Action verbs for resumes & Best resume keywords

To be most effective, your resume should be optimized with applicable keywords and action verbs. Resume keywords are typically nouns that reflect skills and experience sought by a potential employer. If your resume has been selected and ranked by a computer, it will then be reviewed by a human screener; hence, it is important to balance keyword elements with traditional action verbs and other key phrases that elicit a positive response from the hiring manager.

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Action verbs for resumes

We have the perfect action verbs for resumes for you, no matter what responsibility or accomplishment you want to highlight. Take a look at the list below, and get ready to spice up your resume.

In this article, you will learn about:

  • What are the keywords in your resume? (Verbs & Words).
  • Examples of the most important keywords you can use in your resume.
  • The most important frequently asked questions on this topic.

What are action verbs for resumes and how can you use them on your resume?

Verbs of action describe actions, such as “She walked to the door” or “The dog chased the ball”.
Action verbs on your resume demonstrate to readers that you actually accomplished something at previous positions, not merely that you were “responsible for” it.
As an alternative, you “streamlined,” “coordinated,” or “performed” it. You completed the task and made progress in the process.

However, not all action verbs are as powerful as others, so use caution.
For instance, using the phrases “lead” or “handled” sparingly on a resume won’t tell the reader how you accomplished the task.
Did you take charge through delegating tasks to a team, laying out a plan for a task, setting up deadlines and resources, or a mix of the three?

Read more: How To Write a Resume

Resume keywords

How do you know which resume keywords to include? Start by reviewing the job descriptions you’re applying to and take note of the terms that routinely pop up on these job listings.

Now ask yourself these questions:

  • How do they define the position and its responsibilities?
  • What specific language do they use to state the core requirements for the role?
  • Do I have these same skills and experience with the responsibilities?

Read more: Writing a Resume without Work Experience

Resume action verbs

Some of the best words to use in a resume aren’t just keywords related to skills and responsibilities, but actions you have mastered from your previous experience. These are known as action verbs. Here are some of the best words you can include in your resume, most of which are action verbs:

  • Achieved
  • Improved
  • Trained/mentored
  • Managed
  • Created
  • Resolved
  • Volunteered
  • Influenced
  • Increased/decreased
  • Ideas
  • Negotiated
  • Launched
  • Revenue/profits
  • Under budget
  • Won

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Additionally, here are the worst words to use in your resume and job application due to their overuse and lack of showing versus telling:

  • Track record
  • Team player
  • Best of breed
  • Go-getter
  • Synergy
  • Go-to person
  • Thought leadership
  • Value-add
  • Results-driven
  • Bottom-line
  • Hard worker
  • Strategic thinker
  • Dynamic
  • Self-motivated
  • Detail-oriented
  • Proactively

FAQ about “Action verbs for resumes”

1-What are good action verbs for a resume?

Achieved, Advanced, Analyzed, Appointed, Approved, Assigned, Attained, Authorized, Chaired, Considered, Consolidated, Contracted, Controlled, Converted, Decided, Delegated, Developed, Directed, Eliminated, Emphasized, Enforced, Enhanced, Established, Executed, Generated, Handled, Headed,…

2-What are power words in a resume?

Power words for resumes are words or phrases that make a job seeker stand out from the competition. They are frequently powerful action words that represent duties and responsibilities carried out in previous employment.

3-What words should not be used in a resume?

10 phrases that make a resume look bad

“Negotiable salary” They are aware. “References accessible upon request.”

“Experience working in _____” and “Responsible for ” “Problem-solving abilities” … “Detail-oriented” … “Hardworking” ‘Team player’.

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