Lights, camera… action words


How do I use verbs to make my resume more compelling?

It’s critical to use action words – or verbs – to bring your resume to life.  A potential employer probably already has an idea of what tasks you may have taken on in a previous role.  So, rather than just listing job duties, using concise and descriptive action words can help you highlight exactly what you did in a job, contributing to the results you (or, you and a team) achieved.  This is a great way to set your resume apart.

Check out how to let your experience shine with action words:

Before:  Listing job duties

  1. Conducted media calls
  2. Arranged media interviews with spokespeople
  3. Monitored for coverage and tracked media impressions

After:  Results-focused statement

  1. Fostered relationships with key media contacts and secured eight top-tier media interviews with company spokespeople; generated over 10 million media impressions, which surpassed the program goal by 2 million

Some examples of action words:

Want to demonstrate how you were analytical, organized or creative?  This list of verbs from the University of Toronto Career Centre can allow you to illustrate your experience and success in these and other skill categories.

Can you think of any other verbs that aren’t included in this list?

Do you have any other suggestions for using action words effectively?


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