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How Action Verbs Can Help To Power Your Resume

How Action Verbs Can Help To Power Your Resume

Your resume gives you as a potential candidate a chance to show companies all the important achievements that you have reached over the course of your career. Action verbs specifically give you an opportunity to increase the wow factor if you will. A lot of resumes tend to use vague or overused verbs. This can actually diminish the excellent work that you have done so choose action verbs that accurately reflect what you have done.

Utilizing industry-appropriate action verbs on your resume can highlight your skills whereas filler descriptions can downplay your contributions and expertise. It can mean the difference between demonstrating your leadership skills or being seen as an associate level.

What Is An Action Verb?

An action verb is a word that demonstrates how the subject of a sentence is taking action. For instance, I ran to the post office; the glass of water spilled on the floor. The opposite is a passive verb which means the subject is receiving the consequence of an action. Example: The clothes were washed and folded last night. However some words are a better description than others. 

Action Verbs You Can Use For Communication

Instead of: spoke, utilized, demonstrated, organized

Use: addressed, corresponded, persuaded, reconciled

You can present analytical data and host conference meetings but does that mean you got your point across to a diverse audience? Grab the interest of a recruiter by using words that show your unique personality. For example, instead of saying you "organized" a company off-site, say you "created" an off-site meeting. And instead of "conducting" the meeting, perhaps you "arranged" the meeting. "Persuaded" is another solid action verb to use because it describes your competency when it comes to influencing others. Descriptive words can add formality to your actions. Words like "addressed" or "corresponded" can carry meaning in a way that more obvious word choices would not.

Action Verbs To Represent Organizational Skills

Instead of: organized, created, filed

Use: strategized, executed, operated

Did you spearhead the beginning of a project, then reassign the work? Make sure to choose action verbs that demonstrate how you organized and followed through with a specific project from initial concept all the way to completion. For example, "executed" says that you saw it through to the end.When you focus on only the task instead of the specific purpose in relation to the organization, you end up limiting the overall value of your experience. Instead of "filed account paperwork" be more descriptive and say such as "monitored client accounts."

Action Verbs For Management Skills

Instead of: led, handled, oversaw

Use: consolidated, delegated, established

Leadership experience is excellent for your resume. However if you are only saying "led" a team, this is not as powerful as saying you "established" a team from the ground up, which indicates you took the lead to create something new within the company you previously worked for. Including a word like "oversaw" indicates that you are performing managerial work at a high level but that you are not actively participating in a project. Pick words that reflect the true nature of your contribution. For example, "Established a comprehensive productivity team and delegated tasks on behalf of a managerial team." These action verbs in combination give the hiring manager an overall impression of your work style which can reduce your resume’s initial impact. Utilize a dictionary or thesaurus if you get stuck and when you are done, be sure to have a friend or colleague proofread your resume to make sure it is a comprehensive read.