What are Resume action words?

If you have studied in the  Indian educational system, chances are you have gotten yourself familiarized with the concepts of writing letters to the Editor, making CVs, and Resume. However, these were often brushed under the carpet and given the least acknowledgment in our school and college days. However, once we have completed higher education, we realize how these lessons were of paramount importance and needed the most effort. The usage of the right words and the art of presenting oneself in the right light can do wonders, and push a person into paths of greater purpose.

Presenting yourself in a Resume or CV is of value. Sure your grades and the institution you attended can give your profile push, but so is the wording. Using bullet points, concise sentences, and updating your portfolio is a rule of thumb. You might have worked in a reputed professional setting and spent multiple years leading several employees, but your resume might still lack the spark that a recruiter is looking for. It is necessary to read the room – finding out the latest trends, do’s, and don’ts which are to be understood while creating a Resume in 2021. Since a Resume is to fit a single page, packing punch in some words and space is important. Presenting oneself with the very best of qualities, and that too condensed is a challenge in itself. For that very reason, action words come very handily in a resume.

So what exactly is an action word? Action words are verbs that show the effectiveness and bridge the gap between information and communication. It is used in the past tense. Using action words can make your resume unique and interesting giving you the much-needed edge your profile needs. Consider this – a recruiter has to scrape through thousands of job profiles for a particular job opening. Using words like hard-working or out spoken , is not going to make you any different from other candidates who have applied for the very same opening.

The last thing the recruiter is looking for is the repetition of the same words he has come across different profiles. Instead, if the very same qualities were expressed differently, can spike curiosity in the recruiter. However, going in that extra mile, using industry-specific action words, will give the recruiter a clearer picture of how aware and adaptable of a potential employee you are. Action words are extremely handy in limiting the number of words in a resume, thereby sticking to the initial concept of making a resume concise and precise. Since Resumes are now filtered through ATS, using action words has an additional advantage of being ATS friendly. Action words are seen at the beginning of the point and hence it gives the panache to the quality described. More often than not, action words bring a quiet elegance to your profile, something that will catch the eye of your recruiter.

So what words can be used? For starters, replace

  • ‘Developed’ with formulated or engineered, or devised. Replace ‘researched’ with forecasted or examined, or even surveyed.
  • Programmed, mentored, and directed can be used instead of led.
  • Navigated, partnered, and negotiated can be used in the place of responsibility.
  • In place of created, words like crafted, conceptualized, and conceived can be used. Switch boosted with amplified, capitalized, and maximized.
  • Centralized, streamlined, and integrated are splendid replacements for improvement.
  • Critiques, authored and analyzed are excellent substitutions for writing. Instead of using specialized, swap it with a handle.

Albeit these action words are simple, they convey professionalism and give a much broader profile for the applicant. It indicates that the person has put in the time, effort, and an extra mile in presenting oneself in the best possible light. Using action words also shows the applicant is aware of the market trends, how much that person is willing to adapt. It shows that the applicant is observant and a keen student of learning and understanding. Therefore, making use of action words can speak volumes of the individual.


  1. https://www.themuse.com/advice/185-powerful-verbs-that-will-make-your-resume-awesome
  2. https://theundercoverrecruiter.com/action-verbs-resume/
  3. https://www.careermatch.com/job-prep/apply-for-a-job/re
  4. https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/resumes-cover-letters/action-verbs-to-make-your

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