+40 Best Action Words to Include in Your Resume and Cover Letter

August 8
8 min read

Many job seekers in the world today do not understand the importance of using power words or action words/verbs in their resume and cover letters while sending them off to recruitment agencies.

It is a little-known fact that resumes action words go a long way in helping to break the defenses already put up by recruiters while going through lots of resumes. 

action words

Quick Question: Have you ever had to sift through thousands of resume as a recruitment personnel for a company?

Then you probably have an idea of what is about to be discussed in this post.

It is increasingly tiring to sift through lots of resumes and seeing the same words over and over again and it is even more annoying to realize that after going through the stress of giving many benefits of the doubt, it becomes eventually difficult to be able to find the perfect resume in a sea of resumes.

Before we go any deeper, let’s take a look at what action verbs are and why they matter as far as your resume or cover letter is concerned.

Action verbs are a type of power word that are specific, straight-to-the-point words which describe and clarify your contributions to a project on your resume, this in turn buttresses your ability to succeed at certain endeavors. 

Why Should You Use Action Verbs in a Resume? 

They help to present your resume in the most confident and light manner. Take a look at this action verb filled example to get a practical knowledge of what is being talked about:

Weak Example

  • Handled frequent correspondence between various departments.

Powerful Example

  • Spearheaded weekly correspondence between the Marketing and Human resource departments to ensure fluidity of campaigns.  

While the first example is a very weak way to describe that particular role, because the sentence is very ambiguous, lacks strength and isn’t direct, the second sentence, on the other hand, is very detailed and speaks from a direct position of strength.

While puffing your resume up for recruiters, some of the kinds of power words to look out for are listed below:

Top 5 Power Words for Resume

  1. Improved
  2. Team Player
  3. Communication
  4. Creative
  5. Problem Solving

Resume action words are crucial parts of your resume if you’re genuinely interested in getting that recruiter to take more than just a glance at it.

But more importantly, using these words appropriately is the easiest way to get into the heart of any recruitment personnel. 

For Example:

While writing a sentence which describes a particular responsibility, rather than employing the phrase “responsible for”, it would be better to make use of the word “Improved”. 

Another interesting example is the phrase “In charge of” which on a resume that deserves a good read would rather be better as “Directed 10 interns to…”

In the above examples, it is very important to take cognizance of the fact that in both scenarios, while the former action words are just okay to use while writing a resume, the latter stands out and exudes confidence, thereby making a definitive statement about the writer to the recruiter. 

The process of resume writing has become so generic that lots of companies already know what to find in about eighty-five percent of resumes, therefore, the only way in most cases to be able to secure a little bit of advantage is to be fluid with the construction of your resume and try as much as possible to avoid clichés.

There are certain word-choices which will earn any resume a fling to the underneath pile in just a simple glance as they are either too underwhelming or too overwhelming.

While underwhelming words are not able to appropriately convey the message being passed across in a resume, overwhelming words, on the other hand, are just plain overboard and in most cases largely boastful which is a very appalling quality to recruiters. 

Some examples of overwhelming words/phrases are: “I’m an expert at…, I’m incredible at…, I have a great deal of experience in…” While the above phrases are very pleasing to he ar, they are more effective while praising oneself rather than trying to apply for a job.

While writing a resume, one of the best ways to garner favor is to mirror your resume in the same way the company projects itself which thereby leads to a situation where your power words jump out from the pages and grab the recruiters into submission.

The best way to do this is by going to the company’s About Us” page and single out words which are used to describe the company’s long-term and/or short-term goals. If a company describes herself as “Proactive” then it would be a very brilliant idea to incorporate this word while writing your resume.

Although you should also know that buzzwords such as “Innovative” should be avoided as they can be easily mistaken as boastful words which in turn would only earn a spot in the black book of many recruiters. 

It is also very essential to make use of certain keywords while writing a resume. Apart from the fact that it gives you an edge with recruiters, some companies which receive large volumes of resume would rather use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to deal with all their resume and the system is always programmed to look for certain keywords which if they’re found absent will earn the applicant a one way ticket back home, wherever that may be.

Examples of such keywords might be launched, planned, programmed, facilitated etc. 

Another brilliant way to make your resume stand out is to ensure that while deploying your power words and/or action verbs to good use, they are accompanied by concise numbers which accurately demonstrates the level of your contribution in a past endeavor or a previous project.

Top 40 Action Words + Examples

Well, now that you already have an idea of how important the action words/verbs are, let’s take a quick look at some them in this list:

Accelerated

Accelerated the growth and speed of the sales funnel on Facebook Business Page which resulted in users converting 30 hours faster than before. 

Accomplished

Accomplished the delivery of three projects running simultaneously between 3 departments within the budget limit and before the deadline. 

Assessed

Assessed the critical situation in the Customer Service department and implemented a new workflow that increased customer satisfaction from 73% to 89% in 5 months.

Boosted

Boosted the AdWords click-through rates (CTR) from 25% to 37% without additional costs which increased the monthly sales by 5.000. 

Consulted 

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

Chaired

Chaired in 3 small-medium sized companies (SMEs) and 2 non-profit organization over the last 5 years. 

Collaborated

Collaborated with over 25 companies in my role as a Logistic Manager, ensuring a 98% on-time delivery over the last 2 years. 

Contributed

Contributed to the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal with 4 articles in the last 2 years, with research being conducted in over 30 countries and on 600 startups. 

Created

Created over 25 professional logos that are being used by companies in multiple industries, from small startups to companies with revenue over $5 million. 

Delivered

Delivered over 30 projects in the last 3 years as a consultant for various companies in the automotive and tech industries which have been successfully implemented. 

Designed

Designed a new user flow that reduced the user journey from signup to checkout by 3 steps and increased the conversion rates by 20%. 

Developed

Developed a new onboarding process for the new employees that reduced the time by 4 days. 

Directed

Directed $4-5 million budget projects and successfully achieved the project scheduled goals.

Earned

Earned citations for excellence in rapidly resolving crisis situations, upholding law and order, relating effectively with culturally diverse populations.

Executed

Executed the new strategy developed by the board of directors 2 months before the expected deadline with 100% accuracy. 

Explored

Explored over 60 countries while developing a successful travel blog that grew to 300.000 monthly readers in 1 year. 

Gathered

Gathered feedback from over 1200 users and analyzed it systematically finding general complaints that helped the development team improve the software. 

Generated

Generated over 50 strong leads from an outreach campaign targeted at the Sneakers industry in the USA, with 30 of them turning into clients. 

Grew

Grew a SaaS startup successfully from zero revenue to over $3 million in 2 years and over 40.000 customers. 

Identified

Identified 3 new markets for a product that was already 4 years old which increased the profit by 4% after 2 years of decline. 

Improved

Improved and tuned networking equipment and overall computer network, both ethernet and WI-FI 100% successfully. 

Initiated

Initiated a new communication channel between the Sales and Technical department by introducing and implementing a new communication system. 

Hosted

Hosted local and international events for different organizations, with the sizes ranging from 20 to 400 people. 

Maximized

Maximized the return rate for various investments in over 50 real estate projects. 

Mentored

Mentored over 15 startup founders in the last 2 years during their preparation for the VentureCup.

Monitored

Monitored and collaborated with a remote them consisting of 15 freelancers that delivered various projects weekly. 

Negotiated

Negotiated over 20 contracts renewals with local businesses and prevented over 10 cancellations. 

Organized

Organized kick-off activities for approximately 250 international students in 2015 and 2016. 

Partnered

Partnered with over 25 non-profit organizations and together created an ecosystem that helped graduates find volunteering jobs abroad.

Produced

Produced drawings & layouts and assisted the clients throughout multiple projects. Clients had a satisfaction rate of over 97%. 

Raised

Raised over $200.000 on a Kickstarter campaign for a new series of smartwatches and successfully delivered all the pre-orders.

Responsible for

Responsible for the safety of equipment valued at over $2 million in a high-risk area over a 6 months time period.

Revamped

Revamped an outdated SaaS platform by implementing users’ feedback which resulting in a traffic increase of over 60% in the first month. 

Saved

Saved over 00.000 in the last 2 quarters by restructuring the operations department and improving the production flow in two factories. 

Solved

Solved 5 critical technical errors in a critical and time-pressured situation making sure the website was up and running within 1 hour. 

Supervised

Supervised and offered training for both permanent and temporary staff. 

Tested

Tested web applications, mobile apps, networks, sandboxes, kernel components, custom client-server applications, hardware, firmware, stand-alone application with a 100% accuracy. 

Trained

Trained over 10 salespersons in the last 2 years that all hit their sales target each quarter. 

Updated

Updated the company’s whitepapers and blog articles that increased their visibility by 4% for over 10 high-volume searched keywords. 

Volunteered

Volunteered in 3 non-profit organizations while studying and highly improved team-working and communication skills. 

The above action verbs should be used in accordance with their related industries so as to make your resume perfect and intriguing. Getting that perfect resume just got a whole lot easier with this article and I hope you make use of the tips to the best of your ability. Adherence to the tenets of this writing would definitely help you increase the chances of landing your dream job in no time! 

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