If you want to turn your resume into a captivating masterpiece, you need to pay attention to what you’re writing. The best way to make your resume sound appealing is to use proper resume action verbs, power words, and buzzwords. All of these terms are used to describe words that will have a much greater impact on recruiters.
For example, you hear and say the word “expert” every day. It’s functional but bland and forgettable. However, if you use “savvy” or “proficient” instead, you sound much more interesting.
The bottom line is that resume action verbs and other buzzwords turn an ordinary resume into a gripping experience. For this reason, we prepared a list of the most effective action verbs that will help you show creativity right off the bat and stand out in the eyes of your hiring managers.
Resume action verbs act as keywords in the eyes of recruiters. They help you describe your most prominent skills and achievements better.
Some of the best resume action verbs are “Forged,” “Surpassed,” “Modernized,” “Streamlined,” and “Outperformed.”
Resume power words are used to trigger a positive emotional or psychological reaction from the recruiter and grab their attention.
Some of the best resume power words are “Championed,” “Structured,” “Yield,” “Heightened,” and “Instituted”.
Resume power adjectives emphasize specific parts of your resume and keep the reader engaged.
The most prominent resume power adjectives are “Agile,” “Savvy,” “Keen,” “Ardent,” and “Methodical.”
The best way to showcase your professional achievements is to use numbers in combination with power words.
What are Resume Action Verbs?
By definition, action verbs exist to describe an activity or a movement, i.e., to explain what someone or something does. When it comes to resumes, these types of verbs are the best way to show that you’re a doer and an achiever.
Using adequate resume action verbs is the best way to demonstrate your accomplishments. Not only will they show off your abilities in an exciting and compelling way, but they’ll also paint a colorful picture of your achievements while keeping the tone of the resume professional.
It’s worth noting that there are many different action verbs, which means you can always find a proper term for any feat you want to portray. However, keep in mind that some words are more impactful than others. The more information a single action verb is able to convey, the more powerful it is.
Here are 15 examples of good action verbs that you can use to talk about responsibilities:
15 Resume Action Verbs to Explain Responsibilities
What are Resume Power Words?
Power words are the words you can use to trigger a response. Numerous professionals use them since they are rather effective at causing emotional and psychological reactions. Copywriters, for example, use the incredibly persuasive nature of these words to promote products and services and grab customers’ attention.
When writing a resume, you want to use power words that will make you memorable. Smart and creative use of these words will let you stand out from your competition.
Plenty of recruiters have a lot of resumes to go through and never read all of them. Sometimes, they’ll just skim through a resume for as little as 6-7 seconds. That’s one of the many situations where power words shine.
Once the recruiter is focused on your resume, the job of power words is to make the reading enjoyable to the end.
If, for instance, you wanted to show your communicative and team-working skills, try one of the following words:
15 Resume Actions Verbs to Show Communication & Team-Working Skills
How Action Verbs and Power Words Help Your Resume
Action verbs and power words help your resume in more ways than just capturing the hiring manager’s attention. Some companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS). An ATS is a piece of software that helps recruiters find the best candidates by scanning through a large number of resumes.
The software is more likely to accept your resume if it has a good number of strong power words. It sees some of them as keywords essential for your success. So, if your resume contains them, you have good chances of passing the scan. However, you should note that it’s only the first step.
Once a recruiter has your resume, action verbs and power words will show them that you’re unique and that you don’t blend in with the crowd. Everyone wants to show their qualifications, skills, and results in their resume. However, the majority of people are equal in all the fields, so it can be pretty hard to stand out from other applicants.
So, dress your resume up with action verbs and power words, and you’ll definitely make a good first impression on the hiring managers. After all, triggering an emotional or psychological response from a recruiter will take you one step further to your dream job!
The Ultimate List of 345+ Resume Action Verbs and Power Words
Ready to enrich your resume with some impactful action verbs and power words? Here’s a comprehensive list containing the best ones, listed based on the information that they convey. Some words describe certain characteristics, while others are used in different lines of work.
25 Resume Action Verbs for Listing Accomplishments
Here are the 25 best action verbs to describe your proudest achievements:
25 Resume Action Verbs for Implementing Change & Improvements
Display your inventiveness with these 25 top action verbs:
Variety is key when using action words in a resume. However, make sure you don’t use too many obscure or unusual words, as you risk making your resume appear unprofessional or illegible.
20 Resume Action Verbs for Having Reached Goals
Here are the 20 best action verbs to use to describe how you achieve your goals:
97. Put into effect
20 Resume Action Verbs for Having Raised Funds
If you have worked on raising funds, here are the 20 best action verbs to describe your endeavors:
108. Made official
20 Resume Action Verbs for Having Outperformed KPIs
Use these 20 top resume action verbs to describe the time you surpassed key performance indicators:
Many action verbs and power words are interchangeable. You can use them in different cases and situations. Just because they are listed in one group, does not mean they are exclusive to it.
15 Resume Action Verbs for Managers
To emphasize your skills as a manager, use some of these 15 top resume action verbs:
15 Resume Action Verbs for Team Leaders
If you’re an avid team leader, these 15 action verbs will help you point that out:
15 Resume Action Verbs for Product Owners
Embellish your product owner resume with these 15 top action verbs:
Certain power words and action verbs are synonymous. If you have to, use different variants of the same action verb to keep your resume fresh and not be repetitive.
15 Resume Action Verbs for Communicators
Put your communication skills on display with one of these 15 resume action verbs:
15 Resume Action Verbs for Researchers
If you’re a competent researcher, one of these 15 action verbs will help you highlight that:
15 Resume Power Words for Entry-Level Roles
Make your entry-level position resume stand out by dressing it up with these 15 power words:
Use everything in moderation. Don’t fill your resume with power words for the sake of it. The more you use them, the less value they carry. Make sure your resume only has power words where they are needed.
15 Resume Power Words for Junior Roles
If you’re a junior who wants to make a strong impression on recruiters, use these 15 top power words:
232. Level Headed
15 Resume Power Words for Senior Executive Roles
Senior executives can accentuate their experience and accomplishments by using these 15 resume power words:
When using power words, be careful not to appear pretentious. Use these words to emphasize your skills and achievements without exaggeration. Don’t go for over-the-top words like “demolished” or “destroyed.”
10 Resume Power Words for Administrative Positions
Create an impactful administrative resume by using some of these 10 power words:
10 Resume Power Words for Marketing Positions
Highlight your skills as a marketer with the 10 top resume power words:
279. Under budget
10 Resume Power Words for Business & Management Positions
These 10 resume power words will help underline your business and management skills:
Use a healthy mix of both generic and industry-specific power words. That way, you get the best of both worlds by showing creativity while painting yourself in a good light.
10 Resume Power Words for Hospitality Positions
These 10 power words will emphasize your hospitality traits and enhance your resume:
10 Resume Power Words for Customer Support Positions
If you’re applying for a customer support position, use these 10 power words to stand out from the competition:
10 Resume Power Words for Sales Positions
10 Resume Power Words for Sales Positions
Here are the top 10 resume power words to revamp your sales position resume:
Show, don’t tell. Instead of merely talking about your abilities, use power words to display your achievements. Show exactly what you did and how your actions yielded results.
10 Resume Power Words for Education Jobs
Check out these top 10 power words to make your education resume eye-catching:
10 Resume Power Words for Medical Jobs
If you're applying for a job in the medical field, using these 10 power words will help you go a long way:
10 Resume Power Words for Finance & Accounting Jobs
To best showcase your proficiency in accounting and finance, use these 10 resume power words:
Research the job posting, the hiring manager, and the company you’re applying to. Using action verbs and power words relatable to the position and the recruiter will carry the most impact.
10 Resume Power Words for IT Jobs
Make your IT resume stand out with these 10 catchy power words:
10 Resume Power Words for Engineering Jobs
These top 10 power words will help transform your engineering resume:
10 Resume Power Words for Creative Jobs
Show creativity right from the start with these 10 best resume power words:
This is an extensive list of action verbs and power words, but there are always more. Feel free to be creative and embellish your resume with a personal touch, as long as you follow the guidelines.
Which Action Verbs and Power Words Should You Use in Your Resume?
When used properly, action verbs and power words are capable tools for resume-building. Utilizing them to their full extent is all about balance.
For starters, find a healthy mix of broad and specific power words. For example, use general power words to talk about your soft skills and people skills. Then, to cover all bases, add action verbs and power words that are specific to your industry.
Also, don’t put a large number of power words in the same spot. Spread them throughout the resume. While doing so, don’t repeat the same term more than necessary, even when they are far apart. There are plenty of synonyms that you can use. That way, you keep your resume interesting and the recruiter reading it engaged.
Lastly, with so many power words out there, it’s tempting to add one synonym after the next to your resume. Don’t overdo it and make sure you fully understand every term that you use.
How to Use Action Verbs and Power Words with Numbers?
It’s crucial to use numbers with resume action words. Showing quantifiable results is much more effective than talking about abstract achievements. Instead of talking about the “increased number of sales," say that you “boosted sales by 25%.”
The difference is obvious. The second example is much more likely to impress your hiring manager. Feel free to use numbers whenever you have the opportunity. It’s one of the best ways to prove you’d become a valuable addition to their company.
On the other hand, while numbers are powerful when used with resume action words, they need to be accurate. Make sure to only use numbers when you have evidence to back them up. If the recruiter asks you to expand on that part of your resume, you need to show concrete data. Otherwise, you create a counter effect and come off as insincere.
How to Use Action Verbs and Power Words in Your Resume Sections
Resume action verbs and power words need to be relevant and used in moderation. Spread them out and make sure every term relates to the skill, experience, or achievement you’re describing.
How to Use Resume Power Words in Your Resume Summary/Objective
A resume summary sits at the top of a resume. It’s the first thing hiring managers see, so it’s one of the resume’s most important sections. You only have a couple of sentences to talk about your relevant skills and achievements to convince the recruiter to keep reading. As a result, you want to use the most impactful power words here.
Since you only have a few lines of text to work with, every word is extremely important. Focus on your biggest strengths related to the position that you’re applying for. Then, use the most effective power words in your arsenal. Don’t insert too many of these terms and don’t use the most common ones.
How to Use Resume Power Words in Your Work Experience Section
Many recruiters think the most important part of your resume is the part about your work history. Because of that, it’s essential to use the right power words in it.
This is the section where you’ll list your previous employers, positions, skills, and more. Use industry-specific power words to describe your former positions and the results you achieved.
Mix it up with effective general power words to describe skills that you’ve learned. Make sure the information is relevant to the position you’re applying for, and be as detailed as you can.
How to Use Resume Power Words in Your Accomplishments Section
The accomplishment section of your resume can also make you stand out from the competition. It’s your chance to show off any achieved milestones in your professional or personal life. Use power words to emphasize the most important parts of the accomplishment section.
The hiring manager is looking for the achievements that make you a better candidate for the position. You can leave a lasting impression on the recruiter by emphasizing the relevant ones in your resume and employing strong power words.
Accomplishments are incredibly effective because they show tangible results. It’s even better for your resume if you manage to combine power words with numbers to show these, as long as the information is backed up by concrete evidence.
How to Use Resume Power Words in Your Skills Section
The skills section is another part of your resume where hiring managers spend more time. They look for the skills relevant to the role in their company. Getting this section right goes a long way in getting you to the next stage of the interview process.
The skills section of a resume is where many people use similar terms. That’s why it is more important than ever to use creative and compelling power words. That way, your list can have the same skills as a lot of other candidates, yet it can still be distinct and memorable.
What are Resume Power Adjectives
Power adjectives are like resume action verbs and power words but can be used in more ways. They describe nouns or pronouns and further emphasize personal skills and professional achievements.
Power adjectives can be used throughout the whole resume. A good adjective can turn an ordinary sentence into an unforgettable one. Instead of saying, “I did some research,” try “I did extensive research.” Adjectives turn “very important” into “vital” and “very respected” into “prestigious.”
Smart use of power adjectives creates a captivating resume that the recruiter will enjoy reading. Using different kinds of adjectives keeps you from repeating yourself and keeps the reader engaged and interested in what you have to say. The more time the recruiter spends reviewing your resume, the more chances of success you have!
Best 30 Power Adjectives to Use in Your Resume
Here are the 30 most impactful power adjectives that will take your resume to a whole new level:
What are Resume Buzzwords?
Buzzwords create, well, buzz. They are smart, memorable, and just unconventional enough to grab someone’s attention. When used properly, buzzwords can help you pass the ATS with ease. They are also more than likely to pique a recruiter’s interest and get them to look into your resume more closely.
Buzzwords can be synonymous with resume action verbs and power words. Their goal is to be incredibly catchy and easily remembered. For example, an advertising agent might say in their resume that they fortified a brand’s position in the market. “Fortify” is an uncommon yet highly impactful word that is bound to improve your chances with the recruiter.
On the flip side, certain buzzwords are overused and can produce a countereffect. Avoid portraying yourself as a hard worker or go-getter.
Steer clear of adjectives such as “super,” “great,” or “excellent.” You can find these terms in the vast majority of resumes—and no, they aren’t nearly as effective as they seem. The recruiters are used to them, so they’ll simply glance over them and move on. Replace them with more exciting synonyms or cut them entirely. That way, you’ll rise above an average candidate and be one step closer to acing the interview.
15 Resume Buzzwords to Use in Your Resume
Here are the 15 catchiest buzzwords for your resume:
15 Resume Buzzwords to Avoid in Your Resume
Avoid putting any of these 15 buzzwords in your resume. Instead, use some of the examples mentioned above:
428. Hard worker
429. Strategic thinker
430. Outside the box
431. Responsible for
434. Specialized in
437. Team Player
438. Detail Oriented
Buzzwords, resume action words, and power adjectives are potent weapons in a job candidate’s arsenal. When used properly, they can transform an ordinary resume into a riveting experience.
These terms help you pass the screening test, make you more memorable to the hiring managers, and give you a head start in the recruitment process.
We’ve listed 435+ power words, verbs, and adjectives to choose from. Study them thoroughly and you’ll find plenty that may suit your resume. And, needless to say, these will also help you land your dream job in no time!
Resume Action Words FAQ
#1. How can I make my resume stand out?
Power words are an excellent way to make your resume stand out. Avoid using the most common terms like “expert” or “super” because they aren’t catchy, and recruiters tend to ignore them. Instead, use impactful words like “savvy” or “clear-cut”. A creative way of presenting yourself will make your resume memorable and give you much higher chances of success.
#2. What are good verbs for a resume?
Good resume action verbs explain not only what you did but also how you did it. Instead of simply mentioning that you were leading a team, talk about how you gathered a group, accomplished a task, and delivered the results. Avoid ordinary, overused action verbs and focus on less common, more creative terms.
#3. What are good action words for a resume?
There are both good general and industry-specific action words. Depending on the position you’re applying for, the line of work, and your skills and achievements, you can choose from a host of unique, high-quality action words.
For increased productivity, use terms like “amplified” or "enhanced." For doing research, use "compiled," “examined,” or "quantified." These are just some of the hundreds of good action words to mold your resume into perfection.
#4. How can I showcase my accomplishments on a resume?
Focus on your accomplishments related to the position and the company you’re applying to. Also, you can use numbers to quantify the results when you have concrete data to back them up. That way, you’ll make a strong impression on the recruiter and show that you produce actual results.
#5. What are strong action verbs you can use in a resume?
Strong action verbs portray you as an enthusiastic and determined person. Use “orchestrated” or “spearheaded” if you led a project. Or explain how you “digitized” and “integrated” a project while improving it.
#6. What words should you avoid on a resume?
Avoid overused buzzwords that have lost all meaning. Power words that the majority of candidates use will not grab the recruiter’s attention and will make you blend in with the rest. Similarly, avoid using power words to only describe your skills without showing actual results. Finally, don’t use unprofessional buzzwords, cliches, and nonsensical jargon.