45 Rare Action Verbs for Your Resume (with Examples) was originally published on Resume.io.
45 Rare Action Verbs for Your Resume (with Examples)
When you outline an accomplishment on your resume, why use a bland (and often meaningless) adjective when you can deploy a powerful action verb to add some depth?
Thoughtful action verbs can bring a resume to life.
Especially when your career experience is somewhat sparse.
An average graduate job seeker will likely use between 20-30 verbs on a one-page resume, so your choice and variety of action verb can fire the imagination of any future boss. Help them to imagine how you go about your work as well as what you have achieved.
There are three core benefits of being deliberate in your choice of resume action verb:
Elevate your achievements
While a career achievement might not be stunning, the language that you use to describe it can elevate it above similar accomplishments of other candidates. Action verbs can sometimes be lost in the middle of resume sentences, but as the first word of a bullet-point they pack a punch. Did you “manage” or “mobilize” a project team? You decide.
Avoid redundant descriptions
Are you a great communicator with a passion for people management? Maybe your creative approach helps you to solve problems and serve customers? These phrases are used so often in applications…. yet they tell a hiring manager very little about the detail of what you did. Using action verbs within the specific context of an accomplishment will convey a far more nuanced meaning (and will use far less space).
Highlight your fit with the job description
While you likely won’t want to repeat the language from the job description word for word, suitable action verbs and their synonyms can make the hiring feel that you are one of them. They won’t quite be able to put their finger on it, but the right resume action verbs will be doing a lot of the heavy lifting. The right action verbs will also impress increasingly sophisticated ATS software.
Also, don’t forget to use the active voice with your action verbs. “Completed project in three months” sounds so much more personal than “project was completed in three months.”
In terms of where to use the action verbs, they are most visible at the start of bullet-points in the employment history section. Having said this, they should also be prominent in the summary section
Listed below are 45 rare resume action verbs that will make a hiring manager sit up and take notice of your early-career application. If these aren’t enough (and they won’t be), this article with 300+ Resume Action Verbs should satisfy your linguistic ambition. Whatever you do, make sure that their meaning fits the context of what you wish to say.
Here are some examples for established professionals – students and recent graduates should aim to emulate them as closely as they can (on a smaller scale).
Leadership – Sculpted, Enforced, Orchestrated
“Orchestrated a change process that led to a 17% uplift in productivity.”
Achievement – Boosted, Sustained, Lifted
“Lifted my team to beat our 20k weekly sales budget”
Teamwork – Intervened, Moderated, Fostered
“Intervened in a supplier dispute to unlock 4% of cost savings.”
Communication – Articulated, Mediated, Clarified
“Articulated our marketing strategy to the board members.”
Project management – Deployed, Charted, Patched
“Deployed a new CRM system to support our +45% YOY sales growth.”
People management – Appraised, Instilled, Unified
“Unified the operations team after a complicated merger.”
Customer service – Verified, Settled, Counseled
“Settled an average of 65 customer disputes per week.”
Problem solving – Deciphered, Interceded, Derived
“Deciphered why the monthly shrinkage had increased by 0.5%”
Improved – Ignited, Amplified, Enhanced
“Enhanced patient communication procedure to ensure 25% faster treatment.”
Researched – Scrutinized, Undertook, Compiled
“Compiled a paper to investigate changes in market dynamics.”
Organization – Effected, Regulated, Modified
“Modified the recruitment process to reach a more diverse candidate base.”
Creativity – Fabricated, Sparked, Conceived
“Sparked change in how we measured our productivity.”
Worked on – Adjusted, Refined, Curated
“Adjusted the annual audit process to double colleague involvement.”
Increased – Fortified, Expedited, Surpassed
“Surpassed margin targets by 67% by broadening our customer base.”
Reduced – Shattered, Condensed, Trimmed
“Trimmed headcount by 15% without any impact to sales.”
While the same basic 20-25 action verbs dominate both written and oral career stories, don’t go over the top in trying to be different. It is important to sprinkle impressive action verbs in with the normal verbs that you use in your everyday language if you want to sound natural in your resume.
Take your time when you compose your career story. Be deliberate and imaginative with your language, ditch the cliches and elevate your application above all the others.
Every resume action word matters.