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Action Verbs

Students are often too brief in their description of their skills, qualities and traits. Consult the following list of action verbs when writing your resume and describing your experience.

A helpful strategy for using these verbs:

  1. Go through the entire list and check off all the action verbs (skills) employers in your intended field seek.
  2. Go through the list a second time and check off all the verbs you have used in the experiences you are describing on your resume.
  3. Note the words that you have checked twice. Incorporate into your resume (or cover letter) the words that best sell your skills and abilities.

Tip: Download this list (pdf) and print it out to make it easier to use

A
accelerated, accommodated, accomplished, accounted for, achieved
acquired, acted, activated, adapted, added
addressed, adjusted, administered, admitted, adopted
advanced, advertised, advised, advocated, affected, aided
aligned, alleviated, allocated, allowed, altered
amended, amplified, analyzed, anticipated, applied, appointed
apportioned, appraised, approved, approximated, arbitrated
argued, arranged, ascertained, assembled, assessed, 
assigned, assisted, assumed, assured, attained
attended, audited, augmented, authored, authorized, awarded

B
balanced, billed, blocked, bolstered, boosted, bought
brainstormed, briefed, brought, budgeted, built

C
calculated, calibrated, campaigned, capitalized, carried out, cataloged
caused, centralized, certified, chaired, changed, charted
checked, co-authored, co-taught, chose, clarified, classified, closed
coached, collaborated, collected, combined, commissioned
committed, communicated, compared, compiled, completed
composed, compounded, computed, conceived, conceptualized
concluded, conditioned, conducted, confirmed, confronted
consented, conserved, consolidated, constructed, consulted
continued, contracted, contributed, controlled, converted
convinced, conveyed, cooperated, coordinated, copied, corrected
correlated, corresponded, counseled, counted, crafted
created, critiqued, cultivated, customized

D
dealt, debated, debugged, decided, deciphered
dedicated, decreased, dedicated, deducted, defined, delegated
deliberated, delivered, demonstrated, designated, designed, detected
determined, developed, devised, diagnosed, diminished, directed
disbursed, discovered, dispatched, dispensed, displayed
disproved, dissected, distributed, diverted, documented, drafted
drew, drew up

E
earned, edited, educated, effected, elected
elevated, elicited, eliminated, employed, empowered
enabled, encouraged, endorsed, enforced, engineered
enhanced, engaged, enlarged, enlisted, enriched, ensured
entered, entertained, enumerated, envisioned, established
estimated, evaluated, examined, exceeded, excelled, executed
exercised, exhibited, expanded, expedited, explained
explored, extended, extracted

F
fabricated, facilitated, familiarized, fashioned, fielded, figured
filtered, finalized, financed, focused, forecast, foresaw
formulated, forwarded, forged, formalized, formed
fostered, founded, fulfilled, furthered


G
gained, gathered, generated, governed, graded
greeted, grew, grossed, guaranteed, guided

H
handled, hastened, headed, heightened, helped
highlighted, hired

I
identified, illustrated, imagined, implemented, improved
improvised, incorporated, increased, indexed, individualized
indicated, inferred, influenced, informed, initiated, innovated
input, inspected, inspired, installed, instilled, instituted
instructed, insured, integrated, interceded, interpreted
intervened, interviewed, introduced, invented, inventoried
investigated, involved, issued, itemized

J
joined, judged, justified

L
labored, launched, lectured, led, lessened, licensed, lifted
licensed, linked, lobbied, located, logged


M
maintained, managed, mapped, marketed, mastered
maximized, measured, mediated, mentored, merchandised
merged, minimized, mobilized, modeled, moderated
modernized, modified, monitored, motivated, multiplied

N
navigated, negotiated, netted

O
observed, obtained, officiated, opened, operated
orchestrated, ordered, organized, originated, outpaced
outperformed, overcame, overhauled, oversaw

P
participated, partnered, perceived, perfected, performed
persuaded, photographed, piloted, pioneered, planned, played
policed, polished, predicted, prepared, prescribed
presented, presided, prevailed, prioritized, processed
procured, produced, profited, programmed, projected
promoted, proofed, proposed, prospected, protected
proved, provided, publicized, published, purchased

Q
qualified, quantified, queried, questioned, quoted

R
raised, rated, realized, reached, received, recognized
recommended, reconciled, recorded, recruited, rectified
redesigned, reduced, referred, refined, reflected, refocused
reformed, regulated, rehabilitated, reinforced, rejuvenated, related
remedied, remodeled, rendered, renovated, reorganized, repaired
replaced, reported, represented, rescued, researched
reserved, resolved, responded, restored, retrieved, restructured
revamped, revealed, reviewed, revised, revitalized
revived, rewrote, routed

S
sanctioned, satisfied, saved, scheduled, scouted
screened, scrutinized, secured, selected, served
serviced, settled, set goals, shaped, shipped, showcased, sifted
simplified, simulated, sketched, sold, solicited, solved
sorted, sought, spearheaded, specified, spoke
stated, standardized, stimulated, stocked, straightened, strategized
streamlined, strengthened, structured, studied, submitted, substantiated
succeeded, suggested, summarized, supervised, supplemented
supplied, supported, surmounted, surpassed, surveyed
sustained, synthesized, systematized

T
tabulated, tailored, targeted, taught, tended
tested, theorized, tightened, totaled, traced
tracked, trained, transacted, transcribed, transferred
transformed, translated, transmitted, traveled, treated, tutored

U
uncovered, unearthed, unified, united, updated, upgraded

V
validated, verified, visualized

W
welcomed, won, wrote

Y
yielded