50 Best Action Words to Use on Your Resume in 2023

If you have tried to write a resume before, you should know it is not a walk in the park. It entails more than just listing out your work experience, dates of employment, and job responsibilities.

To ensure that your resume passes the right message, have action words that carry the power of persuasion.

This would keep the attention of anyone who reads your resume and help you to effectively market yourself to recruiters and potential employers.

In writing a resume, you must show what you are capable of. Your word choice plays a very big role in ensuring this is possible.

Your employers and recruiters do not want to just see soft skills listed- everyone has soft skills and they can easily get it elsewhere.

Instead, they want a demonstration of how you put those skills to use, and your choice of words when writing your resume would go a long way toward showing them this.

Most hiring managers and recruiters have probably seen a lot of resumes with the same old words.

When you are submitting your resume, you want to have something new that can capture your employer’s attention.

Are you wondering which words are necessary to have this hint of persuasiveness, do you need action words to use on your resume?

Are you wondering what an action word is for your resume? I have not only highlighted but also explained these.

Keep reading!!

Check Out: Language Skills Resume: Overview and Free Samples

What are Action Words on your Resume?

Resume action words are the powerful verbs that enhance the readability of your resume and spice up the language so recruiters and hiring managers to stay locked in beyond the 6-7 seconds they intend to spend skimming through your resume.

Action words are mostly verbs. These verbs express an action in a stronger way than using an adjective. They express an action.

In writing a resume, action verbs are used to highlight your skills, experience, and accomplishments. Action words are verbs that are not only specific but clarifies your previous contributions and bring a confident tone to your resume.

Using an action verb that is strong, directly captures your intention, and passes the message to your recruiters and potential employers can increase your chances of capturing the attention of an employer and moving to the next step in the hiring process.

In ensuring your resume stands out from others, ensure you do not use any passive voice and passive terms on your resume.

They have been shown to have the ability to dilute the quality and value of what you offer the employer.

In using active words, you can ensure your employer or recruiter gets the message about what you have achieved or what you are capable of accomplishing for them should you be hired.

Active voice passes the message effortlessly, passive voice does not.

Read Also: 195 Powerful Verbs That Can Spice Up Your Resume

Why Do You Need Action Words on your Resume?

At this point, you should have gotten the general idea of what an action word is and why they are needed.

However, these are more reasons you need an action word in your resume-

  • Action words create an impact when you’re delivering information to another reader.
  • By using an action word in your resume, your employer gets a clear understanding of things you have done.
  • An action word in your resume ensures that your application stands out from other submitted resumes.
  • Action words sound way more polished and professional than passive words.
  • Action words improves the entire phrase or sentence that you are using it in. When you use words like- strong leader, it improves the quality of the sentence.
  • A professional resume needs to demonstrate your investment in the position and company you are applying to. Having these action words in your resume would ensure that at a glance, your employer can see this.
  • In using action words in your resume, you can be sure that you are conveying the message of the value you have through the right words.
  • Employers can tell when you have written your resume with a template. Not like this matters but then, when you have taken your time to create something that beautiful and catch, with the proper skills and experience needed for the job, no way you wouldn’t be called back and hired.

See Also: Resume Tips 101: How far back Should a Resume Go

How Do You Put Action Words on your Resume?

Putting action words in your resume requires a little skill. You have to be careful not to use it excessively and you also have to ensure you do not useless either.

Action words in your resume have to be just right to ensure it passes the intended message.

If you do not have a resume, and you intend to write one from scratch, you can start to use these action words as you write. Be careful to add them in places that matter as in using too much of it, the message you intend to pass may get lost.

If your resume is old, and you just went through it to see there are little or no action words, it may be one of the major reasons that hinder your being called back for employment.

You should fix that now by replacing passive words with active words to strengthen the quality of sentences in your resume and make your resume have a persuasive and professional tone to it.

You should know that in replacing the words, you do not just swap words for words or your resume would end up looking very messy and unprofessional.

Instead, reshape your sentence structures to fit these words in perfectly. Beware of your grammatical constructions while doing this.

Pull out the most important information, your hard skills, soft skills, accomplishments, and other things, and restructure them with action words.

It might take a little longer than just replacing words with action words, but the results will be worth the time investment.

Most of the time, your resume already has a lot of action words. The problem would then be to know if they are strong and compelling enough. While some words pack a punch, others are tired and boring words.

If you look at your resume and you have words like participated, managed, assisted, took part; these words are boring and overused. Your employer has probably seen it a lot of times. You should consider changing them for something rare but powerful.

Are you confused about what action words to use? I have listed 50 examples below. You can pick from the list and replace them with your old boring words.

How to Choose Action Words for your Resume?

You have probably realized that you need action words in your resume. There are some steps you must take before choosing which action word in your resume and knowing where to place it for it to be most effective.

First of all, I have told you that action words are mostly verbs. In using an action word, you must have to understand the different tenses. Ensure you know the difference between when to use present, past, and future tense.

The present tense is the grammatical tense that you use when you’re describing an action that’s currently happening. Past tense is the grammatical tense you use to describe an action that happened in the past.

The future tense is used to describe actions that will happen in the future. When writing your resume, you are expected to use an action word that depicts present and past tense.

You may only use the future tense when you intend to pass the message of what the employer would gain by hiring you.

In choosing an action word for your resume, you should consider whether you hold the job currently or whether you worked for the company in the past.

If you no longer hold a position, then you should list all accomplishments and responsibilities using the past tense. This applies whether you’re referring to a past job or a volunteer experience that you held in the past.

If you’re writing about a job or volunteer position that you currently hold, then you should use the present tense when describing your experiences and accomplishments.

In using these tenses, ensure that you maintain a consistent tense of the words you choose to use. It is acceptable to list all of the elements within your resume using the past tense. The most important part is to avoid combining past and present tense within a single set of bullet points.

50 Best Action Words to Use on your Resume

In picking words, remember your resume is a chance to show the company all the awesome things you have done and what you can do if given a chance.

You must have action verbs for communication skills, action verbs for organizational skills, action verbs for management skills, and an action verb for any skill you have.

The 50 best action words to use in your resume in 2021 are:

  1. Advance             
  2. Discern Halt
  3. Anchor
  4. Dispense
  5. Handle
  6. Arrange
  7. Drive
  8. Illustrate
  9. Augment
  10. Earn
  11. Imagine
  12. Effectuate
  13. Institute
  14. Bestow
  15. Eliminate
  16. Instruct
  17. Brainstorm
  18. Empower
  19. Integrate
  20. Brief
  21. Enact
  22. Intensify
  23. Capitalize
  24. Endeavor
  25. Lower
  26. Capture
  27. Endorse
  28. Maintain
  29. Centralize
  30. Enforce
  31. Network
  32. Champion
  33. Enliven
  34. Optimize
  35. Classify
  36. Ensure
  37. Orchestrate
  38. Convey
  39. Entrench
  40. Predict
  41. Decipher
  42. Equalize
  43. Renovate
  44. Deploy
  45. Extricate
  46. Spark
  47. Derive
  48. Forge
  49. Steer
  50. Detect


Are you tired of your resume being rejected by applicant tracking systems? I know how frustrating it is to submit your resume and receive no response.

These 50 best action words for your resume would help you start seeing results in your employment applications.

Learn their proper usage and where to put them and you are good to go.


  • indeed.com – Why Action Verbs Are Important for Resumes (With Examples)
  • indeed.com – 195 Action Verbs to Make Your Resume Stand Out
  • zety.com – 300+ Action Verbs, Power Words & Synonyms for a Resume
  • jobscan.co – 500 Resume Action Words That Recruiters Love to See in 2023


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