Top Resume Words, Power Words, Adjectives, and Action Verbs

What are resume words? Or action verbs? Adjectives? Power words? When creating a resume, word choice is actually a crucial component to keep in mind.

In this article, we're going to show you exactly what words you should be including in your resume to make your resume stand out.

resume words

What are resume words?

Every section of your resume is going to require you to have good word choice. And yes, we mean every section. From your job description to your resume summary or resume objective, the thing that's going to make you stand out from other job applicants are the words you use in your resume.

Resume writing is a real career for this exact reason. It's not as easy as doing a job search, looking through job postings, finding one you like, and then submitting an old resume with poorly written job duties from a past job. No.

You need to tailor your resume to each job you apply for and use good resume words that will impress the hiring manager.

What are action verbs?

Words that express an activity are called action verbs. Action verbs are utilized in a resume to emphasize your abilities, experience, and accomplishments. They are detailed, explain your accomplishments, and give your CV a strong tone. Using distinctive and compelling action verbs can improve your chances of catching an employer's attention and progressing to the next phase in the hiring process. Consider the following scenario:

resume wordsLacks strength: “Held weekly status meetings to provide client updates.”

Detailed and empowered: “Led weekly status meetings to communicate revenue growth at the agency.”

Can you see how the second choice is more comprehensive and powerful? Your contribution will be obvious and effective thanks to the action verbs.

What are power words?

Words or phrases that assist a job applicant's resume stand out from the crowd are known as resume power words. They are generally striking action phrases that assist explain duties and obligations that have been undertaken in previous positions.

Furthermore, the terms emphasize the applicant's eligibility for the position as well as his skills. Resume power phrases may assist convince recruiters to give an applicant an interview, or perhaps push them over the top in winning the job, because a resume is the initial way of marketing oneself to a potential employer.

Why use action verbs and power words

Various sectors now utilize keywords to define the type of work that is done. Writing action phrases that are among the industry's recommended keywords may be quite advantageous to the application.

Recruiters and employers are looking for a set of action phrases or power words that job candidates utilize. Including such words in your CV might improve your chances of landing the job.

resume wordsMake your resume stand with powerful resume words

You want your resume to make a lasting impression. You can your resume to show value to the company you're applying for.

Therefore, you need to use good adjectives, action words, and powerful words. And don't worry, we're going to show you exactly what words to use.

Great words on your resume summary make for a great resume

Oftentimes, the first thing a hiring manager is going to read on your resume is your resume summary.

Therefore, you need to make a lasting impression through your resume words.

Use resume power words and resume buzzwords

Language fluency is crucial to your resume.

Therefore, you need to be aware of how you are wording yourself and your professional achievements.

Instead of calling yourself a hard worker, team player or a go getter. Think of strong resume words to put in their place or simply strong adjectives to strengthen these resume keywords.

Here are some power words that may impress hiring managers:

Example:
  • Expert innovative specialized in...
  • Self starter with a knowledge and passion of...
  • Creative multi-faceted go getter in...
  • Experienced professional with thought leadership experience in...
  • Strategic thinker working in...
  • Passionate team player ready to gain knowledge in...
  • Motivated hard worker with experience in...

These are all great examples of words you can use to describe yourself on your resume.

Pro Tip

Just remember, always use words that showcase your relevant experience, extensive experience and professional experience in your field.

Career experts on a career blog will tell us every time; the words you use on your resume can make or break your resume.

Therefore, it's necessary to use resume action words, and more specifically, resume action verbs when writing your job description bullet points.

resume wordsUse resume action words and resume action verbs when describing your work history

The way you describe your work history is what makes a good resume from a generic resume. And it all has to do with which passive verbs you use to show a prospective employer you're the perfect match for a job.

Pro Tip

Sometimes, you can get power verbs right from the job listing itself. The words you see in job descriptions are often common resume buzzwords that you can include in your own resume if you have experience with them in past jobs. So, if it's included in the job posting, these are good words to use on your resume, too.

What are power verbs and resume action verbs?

Regardless of what job you're applying for, a job requires you to include in your resume format a work experience section. While the company you worked for is only important sometimes, the words you use to describe the tasks you completed while working for the company are always essential.

The best words you can use to describe these actions are power verbs. In other words, action verbs.

In each bullet point, you write detailing to hiring managers your experience in your resume, you need to use action verbs.

So, now, we're going to present you with some boosting revenue action words and action verbs to use in your resume.

Example:

Instead of saying "led" or "managed" when you've led a project, say this:
  • Coordinated
  • Executed
  • Headed
  • Operated
  • Orchestrated
  • Organized
  • Oversaw
  • Planned
  • Produced
Instead of saying "created" when you created a project, say this:
  • Built
  • Designed
  • Engineered
  • Established
  • Envisioned
  • Founded
  • Initiated
  • Implemented
Instead of saying you "increased" efficiency in a company, say this:
  • Accelerated
  • Achieved
  • Advanced
  • Amplified
  • Boosted
  • Capitalized
  • Delivered
  • Enhanced
  • Expedited
Instead of saying "saved" a company time or money, say this:
  • Conserved
  • Decreased
  • Deducted
  • Lessened
  • Reconciled
  • Reduced
Instead of saying you "supported" customers in a company, say this:
  • Advised
  • Advocated
  • Coached
  • Consulted
  • Educated
  • Fielded
  • Informed

And, honestly, the list goes on and on and on... We're sure there's an example for any kind of power word you can think of that can make your resume a great resume.

resume wordsJust never forget the importance of resume action verbs and how action verbs can elevate your resume.

Using resume power words and resume action words to describe your specific skills

Besides every good resume having a good action word, or preferably, always, more than just one. A good resume also needs to have power words in the skills section of the resume.

It's important to always list relevant skills on your resume, and list them in a way that really shows how experienced you are.

The words you decide to use to describe your skills are just as important as the words you use on any other part of your resume.

So, let's talk about what skills you should include on your resume.

First of all, skills can be separated into categories: hard skills and soft skills.

Hard skills are the ones that are more hands-on to the job you're applying while soft skills are more universal skills that can be applied to any job.

Let's focus on soft skills.

Here's an example, or a few examples, of soft skills you should include in your resume.

Example:

Having these skills on your resume will impress all hiring managers, and these are skills you can include in your cover letter as well.

So, with that, let's get into the words you should include in your cover letters.

Words to use that are resume buzzwords on a cover letter

Along with your resume, hiring managers will often ask you to turn in a cover letter as well, and the words you put on here are especially important.

Cover letters are letters of introduction that use to showcase who you are to a company, why you want to work with them and why they should hire you.

With that said, there are a lot of words that go into a cover letter and it's crucial that you write this as best you can.

So, let's look at an example.

resume wordsExample:

Dear Susan,

I'm delighted to submit my resume and cover letter for this position. I'm a long term admirer of the business. I was following John's founding story since 2011. Trying to have a significant impact on the financial health of our youth is something I'm very passionate about.

My precise attention to detail skills will be pivotal in this role. And I'm very excited to share some success stories with you. In my prior roles, I was able to provide administrative assistance to our executive team, helping to organize our office vendor relationships, consolidate budgets, and move our company culture forward.

I have over six years of experience in this field. And I'm looking forward to the opportunity to work with you.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Brian

As you can see here, the words used in the cover letter are resume power words and resume action words that show the person viewing it at this person is quite passionate about the opportunity to work here.

There's the use of specific vocabulary pertaining to the job posting and there are especially a bunch of resume power words and resume action words used, like long-term admirer, precise attention to detail, I'm delighted to submit, and, of course, thank you for your time and consideration.

Action verbs and resume words list

Words to reference when building your resume.

Action verbs to showcase accomplishments:

  • Achieved
  • Amplified
  • Attained
  • Capitalized
  • Chaired
  • Consolidated
  • Deciphered
  • Decreased
  • Discerned
  • Drove
  • Enacted
  • Endeavored
  • Established
  • Exceeded
  • Founded
  • Pioneered
  • Outperformed
  • Overhauled
  • Sharpened
  • Shattered
  • Sparked
  • Spearheaded
  • Steered
  • Stimulated
  • Streamlined
  • Strengthened
  • Supervised
  • Surpassed

Action verbs to explain responsibilities:

  • Accelerated
  • Accomplished
  • Analyzed
  • Assembled
  • Built
  • Charted
  • Created
  • Constructed
  • Coordinated
  • Delivered
  • Developed
  • Executed
  • Expanded
  • Facilitated
  • Finalized
  • Forged
  • Guided
  • Handled
  • Headed
  • Improved
  • Increased
  • Initiated
  • Implemented
  • Instituted
  • Navigated
  • Negotiated
  • Operated
  • Organized
  • Produced
  • Prepared
  • Reached
  • Simplified
  • Secured
  • Succeeded in
  • Undertook
  • Volunteered

Action verbs to express communication skills:

  • Briefed
  • Campaigned
  • Collaborated
  • Clarified
  • Composed
  • Conveyed
  • Convinced
  • Corresponded
  • Documented
  • Defined
  • Enlivened
  • Instructed
  • Illustrated
  • Influenced
  • Meditated
  • Moderated
  • Negotiated
  • Performed
  • Presented
  • Promoted
  • Publicized
  • Spoke
  • Trained

Action verbs for creative experience:

  • Authored
  • Brainstormed
  • Communicated
  • Conceptualized
  • Curated
  • Customized
  • Derived
  • Designed
  • Diagramed
  • Drafted
  • Edited
  • Illustrated
  • Imagined
  • Influenced
  • Inspired
  • Intensified
  • Modeled
  • Proofread
  • Published
  • Redesigned
  • Researched
  • Strategized
  • Storyboarded
  • Translated
  • Transformed
  • Visualized
  • Wrote

Action verbs for sales experience:

  • Acquired
  • Boosted
  • Captured
  • Conserved
  • Converted
  • Earned
  • Gained
  • Generated
  • Maximized
  • Negotiated
  • Outpaced
  • Won
  • Yielded

Action verbs for leadership and management:

  • Advised
  • Aligned
  • Arranged
  • Augmented
  • Authored
  • Centralized
  • Championed
  • Cultivated
  • Chaired
  • Differentiated
  • Directed
  • Empowered
  • Enabled
  • Endorsed
  • Enforced
  • Ensured
  • Forecasted
  • Formalized
  • Formed
  • Fostered
  • Furthered
  • Guided
  • Headed
  • Hired
  • Identified
  • Implemented
  • Integrated
  • Inspired
  • Leveraged
  • Made
  • Mentored
  • Merged
  • Motivated
  • Orchestrated
  • Optimized
  • Operated
  • Predicted
  • Reconciled
  • Reduced
  • Refocused
  • Renovated
  • Reorganized
  • Replaced
  • Resolved
  • Restructured
  • Revitalized
  • Shaped
  • Supervised
  • Spearheaded
  • Sustained
  • Trained

Action verbs for experience with finance:

  • Audited
  • Calculated
  • Classified
  • Collected
  • Equalized
  • Evaluated
  • Dispensed
  • Halted
  • Investigated
  • Lowered
  • Maintained
  • Minimized
  • Recognized
  • Secured

Action verbs for technical experience:

  • Advanced
  • Architected
  • Automated
  • Achieved
  • Coded
  • Deployed
  • Detected
  • Devised
  • Diagnosed
  • Discovered
  • Engineered
  • Enhanced
  • Enacted
  • Expedited
  • Formulated
  • Generated
  • Installed
  • Improved
  • Launched
  • Modified
  • Maximized
  • Networked
  • Outpaced
  • Planned
  • Programmed
  • Remodeled
  • Rewrote
  • Refined
  • Tested
  • Troubleshoot
  • Updated
  • Upgraded

Best words to use on a resume:

  • Astute
  • Adaptable
  • Agile
  • Augmented
  • Diligent
  • Reliable
  • Meticulous
  • Ingenious
  • Devoted
  • Dynamic
  • Determined
  • Organized
  • Sincere
  • Honest
  • Knowledgeable
  • Persistent

Tips when using action verbs, power words, and more

Best tips when using these resume words.

Make it unobtrusive

Don't go overboard. Power words should not be used throughout the resume. They should be used sparingly and subtly by applicants. To make the resume fluid and simple to read, each sentence should only contain one power word or action word.

Excessive use of power phrases may give the impression that the candidate is attempting too hard, which may turn off the employer or recruiter.

Only use phrases that you are acquainted with

Recruiters examine everything on a CV, especially the applicant's abilities and previous duties, so job seekers should be aware of this.

If they are unsure about something, they will ask the candidate to clarify it during the interview. It will be quite beneficial to be certain about the terminology utilized.

Use bullets to organize your resume's key words

Bulleted writing is generally more striking since it is shorter. Because it is brief, the reader is likely to read the full section of the resume.

Do not make the same mistake twice

Redundant terms can be annoying, and they might also indicate a lack of vocabulary on the part of the candidate. Even if the recruiter does not believe this, duplication or repetition is tedious.

The English language is full of words, and those who have the ability to utilize them effectively leave a lasting impression.

Make use of measurable words

For example, the phrases "changed" and "helped" can be found on a cv/resume. They are action words, but because they aren't particular, they can't be quantified. What kind of adjustment was made?

It's preferable to use phrases like "decreased," "increased," or "added," and to pair them with specific quantifiers, such as "decreased operating expenditures by 26%."

Disseminate the key words

Use powerful language throughout the CV, including the job description and abilities list, as well as the cover letter.

Conclusion

The resume words you decide to use on your resume will be one of the determining factors of if you get hired or not.

With that said, always be aware of the words you use on your resume.

Remember, use resume power words and resume action words to boost your chances of standing out from the crowd.

And remember, too, you can always come back to the article and look at an example.

resume words

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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