139 action verbs to make your CV stand out
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 5 July 2022
Published 30 November 2020
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
When writing your CV, it’s important to avoid weak and passive verbs, stay away from business jargon and clichés, and watch out for tired words and phrases. These faulty word choices can undermine the strength and effectiveness of your CV. Instead, make a point of using powerful action verbs and avoid overusing the same verbs (such as ‘assisted’, ‘oversaw’ and ‘utilised’).
Action words are specific, clarify your contributions and bring a confident tone to your CV and list of accomplishments. Here’s an example:
Lacks strength and clarity: ‘Held weekly status meetings to share client updates.’
Empowered and detailed: ‘Initiated weekly status meetings to communicate agency revenue growth.’
Can you see how the second option is stronger and more detailed? The action verb at the beginning of the sentence makes your contribution clear and impactful.
Read more: 6 Universal Rules for Writing Your CV
Pro-tip: Combine your selection of action verbs with quantifiable results to show both what you did and the effect it had. For example, ‘Championed use of user feedback in program improvements, resulting in 50% boost in customer satisfaction ratings’.
Choose from the following action verbs to give your CV an edge:
To demonstrate your strong work ethic or introduce your accomplishments, try:
Instead of ‘duties included’, ‘responsible for’, ‘served as’, or ‘actions encompassed’, try:
To illustrate your communication skills, try:
For creative positions, try:
For sales positions, try:
For management positions, try:
For financial positions, try:
For technical positions, try:
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