Most resume bullet points start with the same tired old words hiring managers have read over and over—to the point where they’ve lost a lot of their meaning. They also don’t do much to show off your accomplishments, and instead tend to just communicate your job duties.
So let’s get a little more creative, shall we? Next time you update your resume, switch up a few of those common words and phrases with strong, compelling action verbs that will catch hiring managers’ eyes.
What are action verbs and how can you use them on your resume?
Action verbs convey doing—for example, “She walked to the door,” or, “The dog chased the ball.” On your resume, action verbs show readers you accomplished something at your past jobs, you weren’t just “responsible for” it. Instead you “streamlined” or “coordinated” or “executed” it. You got the job done and you achieved something in the process.
But be careful: Not all action verbs are as strong as others. For example, words like “led” or “handled” may have their place on a resume (sparingly), but don’t give the reader any details about how you did it. Did you lead by assigning work to a team; by creating a road map for a project; by organizing resources, people, and deadlines; or by doing some combination of the three?
No matter what duty or accomplishment you’re trying to show off, we’ve got just the resume action verb for you. Check out the list below, and get ready to make your resume way more exciting.
Action verbs for when you led a project
If you were in charge of a project or initiative from start to finish, skip “led” and instead try:
Actions for when you envisioned and brought a project to life
And if you actually developed, created, or introduced that project into your company? Try:
Action verbs for when you increased efficiency, productivity, profit, sales, revenue, or customer satisfaction (or reduced costs or time spent)
If you can show that your work boosted the company’s numbers in some way, you’re bound to impress. In these cases, consider:
Action verbs for when you changed or improved something
Did you bring your department’s invoicing system out of the Stone Age and into the 21st century? Talk about the amazing changes you made at your office with these words:
Action verbs for when you managed a team
While “managed” may have a place on your resume (especially if it’s a keyword), phrases like “Managed a team…” or “Managed employees…” are just reciting your job duties. Instead, you can show what an inspirational leader you were with terms like:
Action verbs for when you brought in partners, funding, resources, or clients
Were you “responsible for” a great new partner, sponsor, source of funding, or client? Try:
Action verbs for when you supported customers
Because monitoring the phones, answering questions, or providing customer service really means you’re advising customers and meeting their needs, use:
Action verbs for when you did research or analysis
Did your job include research, analysis, or fact-finding? Mix up your verbiage with these words:
Action verbs for when you communicated
Was writing, speaking, lobbying, or otherwise communicating part of your gig? You can explain just how compelling you were with words like:
Action verbs for when you oversaw or regulated
Whether you enforced protocol or managed your department’s requests, describe what you really did, better, with these words:
Action verbs for when you achieved something
Did you hit your goals? Win a coveted department award? Don’t forget to include that on your resume, with words like:
Regina Borsellino contributed writing, reporting, and/or advice to this article.