All resumes tell a story; your resume is meant to present your professional story to recruiters powerfully and effectively.
Resume action words make your resume stand out from the crowd and help recruiters quickly understand that you are the right person for the job.
The purpose of a resume is to tell your professional story in an impactful manner. Use action words in your resume to narrate your professional journey. This can help recruiters quickly read and understand your capabilities. Help your potential employers picture you as the best fit for the job.
This article will explore why resumes should have action words and some of the strong action words that every resume should have.
Should Resumes have Action Words?
Action words describe an action (either mental or physical) in your work. Every bullet point in your resume work experience should start with an action word.
So why are action words required in a resume?
Every resume tells a professional story. You need to choose the best words to convey your story, and how you choose the words to describe your story is what makes your resume effective.
See below an example of how Resume Action Words can convey your story more effectively and give the recruiter more insights into your work accomplishments.
Responsible for managing the delivery of operational projects.
Executed operational projects, which led to a 26% decrease in customer complaints for Quality Assurance Department.
Let’s have a look at the benefits of using action words in a resume:
- More Impact – Strong Resume Action Words capture the attention of recruiters. Starting every bullet point in your resume’s work experience can help potential employers to assess how you can help in the job role.
- Helps recruiters – Action words make your story easily readable to the recruiters and get a fair idea of your accomplishments in lesser time.
- An advantage over others – Using action words will make your resume unique compared to other applicants’ resumes. The typical resume of applicants has the usual boring style that does not create an impact unless one decides to put in serious efforts to make a fantastic resume using action words.
What are some Strong Action Verbs for a Resume?
Strong action verbs in your resume will help sell your resume to potential recruiters and help them shortlist you as the right candidate for the job role.
Each bullet point in your resume is an opportunity to sell your skills and experience. Start every bullet point in the Work Experience section of your resume with powerful action verbs.
Listed here are some of the strong action verbs you should use in your resume, depending on your professional role and responsibilities.
Reduced ✔ Achieved ✔ Acquired ✔ Attained ✔ Completed ✔ Demonstrated ✔ Executed ✔ Negotiated ✔ Performed ✔ Prepared ✔ Produced ✔ Strengthened ✔ Coordinated ✔ Delivered ✔
Example: Reduced operational expenses by 50% by re-negotiating prices and fees with local vendors.
Assessed ✔ Analysed ✔ Audited ✔ Evaluated ✔ Examined ✔ Identified ✔ Investigated ✔ Measured ✔ Modeled ✔ Projected ✔ Reported ✔ Tracked ✔ Visualized ✔ Forecasted ✔
Example: Conducted gap analysis of wealth management product suite and established a 2-year roadmap for success.
Accelerated ✔ Achieved ✔ Boosted ✔ Consolidated ✔ Decreased ✔ Increased ✔ Enhanced ✔ Expedited ✔ Generated ✔ Reconciled ✔ Maximised ✔ Integrated ✔
Example: Integrated PowerBI reporting system into Business Intelligence Sales Workflow, which resulted in a 26% increase in post-meeting inquiries by potential clients.
Cultivated ✔ Directed ✔ Enabled ✔ Guided ✔ Facilitated ✔ Mentored ✔ Mobilized ✔ Recruited ✔ Supervised ✔ Trained ✔ Coached ✔ Consulted ✔ Overhauled ✔ Led ✔
Example: Guided a team of developers to build proprietary banking solutions, optimizing the sales process and increasing sales revenue by 32%.
Campaigned ✔ Authored ✔ Composed ✔ Convinced ✔ Counseled ✔ Presented ✔ Reviewed ✔ Documented ✔ Edited ✔ Illustrated ✔ Promoted ✔ Collaborated ✔
Example: Collaborated with Core Operations, Credit Initiation, and Marketing teams to plan campaign promotions, increasing local client base by 35%.
Overcame ✔ Surpassed ✔ Dispatched ✔ Enforced ✔ Resolved ✔ Acquired ✔ Closed ✔ Pitched ✔ Negotiated ✔ Partnered ✔ Secured ✔ Built ✔ Designed ✔ Developed ✔ Formalized ✔ Curated ✔
Example: Developed a new online wallet payment system yielding a 28% increase in e-commerce revenues.
How do I Spice up my Resume?
If you have an updated resume version, chances are you have all the content updated with your latest work experience and skillsets. If not, the first step is to create a draft version of your resume with your accomplishments.
Don’t worry about creating an impactful resume at this stage; get your initial version ready.
Once you have the initial resume draft, it’s now time to spice up your resume to make it impactful and compelling to your potential employers. Words matter, and putting the right words can put you on the top of the recruiter’s list.
Follow the below step-by-step process to create a high-hitting resume:
1. Use Action Verbs
To make the most significant impact on your resume, rework the work experience and qualifications section. Start every bullet point of your accomplishments with an action verb.
- Relationship acquisition and management: maintaining relationships with artists at (company name) by answering correspondence and working with the marketing and sales team to drive attention to their work on the site.
- I develop and maintain critical relationships with our artists at (company name).
- I collaborate with our marketing and sales team to promote our artist’s work online.
2. Be Concise and Use Active Voice
Simplify your resume’s language, and be as direct as possible when reciting your professional story. Always use active voice instead of passive voice.
Participated in executive editorial meetings to conceptualize and brainstorm ideas that best illustrate the editorial content for covers, cover stories, features, special sections, departments, and digital media.
Met with senior editors to conceptualize story ideas for covers, cover stories, features, special sections, departments, and digital media.
3. Show progress and accomplishments
Quantify your progress and accomplishments using the right terms. In the sample below, note that “grow” is not preferred in resumes. Instead, rewrite the sentence using “expand.”
Hire, maintain, and grow a team of 35 national photographers.
Hire and continue to expand our nationwide team of photographers (started with 15, currently 35).
4. Avoid duplication and meaningless phrases
The ideal length of a resume should be one or two pages, maximum. This is to make it easy for recruiters to quickly skim the resume and assess whether a candidate fits the role.
Make it easier for your potential employer to make this assessment by removing meaningless phrases.
Sample 1 – Here, “maintain” is a passive word and does not add much value to the sentence, so it’s removed.
Maintain and increase brand awareness and photo quality.
Increase brand awareness and photo quality.
Sample 2 – Here, “proven” and “superb” are meaningless words; replace them with action verbs for direct and concise delivery.
Proven ability to motivate and inspire creative teams and deliver superb creative work under tight deadlines.
Motivated and inspired creative teams to deliver highly effective creative work under tight deadlines.
Always start at the end before you begin.Robert Kiyosaki
Have an end goal in mind when spicing up your resume. Your resume should tell your professional story to the recruiter in the most concise and impactful manner.
Creating a power-packed resume with action verbs helps potential employers quickly assess your fitness for the job.
Updating every bullet point on your resume with result-oriented action words can be a lot of work. But this hard work will put you ahead of the other candidates applying for the same job.