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Resume Action Words: Make the Right Impression on the Recruiter

If you’ve found a job of your dream available, do not miss this chance. However, you cannot just go to the recruiter to convince one that you’re a perfect candidate. Follow standard procedure, which includes sending a resume.

When plenty of applicants send their papers, it may appear difficult to attract an employer’s attention with a single paper. Therefore, candidates try to do everything possible to stand out from the competition.

While many of them believe that using a creative resume is the best way to go, those paying more attention to their writing, particularly word choice will obtain the job. There are so-called resume action words, which you can use to make a good impression on the recruiter, and in this article, we will go through this topic to provide our readers with the right information on the matter.

What Are Action Words?

Action words are those that evoke an image of a candidate doing something. Such terms are used to give a clear idea of the applicant’s skills, abilities, experience, etc. while making all this valuable. They are opposite to using vague terms in the paper, which gives the feeling of the incompleteness of the resume. After reading such works, a recruiter still does not have a clear understanding of your experience and potential or may consider them not important.

Therefore, it’s crucial to use the right verbs, which convey a clear message. The word choice mainly depends on the job position that you want to apply for, and those suitable for a sales manager position will not make a good option for a designer job.

How to Use Action Words?

It’s not just enough to add a bunch of action words in your paper, just do this in the right way. For instance, include them to describe the results that you’ve achieved in your previous position or you can show how you’ve contributed to the company’s success. Some of the terms are found in the job description or on the website of a company that you’re going to apply with.

For instance, you wish to apply for a sales manager position, and the following is written in the job description:

  1. Designing and implementing a sales plan to expand the customer base;
  2. Hitting sales targets by effectively managing the sales team.

In this case, in your resume, use such verbs as ‘designed’, ‘implemented’, and ‘managed’.

What Action Words to Use in the Resume?

There are actually plenty of right verbs to add to the paper. While it is possible to find them in the job description or a company’s site, there are more of them available on the Internet. Go through a few examples provided below, which might help with word choice.

Work Ethic

To highlight work ethic, use the following verbs:

  • Discerned;
  • Drove;
  • Enacted;
  • Established;
  • Exceeded;
  • Sparked;
  • Steered;
  • Stimulated;
  • Supervised.

Communication skills

Emphasize commutation skills with the following:

  • Conveyed;
  • Collaborated;
  • Enlivened;
  • Spoke;
  • Performed;
  • Instructed;
  • Presented;
  • Trained.


Make your accomplishments look more valuable using the following verbs:

  • Accelerated;
  • Analyzed;
  • Built;
  • Founded;
  • Constructed;
  • Delivered;
  • Executed;
  • Finalized;
  • Guided;
  • Headed;
  • Increased;
  • Initiated;
  • Simplified.

Which Words Should You Omit?

While there are verbs recommended for the usage, avoid adding some words to your resume. Do not use passive phrases in your paper. While it is important to show your achievements, stay away from phrasing something.

Do not include meaningless or overused terms as well, which will quickly make the reader bored, such as ‘responsible for’, ‘dynamic’, ‘team player’.

Below, you will find a list of terms to stay away from, but it is possible to find more of them on the Internet:

  1. Go-getter;
  2. Go-to person;
  3. Bottom line;
  4. Results-driven;
  5. Track record;
  6. Dabbled;
  7. Strategic thinker;
  8. Think outside the box;
  9. Proactive;
  10. Best of the breed;
  11. Expert.


Writing an interesting, concise, and informative resume may appear quite challenging. It’s great if you come up with an interesting design of the paper to make it eye-catching, but it will not save the situation if your resume lacks the right verbs and phrases.

Even if you have problems with word choice, make a draft of your paper in any verbs you like, and then replace them with the right ones that you can find in the job description, on the company’s site, or on the Internet. In fact, knowing such words will also help you to get an idea of what information you should add to your resume.