En Route: A Career Blog

Power Verb List – Make Your Resume Stand Out

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
CATEGORY: , ,
POSTED: September 9, 2008 at 8:26 am

To make your resume stand out from the countless others competing for a hiring manager’s attention, you must write interesting job descriptions. The best way to start is to begin all bulleted sentences with action verbs.

If Your Resume is Boring, No One Will Read It

While the following list is not exhaustive, it does provide variety to spice up your text and increase readability. One caution though – the verbs you choose should reflect the industry you’re targeting and your career level.

For example: The CEO of a Fortune 500 company might write: “Expedited company sale by enlisting buyers from the British and Asian divisions.” On the other hand, a fast-food manager wouldn’t write that he “Expedited client orders by overhauling operations.” Rather, he would write: “Provided fast customer service by opening up new register lines, when needed.”

A
abated
abbreviated
abolished
abridged
absolved
absorbed
accelerated
accentuated
accommodated
accomplished
accounted for
accrued
accumulated
achieved
acquired
acted
adapted
adopted
added
addressed
adjusted
administered
advanced
advertised
advised
advocated
affirmed
aided
alerted
aligned
allayed
alleviated
allocated
allotted
altered
amassed
amended
analyzed
answered
anticipated
appeased
applied
appointed
appraised
approached
appropriated
approved
arbitrated
aroused
arranged
articulated
ascertained
aspired
assembled
assessed
assigned
assimilated
assisted
assured
attained
attended
audited
augmented
authored
authorized
automated
averted
avoided
awarded

B
balanced

began
benchmarked
benefited
bid
billed
blended

blocked
bolstered
boosted
bought
branded
bridged

broadened
brought
budgeted
built

C
calculated

calibrated
capitalized
captured
cared for
carried
carved
categorized
catalogued
caught
cautioned
cemented
certified
chaired
challenged
championed
changed
charged
charted
checked
chose
chronicled
circulated
circumvented
cited
clarified
classified
cleaned
cleared

closed
coached
coded
collaborated
collated
collected
combined
commanded
commended
commenced
commissioned
communicated
compared
compiled
complemented
completed
complied
composed
compounded
computed
conceived
concentrated
conceptualized
condensed
conducted
conferred
configured
confirmed

confronted
connected
conserved
considered
consolidated
constructed
consulted
consummated
contacted
continued
contracted
contributed
controlled
converted
conveyed
convinced
cooperated
coordinated
copied
corrected
corresponded
counseled
created
critiqued
cultivated
customized
cut

D
dealt

debated
debugged
decided
decoded
decreased
dedicated
defined
delegated
delineated
delivered

demonstrated
deployed
derived
described
designated
designed

detailed
detected
determined
developed
devised
diagnosed
differentiated
diffused
directed
disbursed
discovered
discussed
dispatched
dispensed
displayed
disposed

disproved
dissected
disseminated
dissolved
distinguished
distributed
diversified
diverted
divested
divided
documented
doubled
drafted
dramatized
drew up
drove

E
earned

eased
economized
edited
educated
effected
elaborated
elected
elevated
elicited
eliminated
embraced
emphasized
empowered
enabled
encouraged

ended
enforced
engaged
engineered
enhanced
enlisted
enriched
enrolled
ensured
entered
entertained
enticed
equipped
established
estimated

evaluated
examined
exceeded
executed
exercised
exhibited
expanded
expedited
experienced
experimented
explained
explored
expressed
extended
extracted

F
fabricated
facilitated
factored
familiarized
fashioned
fielded
filed
filled
finalized
financed
fine tuned

finished
fixed
focused
followed
forecasted
forged
formalized
formed
formulated
fortified
forwarded

fostered
fought
found
founded
framed
fulfilled
functioned as
funded
furnished
furthered

G
gained

garnered
gathered
gauged
gave
generated

governed
graduated
grasped
greeted
grew

grouped
guaranteed
guided

H
halted

halved
handled
headed
heightened

held
helped
hired
honed

hosted
hypnotized
hypothesized

I
identified

ignited
illustrated
implemented
imported
improved
improvised
incited
included
incorporated
increased
indicated
individualized
indoctrinated
induced

influenced
informed
infused
initiated
innovated
inspected
inspired
installed
instilled
instituted
instructed
insured
integrated
intensified

interacted
interceded
interpreted
intervened
interviewed
invented

inventoried
invested
investigated
invigorated
invited
involved
isolated
issued
itemized

J
joined
judged
justified

L
launched

learned
lectured
led
lessened
leveraged
licensed

lifted
limited
linked
liquidated
listened
litigated

loaded
located
logged

M
made

maintained
managed
mandated
maneuvered
manipulated
manufactured
mapped
marked
marketed
mastered
maximized

measured
mediated
memorized
mentored
merged
merited
met
minimized
mobilized

modeled
moderated

modified
molded
monitored
monopolized
motivated
mounted
moved
multiplied

N
named

narrated
navigated
negotiated

netted
neutralized
nominated

normalized
notified
nurtured

O
observed

obtained
offered
officiated
offset
opened
operated
optimized
orchestrated

ordered
organized
oriented
originated
outdistanced
outlined
outperformed
overcame

overhauled
oversaw
owned

P
paced

packaged
packed
pared
participated
partnered
passed
penetrated
perceived
perfected
performed
persuaded
photographed
piloted
pinpointed
pioneered
placed

planned
played
praised
predicted
prepared
prescribed
presented
preserved
presided
prevailed
prevented
printed
prioritized
processed
procured
produced

profiled
programmed
progressed
projected
promoted
proofread
proposed
protected
proved
provided
pruned
publicized
purchased
pursued

Q
quadrupled

qualified
quantified

queried
questioned

quoted

R
raised

rallied
ranked
rated
reached
read
realigned
realized
rearranged
reasoned
rebuilt
received
recognized
recommended
reconciled
reconstructed
recorded
recovered
recruited
rectified
redesigned
redirected
reduced
re-engineered

referred
refocused
registered
regulated
rehabilitated

reinforced
reiterated
related
released
relied
relieved
remained
remodeled
rendered
renegotiated
renewed
reorganized
repaired
replaced
replied
replicated
reported
represented

reproduced
requested
researched
reserved
resolved
responded
restored
restructured
retained
retooled
retrieved
returned
revamped
reversed
reviewed
revised
revitalized
revolutionized
rewarded
risked
rotated
routed

S
safeguarded

salvaged
saved
scanned
scheduled
screened
sculptured
searched
secured
seized
selected
sent
separated
sequenced
served
serviced
set up
settled
shaped
shared
sharpened
shipped
shortened
showed

signed
simplified
simulated

sketched
slashed
smoothed
solicited
sold
solidified
solved
sorted
sourced
sparked
spearheaded
specialized
specified
speculated
spent
spoke
sponsored
spurred
staffed
standardized

started
steered
stimulated
streamlined
strengthened
stretched
structured
studied
submitted
succeeded
suggested
summarized
supervised
supplied
supported
surpassed
surveyed
swayed
swept
symbolized
synthesized
systemized

T
tabulated

tackled
talked
tallied
targeted
tasted
taught
teamed
tempered
tended
terminated
tested

testified
tied
took
topped
totaled
traced
tracked
trained
transcribed
transformed
transitioned

translated
transmitted
traveled
treated
trimmed
tripled
troubleshot
turned
tutored
typed

U
uncovered

underlined
underscored
undertook
underwrote

unearthed
unified
united
updated

upgraded
upheld
urged
used
utilized

V
validated

valued
vaulted
verbalized

verified
viewed
visualized

voiced
volunteered

W
weathered

weighed
widened
withstood

won
worked
wove

wrote

Y
yielded

Darlene Z.

Darlene Zambruski is a resume writing expert and CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) with more than 13 years of industry experience. She has authored 10,000+ resumes in every industry and at every career level.

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