.

Conceptualized: Demonstrates your ability to dream up and plan out new ideas or projects.

Innovated: Highlights your contribution to new methods, products, or ideas.

Communication & Interpersonal Skills

Mediated: Shows your ability to resolve conflicts between parties or negotiate terms.

Articulated: Indicates your skill in expressing ideas clearly and effectively.

Collaborated: Demonstrates your ability to work effectively with others towards a common goal.

Persuaded: Reflects your ability to convince others to understand your perspective or take action.

Facilitated: Highlights your role in making processes easier or more achievable for others.

Problem-Solving & Efficiency

Analyzed: Indicates your ability to examine data or situations to make informed decisions.

Optimized: Shows your efforts to make processes as effective and efficient as possible.

Resolved: Demonstrates your ability to find solutions to problems.

Enhanced: Highlights improvements you’ve made to increase quality or efficiency.

Simplified: Reflects your ability to make something easier to understand or use.

Technical Skills & Expertise

Programmed: Indicates your capability in writing or modifying computer code.

Designed: Shows your skill in creating visuals, systems, or processes.

Implemented: Demonstrates your ability to put plans or systems into operation.

Managed: Reflects your experience overseeing projects or technologies.

Developed: Highlights your role in creating or expanding projects, programs, or technologies.

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With high-quality, downloadable templates and automated suggestions, our builder will help you showcase your best!


This simple layout features a traditional font and the clever use of section borders to help each section of your resume stand out


This distinctive two-column resume template identifies your name and professional experience in a bold color and clean presentation.


A clever design that breaks each of your professional accomplishments into distinct sections while following a format that will pass applicant tracking systems.


The elegant initials, simple header and strategic use of bullet points in this template help keep your professional accomplishments well-organized.


The bold use of a colorblocked heading paired with an elegant resume layout helps your name and contact information stand out.


This structured design combines a two-column approach with bullet points to highlight your key accomplishments and professional history.


A traditional template uses a crisp combination of dark text and thin borders to radiate professionalism. Your name sits prominently above your professional history.


This template’s design features plenty of whitespace neatly divided by gray bars to make the information on your resume easy to read for employers.


This two-column resume conveys a very clear breakdown of its sections that allows a hiring manager to quickly scan your resume.


The subtle color accents in this template add visual pizzazz in a classy way, a great option for most traditional industries.


This resume’s modern design and bold use of color make it pop. Its uniqueness is well-suited to those seeking jobs in creative industries.


Everything about this template is assertive from the boxy layout to its all-caps heading text that gives the impression that you’re all about business.


The understated contact information at the top puts attention front and center on your professional summary, skills, work experience and education sections.


The subtle use of red alongside black gives this template a bold feel while still featuring plenty of white space to make it easy to read.

Check out our professional resume examples to show you just how you can make a great resume today!

Resume Action Words for Every Career Stage

Crafting your resume with the right action words can set you apart at any career stage.

Whether you’re just starting out, in the midst of your career, or at the executive level, the verbs you choose to describe your experiences and accomplishments play a crucial role in showcasing your capabilities and potential.

Here’s how to select action words that resonate with your career stage:

Entry-Level Applicants

For those entering the workforce or with limited professional experience, it’s important to focus on skills developed through internships, volunteer work, and educational projects:

Assisted: Shows your willingness to help and learn from others.

Created: Demonstrates your ability to produce something new, whether it’s a project, a report, or a creative piece.

Participated: Highlights your involvement in projects or activities, emphasizing teamwork.

Learned: Indicates your capacity to pick up new skills or knowledge.

Initiated: Shows your ability to start something, such as a project or club, demonstrating leadership potential.

Mid-Career Professionals

At this stage, your resume should reflect a growing list of professional accomplishments and an expanding skill set:

Managed: Demonstrates your experience with overseeing projects, teams, or departments.

Improved: Shows how you’ve made processes or outcomes better in your roles.

Developed: Highlights your role in creating or enhancing projects, strategies, or systems.

Led: Indicates leadership roles, even in unofficial capacities, and the ability to guide others towards a goal.

Negotiated: Reflects your ability to reach agreements or find solutions that benefit all parties involved.

Senior Executives

For senior executives, action words should convey strategic leadership, vision, and an impact on overall organizational success:

Directed: Shows your role in guiding significant projects, departments, or entire organizations.

Strategized: Demonstrates your involvement in planning the long-term direction and goals of a company or project.

Transformed: Indicates major changes or improvements you’ve successfully implemented.

Orchestrated: Reflects your ability to coordinate complex efforts involving multiple stakeholders.

Influenced: Highlights your impact on the industry, company policies, or organizational culture.

Examples of Resume Bullet Points with Action Words

Incorporating action words into your resume can transform your job descriptions from passive lists of duties to dynamic narratives of your professional accomplishments.

Below are examples that illustrate the impact of action words through before and after comparisons, as well as examples tailored to specific industries.

Before and After Comparison

Example 1


Responsible for managing a team of sales associates.


Led a team of 10 sales associates to achieve a 15% increase in quarterly sales through strategic sales tactics and team motivation initiatives.

Example 2


Involved in the development of a new client onboarding process.


Spearheaded the creation of a streamlined client onboarding process, enhancing client satisfaction by 25% within the first six months.

Example 3


Assisted in the organization of company events.


Coordinated the logistics for 5+ large-scale company events, each with over 300 attendees, contributing to a 20% improvement in employee satisfaction scores.

Industry-Specific Examples



Worked on software development projects with a team.


Collaborated in a cross-functional team to develop a SaaS application, increasing customer retention rates by 30%.



Responsible for patient care and reporting.


Provided compassionate care for up to 20 patients per day, achieving a 95% patient satisfaction rate through effective communication and timely response to patient needs.



Taught math to high school students.


Engaged 150+ high school students in interactive math lessons, increasing student test scores by an average of 20% over one academic year.



Helped with the company’s social media strategy.


Amplified the company’s online presence by designing and implementing a targeted social media strategy, boosting engagement rates by over 50% across all platforms.



Involved in budget planning for the department.


Directed the annual budget planning process for a $10M department, identifying cost-saving opportunities that resulted in a 5% reduction in expenses without sacrificing operational efficiency.

Tips for Maximizing the Impact of Action Words

Avoiding Overused Verbs

While it’s tempting to stick with familiar verbs like “managed” or “led,” these can become clichéd and lose their impact if overused. To stand out, vary your language by choosing less common synonyms that still accurately describe your role and achievements.

For example, instead of “managed,” you could use “orchestrated,” “mobilized,” or “spearheaded.” This not only keeps the reader’s interest but also demonstrates a broader range of skills and a richer professional experience.

Quantifying Achievements

Numbers speak louder than words. Whenever possible, quantify your achievements with specific figures, percentages, or other metrics that can objectively demonstrate your impact.

For instance, rather than saying you “significantly increased sales,” specify that you “boosted sales by 30% within a year.” This provides concrete evidence of your effectiveness and makes your accomplishments more tangible and impressive to potential employers.

Matching Action Words to Job Descriptions

Tailor your resume for each job application by carefully selecting action words that align with the skills and experiences listed in the job description.

This not only shows that you’ve taken the time to customize your application but also helps you pass through Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that scan for keywords related to the position. If the job ad emphasizes innovation, include verbs like “pioneered” or “transformed” in your resume to reflect those values.

Key Takeaways

          • Diversify Your Verbs: Avoid relying on overused verbs. Explore synonyms that can convey your responsibilities and achievements in a fresh and impactful way.
          • Quantify Your Impact: Wherever possible, use numbers and metrics to quantify your achievements. This adds credibility and allows hiring managers to understand the magnitude of your contributions.
          • Tailor Your Language: Customize the action words and phrases in your resume to match the job description of the position you’re applying for. This increases your chances of passing through Applicant Tracking Systems and resonating with hiring managers.
          • Balance Is Key: While it’s important to incorporate action words, ensure your resume remains balanced. It should accurately reflect your experiences without feeling overstuffed with jargon.
          • Highlight Value: Use action words to highlight the value you brought to your previous roles, focusing on outcomes and improvements. This demonstrates your potential contribution to future employers.
Pro Tip:

Your resume is your personal marketing tool—make every word count to tell the story of your professional journey and aspirations.


Updated: March 15, 2024

While it’s okay to reuse action words across different job applications, it’s crucial to customize your resume for each position. This means varying your language to align with the job description and company culture. By tailoring your action words and achievements to each role, you show potential employers that you’ve thoughtfully considered how your skills match their specific needs.

There’s no set number of action words you should aim for in your resume; the key is to use them effectively. Ensure every bullet point under your experiences starts with a dynamic verb that accurately describes your role or achievement. The goal is to maintain a balance where your resume is engaging and demonstrates your active involvement in your accomplishments without feeling forced or over-embellished.

Not all roles result in easily quantifiable outcomes, but you can still demonstrate impact through descriptive action words and by focusing on your contributions to projects or processes. For example, if you improved a filing system, describe how your new system made retrieval more efficient, even if you can’t attach a specific figure to it. Use verbs that convey improvement, efficiency, or support, like “streamlined,” “enhanced,” or “facilitated,” to highlight your value to the organization.


Conor McMahon, CPRW

Conor McMahon, CPRW

Conor is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) for Hloom.com. He has over three years of professional writing experience as well as experience in professional development training. As a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches (PARWCC) Conor has written on career development topics ranging from resume and cover letter best practices, employer/employee communication, job seeking help, and more. He received his degree in Music Industry at Northeastern University and plays guitar in his free time.

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