Enough With the Fluff: 33 Action Words That Will Power Up Your Resume


“Contributed to.” “Participated in.” “Helped with.” If your resume is riddled with nearly meaningless verb phrases like this, we can guarantee you hiring managers will be getting droopy eyed and slack jawed before they even make it to your “Skills and Interests” section. Managers today are being bombarded with resumes — in fact, Glassdoor for Employers reports that, on average, 250 resumes are submitted for a corporate job opening — so every word really does count. How do you keep your resume from turning into a snore fest? By packing your resume with descriptive action verbs that succinctly tell the story of your super awesome professional accomplishments and contributions. The right verb will shed light on exactly how you “contributed to” or “participated in” a project, and that kind of clarity in communication is sure to catch a hiring manager’s eye. Ready to beef up your resume with action-packed verbs? Use this list to swap out boring, clichéd resume phrases with amped-up action words:

Did you lead your team to new heights of greatness? Instead of “led,” use:

  1. Directed
  2. Supervised
  3. Trained
  4. Mentored
  5. Facilitated
  6. Mobilized

Did research you conducted lead to big breakthroughs? Instead of “researched,” use:

  1. Analyzed
  2. Consulted
  3. Evaluated
  4. Surveyed
  5. Interpreted

Did you improve upon outdated processes or programs? Instead of “improved,” use:

  1. Maximized
  2. Modernized
  3. Reengineered
  4. Restructured
  5. Upgraded
  6. Enhanced

Did you lend a helping hand to a particular project? Instead of “helped,” use:

  1. Counseled
  2. Guided
  3. Supported
  4. Arranged
  5. Advocated

Did you create something super cool while on the job? Instead of “create,” use:

  1. Designed
  2. Customized
  3. Developed
  4. Modeled
  5. Formulated
  6. Solved
  7. Built

Did your writing and communication skills dazzle readers or customers? Instead of “wrote,” use:

  1. Articulated
  2. Marketed
  3. Synthesized
  4. Authored

Using action words for your resume like the ones above will help you clarify your previous roles — and you’ll stand out from the stack of resumes relying on worn out, vague phrases that managers have skimmed over a million times before. Just remember to quantify your achievements and focus on results in your resume and write a bang up cover letter, and you’ll be fielding “request for interview” calls in no time.



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