7 action verbs to use on your resume: They are ‘your secret sauce,’ says expert

Published Wed, Apr 12 202310:19 AM EDT

There are numerous dos and don’ts when it comes to creating your resume, but one important “do that job gurus” advise is the inclusion of action verbs like “led” and “executed.”

“Action verbs are your secret sauce for your resume,” claims Octavia Goredema, career counselor and author of “PREP, PUSH, PIVOT.” She believes “they speak volumes” since they genuinely show what you’ve done.

176,220 resumes written in 2022 were recently reviewed by the resume writing website Kickresume, which found that 93% of them contained one or more action-oriented statements. Therefore, it appears that job searchers are learning the lesson.

When it comes to using them personally, you can do so in your summary or the supporting details for each role you performed.

When it comes to using them directly, you can do so in your summary or the supporting details for each role you performed. Start each of your proof points with an action verb to grab the reader’s attention and demonstrate your breadth of accomplishments, advises Goredema.

Here are seven action words that experts advise using.

  • Improved
  • Advanced
  • Spearheaded
  • Exceeded
  • Grew
  • Built
  • Directed

“The best bragging points are demonstrating what you brought forth,” asserts Amanda Augustine, a career counselor at TopResume. It is for this reason that she advises using verbs like “built” and “grew.” She claims that “they’re powerful because of what’s attached after them” like a measure that shows your contribution.

Similar to this, Goredema advises using “improved” and “advanced” since “it immediately shows that you’re making a positive impact,” she claims. Naturally, make sure they are pertinent to your experience. Do not invent anything. But pick the verbs that actually demonstrate your contribution.

Additionally, keep in mind not to misuse any one of them.

Augustine says, “Use it once, use it twice, fine.” More than that, you have to start using your imagination. She advises searching for synonyms of the verb you’ve been using online or even looking it up in a thesaurus for fresh ideas.

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By Curt McPhail
Curt McPhail Executive Director