340+ Resume Action Verbs And Power Words [Complete list]

November 14
10 min read

Language matters in a resume.

Imagine this:

You’re a busy HR manager, and you read hundreds, even thousands, of resumes every day.

And every single one of them sounds the same.

“Responsible for”

“Critical Thinker”

“Team Player”

You’re bound to see these words on just about every single resume.

And guess what? They’re boring.

That’s where power words come in. They make your responsibilities and achievements really pop!

So, do you want your resume to really stand out? Use some of these 340+ action words:

action words

In this guide, we’re going to cover:

  • Why Power Words Matter
  • How to use Resume Action Words [+Examples & Tips]
  • 340+ Resume Action Verbs And Power Words [w/ Examples]
  • Resume Power Adjectives
  • Resume Buzzwords to Avoid

Why Power Words Matter 

Power words help show off your top achievements in the best way possible.

Don’t believe us? Let’s compare an example with and without power words.

Correct Example

  • Spearheaded company X’s content marketing operations.

Incorrect Example

  • Responsible for content marketing at company X.

See the difference?

Both of these examples say exactly the same thing.

The main difference is that the second wording makes you seem a LOT more competent.

Pro Tip

Something to keep in mind - power words, action words, action verbs, and so on are synonyms. So, don’t be surprised to see that we use them interchangeably in this article!

Other than allowing you to stand out, action words can also be used to say one thing in different ways. We’ve seen way too many resumes that have “Responsible for” all over the place!

So, instead of:

Incorrect Examples:

  • Responsible for managing company X’s Instagram account.
  • Responsible for connecting with influencers in the niche.

You could say:

Correct Example

  • Managed company X’s Instagram account.
  • Connected with popular influencers in the niche.

In this article, we have conveniently grouped 340+ action words to help you upgrade your resume descriptions:

  • Resume Power Words for Team Work and Communication
  • Resume Action Words Management and Leadership Achievements
  • Resume Power Words to Showcase your Creativity
  • Resume Power Words for Problem Solving Accomplishments
  • Resume Action Verbs for Research, Analysis, and Planning
  • Resume Power Verbs for “Support”
  • Resume Power Words to Use Instead of “Improved”
  • Resume Power Words to Use Instead of “Responsible For”
  • Resume Action Words to Use Instead of “Worked On”
  • Resume Action Verbs that Mean “Use”
  • Resume Power Adjectives

How to use Resume Action Words [+Examples & Tips]

Action words can really spice up your resume if done right.

Now, we’re going to explain all the do's and don’t of using power verbs...

Which power words should you use? 

The type of power words you use will depend on the position you are applying for. 

Do a detailed scan of the job posting and single out the key responsibilities and requirements. 

Determine which of your abilities and experiences apply to those job requirements. 

Then, look for power words in our list that describe those achievements. 

Pretty straightforward, right?

Although the power words will be specific to the position you are applying for, there are some general rules to follow: 

  • Choose resume power words that can be measured. This way you can follow the power word with a tangible achievement, for example: “enhanced customer base by 35%.”
  • Don’t use subjective words. “I’m amazing at”, “I’m incredible at” aren’t as pleasing to hear as you might think. These statements make you appear self-involved, which recruiters find appalling. Don’t tell them you’re amazing, show them with a measurable power word!

How often should you use power words? 

Sadly, just like with anything good in life, action words will lose their value if you overdo it. Instead of power words, they’ll just look like sprinkled mambo-jumbo that doesn’t mean anything.

Also, your resume is swamped with power words, your hiring manager might get turned off and think you’re trying too hard. 

A good rule to follow is to not add more than one or two action verbs in a sentence. 

Use them appropriately and moderately. 

340+ Resume Action Verbs And Power Words [w/ Examples]

Resume Power Words for Teamwork and Communication

If your job was to give guidance or communicate information to a team, you:

  • 1. Advised
  • 2. Advocated
  • 3. Clarified
  • 4. Corresponded
  • 5. Defined
  • 6. Gathered
  • 7. Ignited
  • 8. Informed
  • 9. Interpreted
  • 10. Persuaded
  • 11. Publicized

Example:

  • Gathered external data for the project-planning personnel and advised on the implementation of capital projects. 

When you were part of a team:

  • 12. Aided
  • 13. Enabled
  • 14. Encouraged
  • 15. Facilitated
  • 16. Fostered
  • 17. Inspired
  • 18. Supported
  • 19. Collaborated

Example:

  • Made a $6M merger through collaboration with an international team.

When you supervised a team: 

  • 20. Guided
  • 21. Evaluated
  • 22. Instructed
  • 23. Mentored
  • 24. Motivated
  • 25. Regulated
  • 26. Taught

Example:

  • Mentored 5 startup founders in the last 2 years. 

Resume Action Words for Management and Leadership Achievements

When you reach a goal:

  • 27. Achieved
  • 28. Attained
  • 29. Strengthened
  • 30. Initiated
  • 31. Coordinated
  • 32. Developed
  • 33. Managed
  • 34. Orchestrated

Examples:

  • Coordinated data integrity within the company’s applicant tracking system. 
  • Strengthened the sales and service culture through coaching and guidance. 

When you gave a different approach to solving a problem:

  • 35. Implemented
  • 36. Recommended
  • 37. Overhauled
  • 38. Improved
  • 39. Streamlined 
  • 40. Prioritized

Example:

  • Improved and tuned networking equipment and overall computer network. 

When you worked with other people:

  • 41. Motivated
  • 42. Supervised
  • 43. Delegated
  • 44. Chaired

Example:

  • Supervised and motivated a team of 5+ sales associates. 

Resume Action Words to Showcase your Creativity 

When you helped the company innovate or launch something new:

  • 45. Conceptualized
  • 46. Designed
  • 47. Devised
  • 48. Determined
  • 49. Drafted
  • 50. Formulated
  • 51. Introduced
  • 52. Initiated
  • 53. Launched
  • 54. Originated
  • 55. Spearheaded

Example:

  • Designed a new feature on a mobile equation solving app. 

When you worked on an established idea:

  • 56. Adapted
  • 57. Applied
  • 58. Built
  • 59. Condensed
  • 60. Customized
  • 61. Fashioned
  • 62. Integrated
  • 63. Modified
  • 64. Patched
  • 65. Piloted
  • 66. Shaped
  • 67. Revitalized

Example:

  • Built the company sales processes ground-up.

When you introduced a finished project:

  • 68. Displayed
  • 69. Modeled
  • 70. Launched
  • 71. Performed
  • 72. Pioneered

Example:

  • Launched an e-commerce website to take the company business online. 

Resume Power Words for Problem Solving Accomplishments

When you worked with data, statistics or numbers: 

  • 73. Audited
  • 74. Budgeted 
  • 75. Calculated
  • 76. Converted
  • 77. Crafted
  • 78. Documented
  • 79. Estimated
  • 80. Inventoried
  • 81. Programmed 
  • 82. Projected 
  • 83. Recorded
  • 84. Verified

Example:

  • Calculated monthly and quarterly investment forecasts.

When you corrected mistakes and errors:

  • 85. Debugged
  • 86. Diagnosed
  • 87. Established
  • 88. Fixed
  • 89. Rectified
  • 90. Lessened
  • 91. Reconciled
  • 92. Remodeled
  • 93. Rebuilt
  • 94. Upgraded
  • 95. Corrected

Example:

  • Debugged internal operating system issues, reducing company cost by 15%

When you kept company processes flowing seamlessly: 

  • 96. Conserved
  • 97. Maintained
  • 98. Operated
  • 99. Regulated
  • 100. Refined
  • 101. Simplified
  • 102. Standardized

Example:

  • Maintained design production under an extremely tight budget. 

Resume Action Verbs for Research, Analysis, and Planning

When you prepared or helped prepare an event:

  • 103. Assembled
  • 104. Conducted
  • 105. Organized

Example:

  • Organized meetings and handled all correspondence for the Scranton branch.

When you analyzed a new idea:

  • 106. Experimented
  • 107. Detected
  • 108. Discovered
  • 109. Measured
  • 110. Mapped
  • 111. Probed
  • 112. Searched
  • 113. Surveyed
  • 114. Studied

Example:

  • Surveyed and documented weekly performance reports on a new marketing strategy.

When you analyzed existing practices and ideas:

  • 115. Analyzed
  • 116. Assessed
  • 117. Clarified
  • 118. Checked
  • 119. Examined
  • 120. Explored
  • 121.Evaluated
  • 122. Investigated
  • 123. Quantified
  • 124. Reviewed
  • 125. Tested
  • 126. Tracked
  • 127. Convert

Example:

  • Converted data into actionable insight, boosting revenue by 5%

When you contributed to solving a problem:

  • 128. Critiqued
  • 129. Diagnosed
  • 130. Identified
  • 131. Invented
  • 132. Proved
  • 133. Solved

Example:

  • Provided an extraordinary customer service experience, solved customer issues and upsold other products or services. 

Resume Power Verbs to Use For “Support”

When you were supportive of others through words: 

  • 134. Advised
  • 135. Answered
  • 136. Clarified
  • 137. Motivated
  • 138. Collaborated
  • 139. Fielded
  • 140. Guided
  • 141. Intervened
  • 142. Referred
  • 143. Resolved

Example:

  • Motivated co-workers by rewarding positive behavior, encouraging optimism and stimulating teamwork.

When you were supportive of others through actions: 

  • 144. Aided
  • 145. Assisted
  • 146. Contributed
  • 147. Provided
  • 148. Volunteered

Example:

  • Volunteered in 3 non-profit social organizations.

When you taught others:

  • 149. Coached
  • 150. Counseled
  • 151. Demonstrated
  • 152. Educated
  • 153. Informed 

Example:

  • Consulted 5 startups that became successful scaleups in Europe and together received investments of over €28 million.

Resume Power Words to Use as a Replacement for “Improved”

Did you leave the company you worked for better than when you came in? 

That’s cool, but if you say you “improved” something four times in a row, it loses its impact.

Use the list below to mix it up:

  • 154. Amplify
  • 155. Boosted 
  • 156. Converted
  • 157. Customized
  • 158. Elaborated
  • 159. Grew
  • 160. Integrated
  • 161. Lifted
  • 162. Merged
  • 163. Overhauled
  • 164. Raised
  • 165. Redesigned
  • 166. Refined
  • 167. Remodeled
  • 168. Reorganized
  • 169. Restructured
  • 170. Revamped
  • 171. Saved
  • 172. Slashed
  • 173. Streamlined
  • 174. Strengthened
  • 175. Updated
  • 176. Upgraded 

Example:

  • Boosted the AdWords click-through rates (CTR) from 25% to 37% without additional costs, which increased monthly sales by $5,000. 

Resume Power Words to Use Instead of “Responsible for”

Using “responsible for” in a resume gets old fast. Instead, use these alternative verbs that *pop*:

  • 177. Accomplished
  • 178. Acquired
  • 179. Achieved
  • 180. Acted As
  • 181. Completed
  • 182. Created
  • 183. Executed
  • 184. Finished
  • 185. Forged
  • 186. Made
  • 187. Navigated
  • 188. Negotiated
  • 189. Operated
  • 190. Partnered
  • 191. Performed
  • 192. Prepared
  • 193. Produced
  • 194. Secured
  • 195. Succeeded In
  • 196. Undertook

Example:

  • Navigated three simultaneous projects between 3 departments within the budget limit. 

Resume Action Words to Use Instead of “Worked On”

Most of your job descriptions will be describing things you contributed to. This makes it tough to be original and show value.

In this case, you should try to be as specific as possible by giving details about your accomplishments. 

Here’s a list to help you replace the overused “worked on” and show value:

  • 197. Arranged
  • 198. Compiled
  • 199. Composed
  • 200. Constructed
  • 201. Created
  • 202. Developed
  • 203. Engaged In
  • 204. Fashioned
  • 205. Forged
  • 206. Formulated
  • 207. Made
  • 208. Made Progress On
  • 209. Operated
  • 210. Organized
  • 211. Perfected
  • 212. Prepared
  • 213. Pursued
  • 214. Put Together
  • 215. Set-Up
  • 216. Undertook

Example:

  • Created over 25 professional logos for companies in multiple industries, from small startups to large corporations.

Resume Action Verbs that Mean “Use” 

Instead of “utilize” or “use” replace them with these power words:

  • 217. Apply
  • 218. Adopt
  • 219. Deploy
  • 220. Employ
  • 221. Exert
  • 222. Handle
  • 223. Mobilize
  • 224. Operate
  • 225. Promote
  • 226. Profit by
  • 227. Put to Use
  • 228. Restore
  • 229. Revive
  • 230. Resort to
  • 231. Specialize in

Example:

  • Handled full sales cycle for the company’s three biggest clients.

Resume Power Adjectives [w/ Examples]

Power adjectives have the same function as power verbs, but instead, they are…you guessed it: adjectives.

Unlike power verbs, you can use power adjectives beyond describing Professional Experience.

In this section, we'll cover how to use power adjectives in your resume summary, professional experience, and skills.

Then, we’re going to give you a complete list of the best power adjectives you can use in your resume.

Using Buzz Adjectives in the Resume Summary Section

The resume summary section is a short pitch to your prospective employer. You use it to summarize your most relevant experience, skills, and achievements.

When done right, adding some power adjectives can help your resume summary stand out.

Take a look at these examples:

Correct Example

  • Caregiver with 5+ years of extensive experience. Recognized for providing heartfelt emotional support to clients. 

Incorrect Example

  • Loving caregiver who has been working in an elderly home for 5 years. The perfect choice for delivering emotional support to clients.

The first example focuses on the candidate’s personal qualities, rather than her skills. Whereas the second example is professional and leaves a much more powerful impact. 

Want to know how to write the perfect summary for your resume?

Check out our complete guide, filled with professional examples and practical tips!

Using Power Adjectives in the Professional Experience Section

When you are describing your professional experience, power adjectives should be used sparingly. 

You already have plenty of action verbs in there, so don’t double down on the power words by adding an adjective. It’s either one or the other. 

Take a look at this example on how they can be strategically placed in a job description:

Correct Example

  • Developed harmonious relationships with 70% of the patients, resulting in higher overall patient happiness.

Incorrect Example

  • Developed relationships with 70% of the patients, resulting in overall patient happiness.

Using Power Adjectives in the Skills section

Don’t use power adjectives as a skill on their own. Don’t list “Intelligent” or “Professional” as a skill. Those are subjective personal traits.

Instead, use power adjectives only when they affirm your competency in another skill.

For example:

French and German vs Fluent in French and German 

Management skills vs Strong Management Skills 

The Best Power Adjectives [Divided by Category] 

Power Adjectives for Analytical Thinking

Are you constantly doing work that calls for putting your thinking hat on? 

This list is perfect for describing the detailed, calculating tasks you complete on a daily basis. 

They’re usually valuable for industries that require complicated critical thinking: IT, finance, telecommunications, engineering. 

  • 232. Astute
  • 233. Insightful
  • 234. Methodical
  • 235. Practical
  • 236. Calculating
  • 237. Intelligent
  • 238. Meticulous
  • 239. Shrewd
  • 240. Complex
  • 241. Investigative
  • 242. Objective
  • 243. Strategic
  • 244. Discerning
  • 245. Logical
  • 246. Perceptive
  • 247. Thoughtful

Power Adjectives for Creativity 

Use the adjective list below to describe creative work: 

  • 248. Cutting-edge 
  • 249. Imaginative 
  • 250. Novel 
  • 251. Sophisticated 
  • 252. Elegant 
  • 253. Ingenious 
  • 254. Progressive
  • 255. Unique 
  • 256. First-class 
  • 257. Innovative 
  • 258. Revolutionary 
  • 259. Unprecedented 
  • 260. Groundbreaking 
  • 261. Inventive 
  • 262. Robust 
  • 263. World-class

Power Adjectives for Productivity

  • 264. Accomplished 
  • 265. Economical 
  • 266. Instrumental
  • 267. Skilled 
  • 268. Adept 
  • 269. Expert 
  • 270. Productive 
  • 271. Skillful 
  • 272. Advanced 
  • 273. Fluent 
  • 274. Proficient 
  • 275. Strong 
  • 276. Competent 
  • 277. Ideal 
  • 278. Profitable 
  • 279. Superior 
  • 280. Constructive 
  • 281. Industrious 
  • 282. Significant 
  • 283. Qualified 
  • 284. Cost-effective 
  • 285. Influential 
  • 286. Smooth 
  • 287. Quality

Power Adjectives for Dedication

Recruiters love seeing genuine interest from a candidate. The words below are great for showing your dedication and high-spirits:

  • 288. Committed
  • 289. Devoted 
  • 290. Genuine
  • 291. Sincere 
  • 292. Dedicated 
  • 293. Earnest 
  • 294. Keen 
  • 295. Spirited 
  • 296. Determined 
  • 297. Energetic 
  • 298. Passionate 
  • 299. Wholehearted

Power Adjectives to Describe Hard Work

Are you a diligent and driven person? Are you prepared to pull up tiring all-nighters to complete important projects? 

Here are some adjectives that compliment your hard work: 

  • 300. Alert 
  • 301. Driven 
  • 302. Motivated 
  • 303. Thorough 
  • 304. Attentive
  • 305. Enterprising 
  • 306. Persistent 
  • 307. Tireless 
  • 308. Concerted 
  • 309. Focused 
  • 310. Studious 
  • 311. Vigorous

Power Adjectives to Describe You as Organized and Systematic

  • 312. Businesslike
  • 313. Detail-oriented
  • 314. Smooth
  • 315. Systematic 
  • 316. Controlled 
  • 317. Orderly 
  • 318. Step-by-step 
  • 319. Timely 
  • 320. Detailed 
  • 321. Precise 
  • 322. Structured

Power Adjectives for Communication and Teamwork 

Being friendly, understanding and sociable are key qualities for anyone working in a team setting or with customers and clients on a daily basis. 

Use these words to help describe your skills:

  • 323. Amiable
  • 324. Cheerful 
  • 325. Cooperative 
  • 326. Personable 
  • 327. Amicable 
  • 328. Clear 
  • 329. Cordial 
  • 330. Pleasant 
  • 331. Articulate 
  • 332. Coherent 
  • 333. Courteous 
  • 334. Positive 
  • 335. Calm 
  • 336. Cohesive 
  • 337. Diplomatic 
  • 338. Respectful 
  • 339. Charming 
  • 340. Conscientious 
  • 341. Harmonious 
  • 342. Team-minded

Resume Buzzwords to Avoid 

Buzzwords are the opposite of power verbs.

They’re boring, overused, and hated by managers world-wide.

Here are some of the most popular buzzwords you should avoid:

Most Hated Buzzwords:

  • Excellent 
  • Go-Getter 
  • Hard worker
  • Strategic thinker
  • Outside the box
  • Responsible for
  • Expert
  • Innovative
  • Specialized in
  • Creative
  • Synergized
  • Go To
  • Results-driven
  • Team Player
  • Detail Oriented
  • Focused
  • Ninja
  • Super 
  • Great
  • In charge of 

Key Takeaways

Here’s everything we learned in this article:

  • You can use power words to spice up your resume and add variety to your language. They are mostly verbs but can also be adjectives.
  • To decide which power words to use, do a detailed scan of the job listing and identify the key responsibilities the employer is looking for. Your power words will be emphasizing how you have shown these traits. Be careful not to use more than one power word per sentence.
  • Try using power verbs more often than power adjectives. It’s all about action!

Looking for more ways to improve your resume?

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