250+ CV Action Words & CV Verbs for Strong CVs

CV words that add horsepower to any CV. This CV action words list is so well organised you can find the best CV verbs for your CV in your sleep.

Tom Gerencer
Career Writer at ResumeLab
250+ CV Action Words & CV Verbs for Strong CVs

Why is this CV action words list the last you’ll ever need?

 

Try this:

 

Get a stopwatch.

 

Time yourself finding the perfect CV words in this list.

 

Then do the same with other online lists of CV verbs.

 

This one’s ten times faster.

 

Why?

 

It’s organised by category. The CV action words you need pop out like turkey timers.

 

This article will show you:

  • 250+ CV action words, listed by CV keywords.
  • Easy alternatives to hard working synonyms, management synonyms, and more.
  • Great lists of other CV buzzwords and CV adjectives.
  • The best team player synonyms and improved action verbs for CVs.

 

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We’ve added CV action words lists for create, problem solving, lead, responsible for, communication, and research.

 

1. CV Action Words That Stop the Yawns

 

Why use CV verbs?

 

Pretend you’re car-shopping.

 

You read 50 ads for “car with four tyres, steering wheel, and motor.”

 

Naptime.

 

Then you see Raven Black ‘67 Mustang Fastback with Windsor V8 and red leather interior.

 

Yep.

 

CV action words can make your job search shine like that.

 

Click below to see these CV action verbs lists (all in this article).

 

CV Action Words Lists For:

 

 

Need CV buzzwords, CV adjectives, or CV keywords?

 

These CV words can give a facelift to your job search:

 

CV Buzzwords and CV Adjectives

 

Expert Hint: Variety is key with CV action words. Use each of the verbs for CVs only once per document.

2. How to Use CV Action Words

 

I already know how to use CV action words.

 

Wrong.

 

The best CV verbs don’t say you’re:

  • Hard Working
  • Creative
  • A Team Player

 

They show it.

 

These CV action words samples lay it bare:

 

CV action verbs—Examples

Good Example (uses active words for CVs)
Software engineer with 6+ years of experience. Directed team that received 2017 Bossie Award for cloud computing. Collaborated with cross-functional teams to raise customer retention 28%. Invented new security protocols that slashed breaches 73%.
Bad Example (uses CV adjectives)
Hard-working software engineer with excellent management skills. Strong team-player and extremely creative developer.

See that?

 

Both those CV action verbs examples say the same thing. The second uses powerful words and says it 10x better.

 

What Is an Action Verb?

 

An action verb is a word that shows achievement. Why will it help your CV? Because it links to an accomplishment the boss will love.

 

Passive VerbsCV Action Verbs
Responsible forImproved
In charge ofDirected
HandledDeveloped

Why Should Action Verbs Be Used in Writing CVs?

 

Use action verbs when writing CVs to show you can perform.

 

Anyone can use hard-working synonyms or team player synonyms. But that won’t get you hired.

 

What will?

 

Using CV action words to show you raised revenue X%, slashed costs £X, or saved X hours a year.

 

Here’s a list of most telling synonyms to most worn-out CV words along with less obvious alternatives:

 

3. Worked On (or Hard Working)

 

I’m hard working.

 

Says every applicant who didn’t get the job.

 

Don’t use hard-working synonyms.

 

Use CV action words that show results.

 

Say what percent, how much, how many.

 

Then you won’t need another word for worked.

 

The CV words below will help you say it right.

 

Top 10 CV Action Words for Hard Working:

 

1. Arranged

2. Composed

3. Created

4. Developed

5. Engaged In

6. Formulated

7. Organised

8. Prepared

9. Put Together

10. Set Up

 

Less obvious but harder to use:

 

Compiled, Constructed, Composed, Fashioned, Forged, Made Progress On, Made, Perfected, Pursued, Undertook.

Expert Hint: Why do the CV verbs above get jobs? Because they show specifics about how your work helped your employer.

4. Management

Don’t say, I managed...

 

And—

 

Don’t use management synonyms.

 

Instead, say what you managed.

 

Use action verbs for CVs that prove success with numbers.

 

These managerial action words for CVs will help:

 

Top 10 CV Action Words for Manage [Management Synonyms]

 

1. Directed

2. Enabled

3. Facilitated

4. Guided

5. Inspired

6. Mentored

7. Supervised

8. Trained

9. Taught

10. Unified

 

Less obvious but harder to use:

 

Aligned, Cultivated, Fostered, Hired, Mobilised, Motivated, Regulated, Recruited, Shaped, United.

Expert Hint: Are you a great manager? Use one of the great CV action words above to list accomplishments that show how great.

5. Alternatives to CV Buzzwords

 

Here’s a tip:

 

Don’t use CV buzz words.

 

Use CV action words instead.

 

Here are the CV buzzwords hiring managers can’t stand. That’s according to a CareerBuilder survey of 2000+ employers.

 

They all say, “I’m great,” but don’t give evidence.

 

CV Buzzwords and Action Verbs
Worn-Out CV BuzzwordsBetter Alternatives
CreativeCreated...
Detail OrientedSpotted...
ExcellentImproved...
ExpertDelivered...
FocusedRefined...
Go GetterAccomplished...
Go ToTrusted By...
GreatIncreased...
Hard WorkerAchieved...
In Charge OfDirected...
InnovativeDeveloped...
NinjaInstalled...
Outside the BoxCreated...
Responsible ForManaged...
Results-drivenRaised...
Specialised InHandled...
Strategic ThinkerDesigned...
SuperSlashed...
SynergizedCollaborated With...
Team PlayerParticipated In...

Expert Hint: The more you try to impress with CV adjectives, the less impressed they’ll be. Use CV words that show your feats and you’ll turn heads.

6. Create

 

So you’re creative?

 

Don’t say it.

 

Saying you’re creative is like saying you’re handsome.

 

It’s embarrassing.

 

So—

 

Don’t struggle to find another word for create.

 

Instead, show what you created and let the boss judge.

 

These action verbs for CVs will do it for you:

 

Top 10 CV Action Words for Created

 

1. Brainstormed

2. Composed

3. Crafted

4. Drafted

5. Drew

6. Illustrated

7. Invented

8. Originated

9. Piloted

10. Redesigned

 

Less obvious but harder to use:

 

Animated, Conceived, Devised, Enlivened, Fashioned, Imagined, Improvised, Innovated, Photographed, Pioneered.

Expert Hint: Any of the CV action words above let you add proof. Just use the word to start a sentence, then add numbers.

7. Team Player

 

I’m a team player.

 

Really?

 

I’m 9-foot-3.

 

Don’t believe me? Here’s a picture.

 

Show proof with CV action words, and you won’t need team player synonyms.

 

Let these CV words start you off:

 

Top 10 CV Action Words for Team Player:

 

1. Collaborated

2. Contributed

3. Encouraged

4. Energised

5. Gathered

6. Joined

7. Merged

8. Partnered

9. Participated

10. United

 

Less obvious but harder to use:

 

Assimilated, Acknowledged, Blended, Coalesced, Diversified, Embraced, Harmonised, Ignited, Melded, Volunteered.

Expert Hint: CV verbs work great, but don’t overdo it. Use no more than one of the action verbs per bullet point.

8. CV Adjectives vs Verbs for CVs

 

I’ll be blunt.

 

CV adjectives won’t get the job.

 

They say, “I work hard! I’m enthusiastic! I’m smart!” (And I deserve respect!)

 

Avoid CV adjectives like raw uranium.

 

Instead—

 

Use verbs for CVs that prove you’re all those things.

 

CV Adjectives and Action Verbs
CV AdjectivesSay Instead
AstuteSighted...
CompetentConstructed...
Cutting EdgeDevised
DedicatedFormed...
DeterminedDiscovered...
DevotedWorked to...
DisciplinedForged
GenuineRated by customers as...
HonestTrusted with...
IngeniousInvented...
InsightfulNoticed...
IntelligentSolved...
KnowledgeableTrained...
MeticulousCaught...
PersistentAccomplished...
Self-AppetizerInitiated...
SincereReceived kudos for...
SkilledAchieved...

Expert Hint: You can use one adjective per CV. Put it at the beginning of your summary. Then prove it with action verbs for CVs throughout.

9. Improved

 

Did you nail your numbers? Surpass your targets?

 

Say that on your CV and employers will take note.

 

But improved gets tired fast.

 

Don’t hunt for another word for improved.

 

Instead, show what you improved with these CV words:

 

Top 10 CV Action Words for Improved:

 

1. Boosted

2. Customised

3. Grew

4. Merged

5. Redesigned

6. Raised

7. Reorganised

8. Slashed

9. Saved

10. Updated

 

Less obvious but harder to use:

 

Converted, Integrated, Lifted, Overhauled, Remodelled, Refined, Restructured, Revamped, Strengthened, Streamlined.

Expert Hint: When you use action words for CVs to show achievements, do it right. Pick accomplishments that fit the job offer’s requirements.

10. Problem Solving

 

Are you a problem solver?

 

Then solve the problem of how to say that on a CV.

 

Like this:

 

Use CV action words that show what you have solved.

 

You don’t need problem solving synonyms.

 

You need these CV verbs instead:

 

Top 10 CV Action Words for Problem-Solving:

 

1. Built

2. Crafted

3. Corrected

4. Drafted

5. Established

6. Enhanced

7. Fixed

8. Invented

9. Resolved

10. Rebuilt

 

Less obvious but harder to use:

 

Altered,Determined, Designed, Devised, Fashioned, Initiated, Overhauled, Piloted, Patched, Pioneered.

Expert Hint: Start a bullet point with any of the CV action verbs above. Then say what you built, fixed, or patched. Say how many, how often, and how much. Then you won’t need problem-solving synonyms.

 

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11. Lead

 

Leadership isn’t about words.

 

It’s actions.

 

So—show that with action verbs for CVs.

 

Show what you led. How many, and what they did.

 

Then you don’t need a synonym for lead or another word for led.

 

Check the CV words list below.

 

Top 10 CV Verbs for Leadership:

 

1. Authorised

2. Directed

3. Delegated

4. Executed

5. Enabled

6. Guided

7. Headed

8. Mentored

9. Oversaw

10. Trained

 

Less obvious but harder to use:

 

Cutivated, Chaired, Fostered, Facilitated, Hosted, Inspired, Mobilised, Operated, Orchestrated, Spearheaded.

Expert Hint: Don’t use CV action words if you don’t understand them. Used wrong, powerful words are a red flag for incompetence.

12. Responsible For

 

Don’t put “responsible for” on a CV.

 

And—

 

Don’t use another word for responsible for either.

 

Remember the Deepwater Horizon oil spill?

 

Someone was responsible for that.

 

Show success instead with strong CV words.

 

Top 10 CV Action Words for Responsible For:

 

1. Achieved

2. Created

3. Completed

4. Executed

5. Finished

6. Made

7. Negotiated

8. Operated

9. Produced

10. Succeeded In

 

Less obvious but harder to use:

 

Accomplished, Acquired, Acted As, Forged, Navigated, Partnered, Prepared, Performed, Secured, Undertook.

Expert Hint: Using common CV verbs won’t kill your chances. But—use strong action verbs whenever you can.

13. Achieve

 

You’re barking up the right tree.

 

Saying you achieved things in your CV will get respect.

 

But you can’t repeat that word 20 times.

 

And even using another word for achieved won’t help.

 

To get interviewed, show what you achieved.

 

Use these CV action words to show accomplishments and get the job.

 

Top 10 CV Action Words for Achiever:

 

1. Accomplished

2. Boosted

3. Created

4. Completed

5. Delivered

6. Expanded

7. Generated

8. Improved

9. Maximised

10. Managed

 

Less obvious but harder to use:

 

Accelerated, Advanced, Amplified, Enacted, Enhanced, Expedited, Lifted, Outpaced, Produced, Stimulated.

Expert Hint: The CV words above all let you list what you achieved. Tack on metrics with numbers to make the hiring manager’s hair stand up.

14. Communication

 

How many times can you say communicated on a CV?

 

Not many.

 

And please don’t say, “I’m a good communicator.”

 

Show what you communicated, with %, £, and other metrics.

 

These action verbs for CVs can help:

 

Top 10 CV Words for Communication:

 

1. Advocated

2. Clarified

3. Consulted

4. Convinced

5. Conveyed

6. Defined

7. Explained

8. Informed

9. Negotiated

10. Persuaded

 

Less obvious but harder to use:

 

Authored, Composed, Corresponded, Fielded, Influenced, Illustrated, Moderated, Mediated, Promoted, Publicised.

Expert Hint: Use the CV action words above to show what you communicated. Then say what positive effect it had on the company.

15. Research

 

Are you a “highly skilled researcher?”

 

Show, don’t tell. 

 

Did your research save £25,000 or 30 employee hours?

 

Use the CV verbs below to say that.

 

Top 10 CV Action Words for Researched:

 

1. Analysed

2. Audited

3. Checked

4. Discovered

5. Explored

6. Identified

7. Explained

8. Identified

9. Surveyed

10. Tested

 

Less obvious but harder to use:

 

Assessed, Calculated, Inspected, Investigated, Measured, Mapped, Probed, Quantified, Studied, Tracked.

Expert Hint: CV keywords aren’t the same as action words for CVs. They’re job-specific words like product strategy or vendor management. You’ll find them in the job ad.

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Expert Hint: When should you use a CV, and when is it better to use a curriculum vitae? It depends. CV and CV actually have a different meaning across languages. Read about the difference between a CV and a Resume.

Key Points

 

To sum up CV action words:

  • CV action words show achievements. They don’t just say you did something. They show numbers that prove you rocked it.
  • Don’t rely on CV adjectives like hard-working synonyms. Instead, use CV verbs that link to your accomplishments.
  • Shun CV buzzwords like go-getter or excellent. Show what you did well with action verbs for CVs. Then let the employer decide.
  • Pair CV action verbs with metrics. Did you raise revenue or save time or money? Say how much with good CV verbs to get the job.

 

Need more advice for using the right CV words? Check out this list of power wordsWondering which CV verbs are best? Leave a comment. We’re happy to reply.

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Tom Gerencer
Tom Gerencer is a career advice writer and a resume expert at ResumeLab. Tom has been featured on BBC News, NBC, The Economist, Business Insider, Fast Company, and dozens of other outlets. His insights, commentary, and articles reach over a million readers every month. With inside knowledge of key industry players and in-depth research, Tom helps job seekers with advice across all professions and career stages. Tom holds a degree in English from Colby College.

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