100+ Power Words to Make Your Resume Stand Out

When you apply for a job, you compete against countless other qualified candidates. In the era of COVID-19, you’re unlikely to have an in-person interview, so video resumes and cover letters are quickly becoming a main staple in the recruiting process. As a result, it’s more important than ever before to make sure your resume stands out and highlights your qualifications successfully.

Because the right phrasing can get the hiring manager’s attention, it’s essential to use power words in a resume. In fact, using power words can increase your hiring chances by 29%, according to Talent Works. Find out the most effective words to use in a resume and learn why action words can be so powerful.

What Can Power Words Do?

Power words are active verbs that attract attention and effectively convey your skills and accomplishments. It’s important to capture the hiring manager’s interest quickly, since the average recruiter takes just six seconds to review a candidate’s resume, according to The Ladders. By including them in your video resume, you can increase the chance of standing out and making a good impression.

Good action verbs for resumes also make you appear more confident in your abilities. Because they’re more specific than more generic verbs, they can also add clarity to your contributions.

Since power words are descriptive, they can add more detail to your accomplishments. When you need to keep your application concise, including these key terms for resumes can add context without increasing the word count. As a result, they can help hiring managers to identify you as a good candidate even before the interview process begins.

How to Use Action Words in a Resume

Knowing the right word to use on resumes is a great start to showcasing your capabilities. Yet you also have to know when and how to add these terms to your resume. Keep these tips in mind when using strong action verbs for resumes:

  1. Keep the tone of your resume consistent by adding or saying various power words throughout, from the objective to the work experience section.
  2. Aim to say any action verbs you choose just one time in your resume to avoid decreasing their efficacy.
  3. When writing, limit your power words to one per sentence or bullet point so you don’t diminish their meaning. When speaking, limit your usage to one every five seconds to maintain their influence.

The Ultimate List of Resume Words

Review the verbs list for resumes below and find the right words to make your resume stand out.

Efficiency Words for a Resume

No matter your field or your experience level, maintaining high productivity levels is essential. To explain how hard you work and how efficient you are, add these power words to your CV:

  • Compiled.
  • Consolidated.
  • Evaluated.
  • Executed.
  • Generated.
  • Reduced.
  • Standardized.
  • Systematized.

Flexibility Words for a Resume

Even if your role is well-defined, you may need to take on new challenges or figure out how to complete difficult projects. To convey your flexibility, use power words like:

  • Accommodated.
  • Adapted.
  • Adjusted.
  • Amended.
  • Converted.
  • Customized.
  • Improvised.
  • Tailored.

Improvement Words for a Resume

In any role, being able to do things better or get superior results is an impressive skill. Show your ability to improve situations with these action verbs:

  • Boosted.
  • Converted.
  • Exceeded.
  • Expanded.
  • Furthered.
  • Grew.
  • Overcame.
  • Raised.
  • Updated.

Support Words for a Resume

If you work in customer service or support, it’s important to demonstrate relevant skills. Rather than simply stating that you provided customer service, discuss more specific aspects of your role with the words below:

  • Advocated.
  • Aided.
  • Eased.
  • Encouraged.
  • Familiarized.
  • Informed.
  • Persuaded.
  • Rectified.

Communication Words for a Resume

Whether you’re applying for an entry-level job or an executive role, good communication skills are critical. Yet great communication requires much more than exercising your speaking or reading skills. To clarify the areas where you excel, try these words:

  • Addressed.
  • Authored.
  • Convinced.
  • Corresponded.
  • Counseled.
  • Drafted.
  • Interviewed.
  • Presented.

Research Words for a Resume

From sales and marketing to engineering and medicine, a wide range of industries require excellent research skills. To express your advanced research abilities, include terms that show your capacity to ask questions and understand your findings:

  • Analyzed.
  • Clarified.
  • Critiqued.
  • Interpreted.
  • Investigated.
  • Summarized.
  • Synthesized.
  • Translated.

Creativity Words for a Resume

Many roles require creativity, whether you work in the arts, business, or any field in between. To showcase your ability to think outside the box, include these power words in your resume:

  • Brainstormed.
  • Constructed.
  • Designed.
  • Fabricated.
  • Illustrated.
  • Shaped.
  • Visualized.

Problem-Solving Words for a Resume

Being able to solve problems effectively requires a full set of skills. These action verbs can help you clarify how you resolve challenges:

  • Alleviated.
  • Diagnosed.
  • Examined.
  • Experimented.
  • Explored.
  • Negotiated.
  • Revamped.
  • Revitalized.

Teamwork Words for a Resume

Most jobs require you to work closely with colleagues. You can indicate your ability to work well with others by using these action words:

  • Arbitrated.
  • Categorized.
  • Collaborated.
  • Consulted.
  • Contributed.
  • Enabled;
  • Enlisted.
  • Facilitated.
  • Joined.

Accomplishment Words for a Resume

Instead of writing that you “worked on” a project, replace those generic terms with power words to showcase your capability and achievements:

  • Achieved.
  • Completed.
  • Decided.
  • Delegated.
  • Performed.
  • Processed.
  • Produced.
  • Restored.

Organization Words for a Resume

Whether being organized is an innate skill or something you’ve worked hard to cultivate, it’s a quality that many hiring managers require. This phrasing can help you explain how you excel at organization:

  • Coordinated.
  • Maintained.
  • Mapped out.
  • Prioritized.
  • Programmed.
  • Scheduled.
  • Streamlined.
  • Tracked.

Leadership Words for a Resume

If you apply for a job that requires managing others, you’ll need to show that you can lead others. Use these action verbs to discuss what you can accomplish with your leadership skills:

  • Administered.
  • Chaired.
  • Controlled.
  • Directed.
  • Enforced.
  • Merged.
  • Spearheaded.
  • Supervised.

Visionary Words for a Resume

In an executive role, you’ll also need to develop and implement visionary ideas that take the company to new heights. The terms below can help you express your capabilities:

  • Authorized.
  • Hired.
  • Initiated.
  • Instituted.
  • Mentored.
  • Motivated.
  • Overhauled.
  • Pioneered.
  • Transformed.

Now that you know strong words to use on a resume, you can truly make your application stand out. Work these action words into your video resume to create a compelling application.

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