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20 Powerful Action Verbs to Kick Your Resume Up A Notch!

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20 Powerful Action Verbs to Kick Your Resume Up A Notch!

Every resume should have strong action verbs strategically placed throughout—most importantly, at the beginning of the majority of your bullet points and accomplishment-based statements.  Please do yourself —and every hiring manager out there—a favor; do not start your sentences with: Responsible for … Worked with … or any other opening that lacks power and punch.

These really do nothing for your resume or experience except hurt it.  Hiring managers are not exactly captivated by the phrases, ‘responsible for’ or ‘worked with’.  They are just so boring and repetitive—and it’s because just about every job seeker out there uses them.  Hiring managers want—need—words that jump off the page and captivate them.  Here are a few examples of my favorite action words:

Captivated
Championed
Directed
Exceeded
Pioneered
Formulized (or Formulated)
Generated
Intensified
Leveraged
Masterminded
Maximized
Mentored
Optimized
Orchestrated
Re-engineered
Spearheaded
Structured
Proliferate
Recaptured
Rejuvenated

Truthfully, the list could go on.  Don’t believe me?  Use the synonym feature in Microsoft Word or go to thesaurus.com.  Be creative in your action verb choice, and choose strong words that convey ACTION to begin every sentence.  These words communicate action, results, accomplishments, and contributions—which are all key components in creating a powerful and captivating resume.

Visit our resume samples page to view professionally-written resumes or to request a free resume analysis e-mail your resume to .

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About Post Author

Jessica Holbrook Hernandez

Hi! My name is Jessica Hernandez and I'm the President and CEO of Great Resumes Fast. My desire—and the heart of Great Resumes Fast —is to use our expertise and experience within the HR world to help job seekers who do not have the time, experience, or expertise to create interview-worthy resumes.

Recent Comments

  • 20 Powerful Action Verbs to Kick Your Resume Up A Notch! « Steve's Blog

    • February 21, 2010 @ 7:58 pm

    […] Filed Under: Great job hunting tips! by Steve — Leave a comment Feb 21, 2010 20 Powerful Action Verbs to Kick Your Resume Up A Notch!. Comments RSS […]

  • Teresa Thompson

    • February 22, 2010 @ 2:54 am

    This is right on! Speaking of right, I learned a lot of this at Right Management. Very similar list. One of my favorites that you left off is EXPLODED. Good article.

  • Mandy Minor

    • February 24, 2010 @ 12:00 am

    Great advice. I’m also a resume writer and appreciate your list, it’s super!

  • Pamela Richard

    • February 25, 2010 @ 3:44 pm

    Great advise. Thanks!

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