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200+ Resume Words, Action Verbs, & Resume Power Words

Need an easy trick to boost your resume? Replace boring phrases with resume action words, power words, and adjectives for resume. Make your resume sound like a bestseller.

Roma Kończak
Roma Kończak
Career Expert
200+ Resume Words, Action Verbs, & Resume Power Words

You’ve just finished writing your resume and feel proud of yourself. But after the initial feeling of accomplishment passed, you’ve taken a critical look at it. And it feels… dry. Boring. Forgettable.

There is an easy fix for that. Just replace the cliché phrasing with strong resume words. You know, like resume action words or resume adjectives.

Never heard of them? Don’t worry—you’ll become an expert on resume words in minutes.

In this guide:

  • 200+ resume words you can use to improve your application.
  • 130+ action verbs for resume to use in order to show your initiative. 
  • Resume adjectives that are perfect for introducing yourself.

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Resume Words: What Are They?

Some words hold power. No, I don’t mean words such as hocus-pocus or abracadabra. I mean words that convey more meaning than others. They can serve different purposes, but in this article, I will talk only about those that can make a resume sound better.

Resume words are single words or phrases that you can use to improve the tone of your resume. They are also called active verbs or power words. If you use them well, they can highlight your key skills and show the hiring manager that you’re a great candidate for the job.

See, it’s not about opening a dictionary and choosing the fanciest synonyms for all the conventional words in your resume. That might make your application sound fake. It’s all about knowing the right balance—and the right power words, too.

So, what are good words for a resume?

They come in different forms, such as:

  • Action verbs: they describe actions that you perform at work and prove you can take initiative rather than wait for others to direct you.
  • Adjectives: you can use them to describe yourself in a resume profile or in your cover letter.
  • Resume buzzwords: these are trendy words designed to catch the hiring manager’s or employer’s attention.
  • Resume keywords: are words that can help you prepare an ATS-friendly resume.

This article will focus on the first two categories: action words and resume adjectives. For resume keywords, check our separate guide: Resume Keywords You Need to Pass ATS

What Are the Best Action Verbs for a Resume?

Technically, you know how to write a resume. But you’ve just spotted that your application is full of passive words and phrases such as “participated in”, “helped with”, “worked on”, or  “responsible for.” Well, it’s time to replace them with some exciting action words.

Here’s a list of good action words for a resume, divided into various categories:

You can go through each list or just jump to the category you need right now.

Resume words to use instead of “assisted”

  • Administered
  • Collaborated
  • Contributed
  • Facilitated
  • Liaised
  • Organized
  • Scheduled

How to replace “assisted” with these resume words? For example, instead of writing: “Assisted the senior project manager with project scheduling and presenting updates,” you can say: “Scheduled project milestones and presented updates in collaboration with the senior project manager.”

Resume verbs to use instead of “collaborated”

  • Corresponded
  • Enlisted
  • Facilitated
  • Instructed
  • Liaised
  • Negotiated
  • Proposed

Since over 80% of managers see teamwork skills as essential, it’s not surprising that you may want to talk about working with others on your resume. You can skip the word “collaborated” by replacing it with the words from the list above. For example, don’t write: “Collaborated with external contractors,” but instead say: “Liaised and negotiated with external contractors.”

Action words for resumes instead of “created”

  • Built
  • Conceptualized
  • Designed
  • Developed
  • Devised
  • Drafted
  • Established
  • Initiated
  • Innovated
  • Pioneered
  • Planned
  • Produced
  • Structured
  • Set up

How to replace the word “created” with a resume action word? Instead of saying something like: “Created the graphic interface for a mobile application”, say: “Designed the graphic interface.”

Resume verbs to replace “developed”

  • Established
  • Expanded
  • Founded
  • Generated
  • Implemented
  • Initiated
  • Invented
  • Launched

Want to replace the word “developed” with an action verb for a resume? Instead of saying things along the lines of “Developed a successful marketing strategy,” try writing something like “Launched a new marketing campaign that resulted in …”

Strong resume words to replace “ensured”

  • Authorized
  • Certified
  • Confirmed
  • Delegated
  • Enforced
  • Established
  • Guaranteed
  • Inspected
  • Monitored
  • Verified

How to use these strong action verbs for a resume? For example, don’t say, “Ensured all team members fulfilled their responsibilities within deadlines”, but instead, write: “Delegated tasks to all team members and enforced strict deadlines.”

Resume words to use instead of “helped”

  • Advised
  • Assisted
  • Counseled
  • Enhanced
  • Expedited
  • Facilitated
  • Improved
  • Guided
  • Mentored
  • Recommended
  • Resolved
  • Supported
  • Upgraded

“Helped” is a boring word. Try using the resume action words from the list above instead. For example, don’t say: “Helped a team of four junior software developers during their onboarding process,” but write: “Mentored four junior software developers…” It’s a small tweak that will make you sound more agile.

Resume words to replace “led”

  • Chaired
  • Cultivated
  • Drove
  • Executed
  • Guided
  • Hosted
  • Oversaw
  • Planned
  • Programmed

Try using these resume words like this—instead of saying, “Led weekly team meetings,” write: “Chaired team meetings.”

Action verbs for a resume to replace “maintained”

  • Allocated
  • Automated
  • Balanced
  • Engineered
  • Operated
  • Refined
  • Saved
  • Streamlined
  • Strengthened

How can you use these strong resume verbs? For example, don’t say: “Maintained a safe working environment.” Instead, write: “Strengthened safety protocols to ensure a safe working environment.”

Another word for “managed” on a resume

  • Administered
  • Allocated
  • Arranged
  • Coordinated
  • Coached
  • Delegated
  • Facilitated
  • Guided
  • Led
  • Mentored
  • Organized
  • Trained
  • Supervised

“Managed” is one of the most overused resume words. You can replace it using the action verbs for a resume from the list above. For example, instead of writing: “Managed a team of eight software engineers,” say: “Supervised a team of …” Or, instead of saying: “Managed email communication in the customer service team,” say: “Facilitated effective email communication.”

Resume words to use instead of “performed”

  • Accomplished
  • Aced
  • Achieved
  • Carried out
  • Committed
  • Completed
  • Executed
  • Fulfilled
  • Implemented

How can you use these resume verbs? For example, don’t say: “Performed all tasks within deadlines,” but write: “Completed all duties within deadlines” instead.

Words for resumes to replace “provided”

  • Acquired
  • Boosted
  • Delivered
  • Forged
  • Gained
  • Generated
  • Grew
  • Maximized
  • Negotiated
  • Partnered
  • Produced
  • Secured

Here’s how to use these resume power words instead of saying “provided”. For example, don’t write “provided training sessions,” but say: “delivered training sessions” instead.

Power words for a resume to replace “was responsible for”

  • Accomplished
  • Achieved
  • Attained
  • Awarded
  • Completed
  • Demonstrated
  • Exceeded
  • Navigated
  • Performed

Don’t write things like “was responsible for data analysis for the sales department.” Instead, say: “Performed data analysis for…”

Good resume words to use instead of “worked on”

  • Adopted
  • Applied
  • Compiled
  • Contributed
  • Formulated
  • Handled
  • Targeted
  • Pursued
  • Undertook

Want to write “worked on multiple software projects”? Don’t. Instead, write: “Contributed to multiple software projects.”

Verbs for resumes to replace “worked with”

  • Collaborated
  • Contributed
  • Engaged
  • Mediated
  • Networked
  • Partnered
  • Teamed

Use these resume words to skip the phrase “worked with” on your resume. For example, don’t write “Worked with five research assistants,” but instead, say: “Teamed with five research assistants.”

Of course, the lists above don’t include all action words—there are over 800 of these. But there’s enough to choose from and add to your resume.

What Are Good Adjectives for Resumes?

You want to write a catchy resume summary or a career objective, but it comes out less than impressive. Rather than sounding like a catchy elevator pitch, it resembles an extended version of Moby-Dick

Well, let’s look at the words you’ve chosen to describe yourself. Hmmm… “Experienced,”“motivated”, and—oh dear—“professional.” No wonder your introduction doesn’t spark joy. It’s time to spice things up with some good resume adjectives.

Best words to describe yourself on a resume include:

  • Accomplished
  • Accountable
  • Adaptable
  • Amicable
  • Articulate
  • Assertive
  • Attentive
  • Dedicated
  • Dependable
  • Detail-oriented
  • Determined
  • Diligent
  • Driven
  • Enthusiastic
  • Flexible
  • Humble
  • Imaginative
  • Influential
  • Innovative
  • Inquisitive
  • Insightful
  • Inspiring
  • Knowledgeable
  • Methodical
  • Meticulous
  • Mindful
  • Open-minded
  • Persistent
  • Personable
  • Persuasive
  • Proficient
  • Quick-thinking
  • Resilient
  • Resourceful
  • Respectful
  • Sociable
  • Sincere
  • Supportive
  • Team-minded

Just pick the words that match your personality traits and use them to summarize your qualifications on a resume. For example, if you’re a customer service representative, you could describe yourself as personable, enthusiastic, or attentive.

More Resume Words to Replace Clichés 

Do you know what are the 2 words to never use on a resume?

“Responsible for”. Using these two words will make you seem idle in the eyes of a hiring manager. But the list of resume clichés is longer than that.

Here’s a list of good resume words you can use as synonyms for overused buzzwords:

You can check all the resume words or just jump to the category you need right now.

Resume words to replace “responsible”

  • Accountable
  • Dependable
  • Devoted
  • Honest
  • Infallible
  • Reliable
  • Sincere
  • Trustworthy

You can use the synonyms below if you want to describe your personality. But if you want to describe your work experience on a resume, you need something else.

Replace the boring “responsible for” phrase with a resume action word. For example, don’t say: “Responsible for software development projects.” Instead, say: “Coordinated software development projects.”

Resume words to use instead of “experience”

  • Background
  • Command
  • Expertise
  • Mastery
  • Proficiency

Let’s say you wanted to write: “Customer service agent with 3+ years of experience working with Microsoft Excel.” Instead, try: “Customer service agent with a good command of Microsoft Excel.”

Resume words to replace “passion”

  • Appreciation
  • Attachment
  • Eagerness
  • Enthusiasm
  • Esteem
  • Fondness

Don’t use the word “passion” too often in your job application. You can replace it with the resume words above. For example, instead of writing “I’d like to express my passion for this line of work,” you can say: “I’d like to express my enthusiasm…” or “I’m enthusiastic about …”

Good resume words to replace “opportunity”

  • Chance
  • Connection
  • Convenience
  • Event
  • Opening

“Opportunity” is a word that is often repeated in cover letters. Instead of writing “I’d like to thank you for this opportunity” over and over, you can replace the word with “chance” or rephrase the sentence and try a different word.

Resume words for “leadership”

  • Authority
  • Direction
  • Encouragement
  • Governance
  • Guidance
  • Influence
  • Initiative
  • Supervision

Hiring managers feel tired of hearing the word “leadership” too often. Instead of writing “Used leadership skills to manage the sales department” or something similar, try to highlight your leadership qualities differently: “Expressed encouragement and provided guidance for the sales department”.

Best resume words to replace “team player”

Instead of saying “I’m a team player” on your resume, try these phrases:

  • Communicate easily with teammates
  • Enjoy teamwork
  • Enjoy being a part of the team
  • Enjoy working with others
  • Thrive in a team environment

These phrases can also come in handy when you’re writing a cover letter or even when you’re describing your work history during a job interview.

Words to put on a resume instead of “excellent”

  • Accomplished
  • Certified
  • Exceptional
  • Exemplary
  • First-class
  • First-rate
  • Invaluable
  • Outstanding
  • Skillful

Instead of writing “demonstrated excellent performance,” you can type: “demonstrated outstanding performance” in your resume. You might also use these words to describe your professional achievements. For example, you might’ve provided invaluable feedback to colleagues or created a first-class design for a website.

Best resume words to replace “hard-working”

  • Ambitious
  • Aspiring
  • Dedicated
  • Determined
  • Diligent
  • Persistent
  • Studious

Some recruiters sigh when they see “hard-working” on a resume. Try using other words to describe yourself or demonstrate relevant achievements that will speak for you.

How to Improve Your Application with Action Words?

There are different ways to add action verbs and power words to a resume. As with everything, remember not to overdo it. Your resume must sound natural, so don’t try to replace every single word with a fancy term straight out of a dictionary.

Follow these instructions to boost your resume using action verbs and power words:

1. Add action words to your resume profile

Experts agree that writing a resume profile is one of the best practices of resume writing. Introduce yourself with strong resume words—just like in the example below:

Dependable secretary with 4+ years of experience in office administration. Keen to simplify the administrative processes and support the board at SparkGlass Inc. using my time management and organizational skills. Certified Microsoft Office Specialist. Coordinated training sessions and organized the work-from-home scheme for office staff at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adding action verbs or good adjectives for a resume might be difficult at first, so give it a few tries before deciding on the final version.

2. Use power words when describing your work experience

Did you know that every sentence describing your previous experience should start with a resume action word? Well, now you know. Just like in the examples below:

  • Reviewed company documentation to ensure compliance with appropriate state and federal regulations.
  • Processed incoming and outgoing mail to ensure a smooth flow of communication between the business and partners.
  • Coordinated Zoom training sessions and collaborated with the IT department to prepare the office staff for remote work at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Entered customer orders and shipping information in the sales database with 97% accuracy.
  • Answered over 20 phone calls and directed callers to the appropriate persons within the company on a daily basis.
  • Maintained the inventory of office supplies and made orders to replace necessary items.
  • Coordinated a business trip involving international flights and hotel booking for six managers on short notice.

3. Mention action verbs to talk about education.

If you add information about extracurricular activities or academic achievements to your resume, use resume power words to highlight your skills. Check the examples below:

  • Teamed with two computer science students to develop a mobile application tracking students’ academic progress.
  • Mentored first-year students during orientation and throughout the academic year.
  • Designed posters and leaflets for the student film club.

4. Describe other achievements with strong resume words.

When adding extra resume sections, such as volunteer experience or personal interests, to your resume, use power words to pull the hiring manager’s focus. Rather than listing dry facts like names of organizations or dates, show what you’ve done. Check the samples below:

Volunteer Work

  • Organized a holiday bake sale that helped to raise money for the local community center in December 2019.

Associations & Memberships

  • Chaired quarterly meetings of the Pennsylvania Interior Designer Association in the years 2018–2022.

Interests

  • Founded a local book club with 15 members.

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Key Points

Here’s a reminder of the main points from this article:

  • Using resume words can help to catch the reader’s attention.
  • You should try to replace passive words and clichés with good resume words.
  • Add resume action verbs to the personal profile, work experience, education, and additional sections.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Have you got any questions about resume words? Maybe you’ve got tips to share with other readers? Let us know in the comments below!

About ResumeLab’s Editorial Process

At ResumeLab, quality is at the crux of our values, supporting our commitment to delivering top-notch career resources. The editorial team of career experts carefully reviews every article in accordance with editorial guidelines, ensuring the high quality and reliability of our content. We actively conduct original research, shedding light on the job market's intricacies and earning recognition from numerous influential news outlets. Our dedication to delivering expert career advice attracts millions of readers to our blog each year.

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Roma Kończak
Roma Kończak
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Roma is a career expert with international work experience and a background in education and humanities. She has spent considerable time assisting individuals in advancing their careers by helping them improve their communication skills in diverse cultural and professional settings. She has written over 50 articles on effective approaches to resume writing and career advice.

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