Using Action Verbs

Action verbs (in the present tense for things you are currently doing, past tense for past roles) are a great way to convey your achievement in a dynamic way. This categorized list contains just a few of the many action verbs you can use to compose concise, persuasive, reader-centered resumes plus cover letters and other types of workplace documents. The most powerful verbs will be those that are directly related to your field and inspired by the position description. Use their language when possible!

Communication Skills

Negotiated price reductions of up to 30% with key suppliers
Interpreted sales and EBITDA from the company’s annual report
Translated all relevant company information into French, Spanish and Catalan

Examples: Advocated, Clarified, Corresponded, Encouraged, Interpreted, Negotiated, Persuaded, Presented, Publicized, Solicited, Spoke, Translated

Creative Skills

Created an interior design layout for a 500 square foot retail venue
Introduced a new method of navigating through the A+ Software Program
Presented a new design project using rapid prototyping

Examples: Acted, Applied, Composed, Created, Established, Founded, Improvised, Introduced, Navigated, Originated, Presented

Data / Financial Skills

Computed and recorded inventory valuation on a monthly basis
Documented inventory counts at the end of each working day
Verified the amount owed to the creditor in the Accounts Payable account

Examples: Adjusted, Allocated, Budgeted, Compared, Computed, Counted, Documented, Estimated, Forecasted, Inventoried, Invested, Predicted, Projected, Quantified, Recorded, Retrieved, Verified

Helping Skills

Assisted customers with choosing appropriate products
Trained new employees in the plant through demonstration techniques
Volunteered in the nursing home every weekend to serve the community

Examples: Aided, Assisted, Built, Demonstrated, Facilitated, Familiarized, Helped, Performed, Represented, Solved, Supported, Trained, Upheld, Volunteered, Worked

Management / Leadership Skills

Administered a variety of surveys to collect data about the employees
Implemented a safety communication program to promote safety awareness
Recommended an alternative solution to one of the company's problems

Examples: Achieved, Administered, Assigned, Attained, Challenged, Coordinated, Decided, Delegated, Established, Executed, Handled, Headed, Implemented, Incorporated, Intervened, Launched, Led, Managed, Mediated, Motivated, Organized, Oversaw, Planned, Prioritized, Recommended, Scheduled, Supervised, United

Efficiency Skills

Eliminated unnecessary cost of each unit of production
Maximized profits by 15% during the month of July
Heightened the level of employee moral through program incentives

Examples: Accelerated, Allocated, Boosted, Centralized, Downsized, Edited, Eliminated, Enhanced, Expanded, Expedited, Heightened, Lessened, Leveraged, Maximized, Merged, Optimized, Outlined, Outsourced, Prevented, Prioritized, Reorganized, Reduced, Revised, Simplified, Standardized, Stream-lined, Synthesized, Systematized, Upgraded

Research Skills

Examined a new mechanism that may reduce sickness on the campus
Identified a major defect in a microscopic organism last month
Surveyed a group of Purdue students with regard to Product A

Examples: Analyzed, Collected, Compared, Controlled, Detected, Diagnosed, Evaluated, Examined, Gathered, Identified, Investigated, Located, Measured, Organized, Reported, Replicated, Researched, Reviewed, Searched, Surveyed, Wrote

Teaching Skills

Defined a new product strategy and discussed how it would be implemented
Instructed warehouse trainees on how to reduce inventory and raise net sales
Prepared a tutorial manual for an English class last semester

Examples: Aided, Advised, Clarified, Communicated, Defined, Developed, Encouraged, Evaluated, Facilitated, Fostered, Guided, Helped, Incorporated, Informed, Initiated, Instructed, Lectured, Prepared, Supported, Supervised, Stimulated, Taught

Technical Skills

Assembled an entire computer programming simulation for my CPT course
Designed a new form of Widget C for a manufacturing facility
Programmed three new computer programs tailored for a network system

Examples: Analyzed, Assembled, Built, Calculated, Computed, Conducted, Designed, Devised, Engineered, Maintained, Operated, Programmed, Reengineered, Remodeled, Transmitted

Source: Purdue Online Writing Lab
For many more examples, see Resumes 101 link in the Resources section


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