Bring your resume and work experience to life by making it more actionable using these powerful verbs.
The most important principle for writing an effective resume is demonstrating how you can provide value to a business. Action verbs help emphasize your experience by showing the responsibility and impact you've made for your company. Hiring managers want to know what you've accomplished in the past and how you can translate that to future experiences.
Action verbs are also helpful in getting your resume get passed through an ATS (applicant tracking systems) since it will try to match keywords from your resume to the job description. You can get passed this by re-using verbs that are mentioned in the tasks and responsibilities section of the job description and adding them to your resume.
Action verbs are usually the make-or-break deal when trying to make your resume look effective. If you were to list an experience without it, it would be difficult to show how actionable your responsibility was and its outcome.
Let’s take a look at the difference of an experience without an action verb looks and another one with an action verb.
Incorrect: I took care of ill, injured, and disabled patients.
Correct: Administered nursing care to ill, injured, and disabled patients.
However, it’s not so simple. Making your resume seem effective means showcasing a wide variety of diverse skillsets. Continue reading below to see how using action verbs on your resume can represent an effective and diverse skillset to make you stand out and help land your next job.
It's important to use the right actionable terms in context to the overall goal and responsibility. We broke down these by categories, so you can see which action verbs help communicate Management or Collaboration skills.
If you have prior experience managing and leading teams, emphasizing the skills you’ve developed can make your resume sound more seasoned. These action verbs can help emphasize to employers that you’re great with mentoring people, leading big initiatives, making decisions and executing on goals.
Here’s some examples of management and leadership skills in action:
Communication might seem like it’s a standard skillset, however, being an effective communicator is necessary and valuable in almost any job. It helps you translate ideas, suggestions, commentary, and feedback with any audience. Employers generally seek effective communicators as they can trust that feedback and reporting on decisions and results will be followed-through.
See how we can make our communication skillset sound more effective:
If you worked at a job that required you to perform research on different topics, you can showcase the different steps that were involved when conducting research initiatives. This is everything from collecting data, to analyzing it, and writing up evaluations.
Here’s how you can break down your research skillset into more actionable pieces:
Does your current or prior job require technically proficient skills and responsibilities? More often than not, it is always beneficial to showcase these skills on your resume. Acquiring and mastering technical skills lets employers not have to worry about providing additional training for computer and software applications and demonstrates your ability to learn.
These are some ways to showcase your technical understanding and impact:
You don’t need to be a teacher to gain experience in teaching. There are many ways you can demonstrate this highly valuable skill without needing an education degree. If you ever found yourself mentoring co-workers, facilitating meetings, or guiding someone in the right direction - this and more will all translate to you showing how much you care about the effectiveness and growth of others around you.
See these examples for ways you can expand on your teaching skillset:
Love numbers, reports, dashboards, metrics, and any-and-all things data? Job positions that require crunching spreadsheets and analyzing data often require many different skill sets that can be very technical. Reporting on the wrong numbers or datasets can move company metrics in the wrong direction. Therefore, it’s highly important to demonstrate both your responsibility and the outcome it had.
Reference these examples to display your financial literacy:
If you work in team settings, which many people often do, being a strong collaborator is a trait that teammates highly value. Collaboration shows that you care about working with others to help move business goals forward.
Strong collaborators will often write examples like the following:
Being organized is perhaps one of the most underrated skills that people often leave out. Organization doesn’t just save time, but it helps teach others best practices and is a showcase of effective leadership. Showing how organized you are is attractive to employers because it lets them know that you care about the details as much as you care about the outcome.
Here’s some ways to call out your organizational abilities:
Remember, you don't want a dull resume. Not making your prior experience seem actionable makes it difficult for future hiring managers to know what you're capable of.
Thankfully, Easy Resume takes care of the hard part of making resumes stand out by designing resume templates to be clear and legible. It's your turn now to get started on making them really effective by using the action verbs as listed above.
Ed is a co-founder of Easy Resume. His background in scaling teams at tech startups over the last decade has given him extensive experience and knowledge around how to hire top talent and build successful teams. He enjoys mentoring, coaching, and helping others reach their career goals. When he's not writing about career-related advice, he's playing with his dog, Lilo, or going on long hikes in upstate New York.
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