20+ Action Verbs and Power Words to Use in Your Resume: Making Every Word Count

October 02, 2023

action verbs for resume

In Singapore’s competitive job market, your resume serves as your first impression to potential employers.

It’s not just about listing your qualifications and experiences; it’s also about how you present them.

The impact of word choice in resumes cannot be underestimated.

The right words can make your resume stand out from the crowd and leave a lasting impression.

Let’s explore the power of words in crafting a compelling resume and provide a list of must-use power words and action verbs to help you make every word count.

The Impact of Word Choice in Resumes

Your resume is often the first document a hiring manager sees when considering candidates.

It’s your chance to make a strong impression and demonstrate your qualifications, skills, and potential contributions to the company.

The choice of words you use can significantly influence how your resume is perceived.

Employers are looking for candidates who not only possess the necessary qualifications but also exhibit qualities like leadership, initiative, and problem-solving skills.

The right words can convey these qualities and make your resume more compelling.

Conversely, the wrong words or overused buzzwords can make your resume seem generic and uninspiring.

What are Power Words and Action Verbs?

Power words and action verbs are two distinct linguistic elements that can enhance the effectiveness of communication, particularly in writing and public speaking.

These linguistic tools can transform mundane sentences into compelling narratives, making your message not only engaging but also persuasive.

Power Words for Resume

Power words are words or phrases that are chosen specifically for their ability to evoke strong emotions, capture attention, and create a lasting impact on the reader or listener. 

These words are often used in marketing, advertising, persuasive writing, and speeches to make the content more compelling and memorable. 

Power words can elicit various emotions such as excitement, curiosity, desire, urgency, or empathy.

Examples of power words include:

  • “Revolutionary”
  • “Sensational”
  • “Unforgettable”
  • “Exquisite”
  • “Life-changing”
  • “Miraculous”

By incorporating power words into your content, you can make your message more persuasive, engaging, and memorable, as they evoke emotional responses that resonate with your audience.

Action Verbs for Resume

Action verbs, on the other hand, are verbs that describe actions or activities. 

Action words for resume are dynamic and convey a sense of movement and energy in a sentence. 

Action verbs are your secret sauce for your resume,” says career coach Octavia Goredema.

Action verbs are essential for making your writing more vivid, clear, and concise. 

They help readers visualize the actions being performed, creating a stronger connection between the text and the reader.

Examples of action verbs include:

  • “Inspire”
  • “Conquer”
  • “Create”
  • “Transform”
  • “Motivate”
  • “Innovate”

Action verbs are particularly valuable in instructional writing, storytelling, and any content where you want to engage your audience by describing actions and encouraging them to visualize and engage with the narrative.

Both power words and action verbs are valuable tools in crafting effective and impactful messages, whether in marketing, storytelling, or persuasive writing.

List of Must-use Power Words & Action Verbs

Power words and action verbs are essential for creating compelling and persuasive content, whether it’s in writing, marketing, or communication.

Here’s a list of must-use power words and action verbs to help you make your message more impactful:

Power Words for Senior Roles

  1. Championed: Demonstrated leadership and commitment to achieving a goal.
  2. Revitalized: Brought new life to a project or process.
  3. Negotiated: Successfully brokered deals or agreements.
  4. Pioneered: Initiated and led innovative initiatives.
  5. Optimized: Improved efficiency, productivity, or processes.
  6. Cultivated: Developed and nurtured valuable relationships or skills.
  7. Elevated: Elevated the performance or reputation of a team or organization.
  8. Streamlined: Simplified complex procedures for better outcomes.
  9. Mentored: Guided and developed junior team members.
  10. Spearheaded: Led and drove major projects or initiatives.
words to use in resume

Action Verbs for Resumes with No Experience

  1. Adapted: Demonstrated the ability to learn quickly in new situations.
  2. Initiated: Took the initiative to start or suggest projects or improvements.
  3. Coordinated: Organized and managed tasks or events effectively.
  4. Volunteered: Contributed time and effort to worthwhile causes or organizations.
  5. Researched: Conducted in-depth research to support decision-making.
  6. Assisted: Provided valuable support to team members or supervisors.
  7. Teamed: Worked closely with others to achieve common goals.
  8. Organized: Demonstrated strong organizational skills.
  9. Learned: Eagerly acquired new knowledge and skills.
  10. Participated: Actively engaged in team activities or projects.

Words to Use for Highlighting Teamwork Skills

  1. Collaborated: Emphasize your ability to work effectively with others.
  2. Cooperated: Show your willingness to work in a team-oriented environment.
  3. Supported: Highlight your role in supporting colleagues and team goals.
  4. Contributed: Showcase how you made meaningful contributions to group efforts.
  5. Facilitated: Illustrate your role in making teamwork smoother and more productive.
  6. Engaged. Shows you are meaningfully connected to your team.

More Power Words & Action Verbs For Resume

Power Words:

power words for resume

Action Verbs:

action verbs for resume

Commonly Overused Words to Avoid

While strong action verbs and power words can enhance your resume, it’s equally important to avoid overused and generic terms that can dilute your message. 

Some commonly overused words to steer clear of include:


While attention to detail is crucial in many roles, simply stating that you are “detail-oriented” doesn’t provide any tangible evidence of your skills. Instead, consider highlighting specific instances where your meticulousness made a significant difference in a project’s outcome.

2. Team player

Being a team player is valuable, but the phrase itself needs more depth. Instead, illustrate your collaborative abilities by describing situations where you worked effectively in a team, the role you played, and the outcomes achieved as a result of your contributions.

3. Results-driven

Everyone wants results so this term can come across as vague. Instead, focus on quantifiable achievements and describe the impact you had on your previous organizations. Numbers and specifics can speak louder than the term “results-driven.”

4. Hardworking

While it’s commendable to be hardworking, this word can be seen as generic. To stand out, provide examples of your dedication and commitment, such as times when you went above and beyond to meet deadlines or deliver exceptional results.

5. Excellent communication skills

Communication skills are essential, but labeling them as “excellent” without any supporting evidence doesn’t add much value. Instead, showcase your communication abilities by mentioning instances where you effectively conveyed complex information, resolved conflicts, or delivered persuasive presentations.

Instead of these clichés, opt for specific, descriptive language that demonstrates your unique qualifications and accomplishments.

By offering concrete examples and quantifiable results, you can create a resume that truly distinguishes you from the competition and leaves a lasting impression on potential employers.

Case Studies: Resumes Before and After Word Optimization

To illustrate the impact of word choice in resumes, let’s consider two hypothetical resumes: one using generic language and the other optimized with power words and action verbs.

Project Manager

Before Optimization:

“I was responsible for managing projects and working with my team to achieve goals. I also had good communication skills and was a team player.”

After Optimization:

“I spearheaded project management initiatives, driving cross-functional teams to surpass objectives. My effective communication and collaborative mindset fostered a cohesive team environment.”

In this example, the optimized resume showcases leadership, initiative, and communication skills more effectively.

Sales Representative

Before Optimization:

“I sold products to customers and met sales targets. I also had good negotiation skills and maintained client relationships.”

After Optimization:

“I orchestrated sales campaigns, consistently exceeding revenue targets through expert negotiation techniques. My exceptional ability to cultivate and nurture client relationships resulted in a robust customer base.”

Marketing Manager

Before Optimization:

“I managed marketing campaigns and analyzed data to make decisions. I also had good organizational skills and collaborated with my team.”

After Optimization:

“I orchestrated and optimized multifaceted marketing campaigns, leveraging data-driven insights to drive strategic decisions. My exceptional organizational acumen and collaborative prowess propelled cross-functional teams to achieve unparalleled success.”

Software Developer

Before Optimization:

“I coded software and fixed bugs. I also had good problem-solving skills and worked well in a team.”

After Optimization:

“I engineered innovative software solutions, troubleshooting intricate technical issues with precision. My adept problem-solving prowess, coupled with seamless teamwork, catalyzed rapid development cycles and cutting-edge outcomes.”

Data Analyst

Before Optimization:

“I analyzed data and created reports. I also had good analytical and communication skills.”

After Optimization:

“I dissected intricate datasets, crafting insightful reports that fueled data-driven decision-making. My astute analytical finesse and compelling communication style empowered stakeholders to harness actionable insights.”

Human Resources Manager

Before Optimization:

“I managed HR functions and handled employee issues. I also had good interpersonal and problem-solving skills.”

After Optimization:

“I orchestrated comprehensive HR strategies, adeptly resolving employee matters. My exceptional interpersonal finesse and proactive problem-solving prowess fostered a harmonious workplace environment.”

Graphic Designer

Before Optimization:

“I created designs and worked on creative projects. I also had good artistic skills and collaborated with colleagues.”

After Optimization:

“I conceived captivating visual designs, fueling creativity across diverse projects. My exceptional artistic mastery and seamless collaboration elevated creative outcomes to new heights.”

Financial Analyst

Before Optimization:

“I analyzed financial data and prepared reports. I also had good quantitative skills and collaborated with the finance team.”

After Optimization:

“I meticulously dissected financial data, producing incisive reports that drove strategic financial decisions. My exceptional quantitative acumen and collaborative synergy within the finance team optimized financial outcomes.”

Customer Service Representative

Before Optimization:

“I assisted customers and resolved issues. I also had good communication skills and worked well in a team.”

After Optimization:

“I proactively supported customers, adeptly resolving concerns to ensure satisfaction. My exceptional communication finesse and seamless teamwork enhanced customer service excellence.”


Before Optimization:

“I taught students and prepared lessons. I also had good classroom management and communication skills.”

After Optimization:

“I nurtured student growth through dynamic teaching methods, crafting engaging lessons that inspired learning. My exceptional classroom management finesse and effective communication enriched the educational experience.”

These optimized examples demonstrate how tailoring your resume language to the specific requirements of various job positions can make your qualifications stand out more effectively.

Registered Nurse

Before Optimization:

“I provided patient care and administered medications. I also had good empathy and teamwork skills.”

After Optimization:

“I delivered compassionate patient care while meticulously administering medications. My profound empathy and unwavering teamwork ethos fostered a supportive and efficient healthcare environment.”

These optimized examples highlight how specific power words and action verbs can enhance the impact of a resume for various job positions.


The words you choose for your resume can significantly impact your chances of landing your dream job. 

By incorporating power words and action verbs tailored to your experience and the position you seek, you can make your resume more compelling and increase your chances of standing out in a competitive job market. 

So, review your resume today and ensure that every word counts for your professional success.

Diane Wong