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Power Verbs Are Important in a Resume

Power Verbs Are Important in a Resume

Nearly all candidates understand the underlying importance of an up-to-date resume.  However, understanding the importance of using power verbs on a resume is less understood. 

We’re going to discuss why power verbs are important in a resume and how you can add in these verbs onto your own resume.  Understanding the importance, and need, of power verbs onto your resume will help you to land an interview and impress your future employer.

When it comes to understanding why power verbs are important in a resume, it is worthwhile to step back and understand the importance of a resume itself.  A resume is, essentially, a living document which showcases an applicant’s previous experiences. 

These experiences can range from previous jobs, to volunteer work, to educational and academic qualifications.  However, when showcasing these experiences, you want to display the effectiveness and quality of your work.  Therefore, utilizing power verbs can help you fully convey your achievements and accomplishments.

All-in-all, a resumes true purpose is to help a candidate land an interview.  And while a stellar resume can help land a position, its true purpose is to convey a candidate’s experience, skills, qualifications, and achievements in a manner that entices the employer to invite the candidate for an interview.  Using power verbs on your resume is the best way to entice an employer to invite a candidate to interview.

The Importance of Power Verbs in a Resume

Understanding that a resumes purpose is to entice an employer to invite a candidate for an interview allows you to rethink and reimagine your current resume.  Does your resume look, feel, or sound bland, boring, or dull?  Employers often receive upwards of 118 applicants per open job role.  With such a large number of applicants, candidates must work to have theirs stand out from the crowd.

To Stand Out from the Crowd

Unfortunately, many candidates opt to utilize pre-filled resume templates when creating their own.  Many of these templates are basic, cookie cutter templates with no pizzazz or excitement.  As a resume is meant to entice an employer into inviting an applicant for an interview, you should look to rewrite your resume in a manner that is more appealing.

Utilizing power verbs in your resume helps you to stand out from the crowd of applicants.  These power verbs offer apt descriptions of thee work and experience you accomplished.  They provide a more fulfilling sense of your achievements and allow the employer to get a better understanding of the work you completed.

To Add Quality to Your Resume

Understanding just why power verbs are important in a resume means understanding the importance of a quality resume.  A quality resume provides depth and substance.  They are meaningful and offer a unique take on your accomplishments, achievements, and skills.  Power verbs help to convey your abilities as an applicant more fully and robustly.

To Show an Understanding of Your Industry

Specific power verbs can only work well when utilized for specific job functions or accomplishments.  Therefore, utilizing these power verbs within the proper context can show an employer your deeper understanding of the industry.

To Match Against the Applicant Tracking System

The applicant tracking system, or ATS, has become more popular in recent years.  This system looks to review an applicant’s resume against certain keywords listed in the job description.  By utilizing power verbs before a specific keyword, you indicate to the employer your proficiency and understanding of that keyword.  This can help to entice the employer to offer you an interview.

To Effectively Demonstrate Your Accomplishments

Power verbs demonstrate your accomplishments in a more effective and powerful manner.  By utilizing power verbs, you are more effectively able to showcase your accomplishments in a manner that enhances the accomplishments you’ve completed.  Power verbs provide a backing to your achievements and allow them to appear greater and more compelling.

To Avoid Clichés on Your Resume

With nearly 118 applicants per open job position, you will want a way to stand out from the crowd.  One of the best ways to do this is to utilize power, action verbs.  These verbs will help you to outshine and differentiate yourself from the rest of the applicants.

Power Verbs Are Important in a Resume

How to Improve Your Resume Power Verbs

Now that you understand why power verbs are important in a resume, it’s time to discuss how to edit your resume to take advantage of those power verbs.  Doing so will help you to showcase your accomplishments more specifically and help you to increase your chances at landing an in-person interview.

  1. Review Your Resume and Highlight “Boring” Verbs

The first step in improving your resume to include power verbs is to highlight and identify so-called boring verbs.  These are verbs that don’t add pizzazz or a wow factor to an accomplishment or achievement of yours.  An example may include, “worked on fiscal 2020 budget”, where you will want to highlight the word “worked” and replace with “negotiated” or “restructured”.

  1. Identify the Meaning

The second step, after highlighting and identifying “boring” verbs, is to begin asking yourself what is the meaning of what you are trying to say.  Essentially, why did you use a boring verb and what word can you use to convey the message in a manner that is more professional and bold?  Look through the highlighted boring verbs and determine which ones can be replaced while still maintaining the original meaning.

  1. Choose a Stronger, More Powerful Verb

Once you’ve identified the boring verbs and identified the meaning of what you are trying to convey, it is time to replace them with stronger, more powerful verbs.  These verbs should maintain the original message, but in a bolder sense.  When picking new, more powerful verbs, ensure that the word usage is correct and that the new verbs maintain your original message.

Power Verbs Are Important in a Resume

Different Types of Power Verbs

Now that you understand why power verbs are important in a resume, it is time to list out the full list of power verbs.  While there may be others, the ones listed below are the ones that we have worked to identify as having the greatest and most long-lasting impact on employers.  We have also broken out each power verb for the situation in which you are trying to describe.

Power Verbs for When You Provided Analysis

Rather than utilizing the word analyze or analyzed, consider using one of the following power verbs:

analyzed
ascertained
assessed
compared
computed
conceptualized
concluded
confirmed
critiqued
deciphered

deliberated
determined
devised
diagnosed
estimated
evaluated
examined
forecasted
formulated

integrated
investigated
justified
measured
negotiated
prescribed
prioritized
projected
questioned

rated
recommended
researched
scrutinized
studied
substantiated
synthesized
validated
verified

Power Verbs for When You Provided Excellent Communication

Rather than utilizing the word communicate or communicated, consider using one of the following power verbs:

addressed
apprised
arbitrated
attested
authored
clarified
communicated

composed
convinced
corresponded
drafted
edited
explained
informed

interpreted
lectured
marketed
persuaded
presented
promoted
publicized

queried
reported
spoke
summarized
translated
wrote

Power Verbs for When You Provided Excellent Creativity

Rather than utilizing the word creativity, consider using one of the following power verbs:

brainstormed
constructed
designed

engineered
envisioned
fabricated

illustrated
produced

shaped
visualized

Power Verbs for When You Provided Excellent Flexibility

Rather than utilizing the word flexible, consider using one of the following power verbs:

accommodated
adapted
adjusted

altered
amended
balanced

converted
grew

improvised
tailored

Power Verbs for When You Took Initiative

Rather than utilizing the word initiative, consider using one of the following power verbs:

accelerated
accomplished
achieved
acquired
advanced
bolstered
boosted
built
coordinated
created

dedicated
demonstrated
enriched
established
expanded
expedited
implemented
improved
increased
initiated

innovated
inspired
introduced
launched
minimized
mobilized
modernized
modified
multiplied

overhauled pioneered
revamped
revised
spearheaded
stimulated
suggested
updated
upgraded

Power Verbs for When You Showed Leadership

Rather than utilizing the word led or leadership, consider using one of the following power verbs:

administered
advised
allocated
allowed
appointed
approved
assigned
authorized
chaired
coached

delegated
designated
directed
educated
elicited
employed
empowered
enabled
encouraged
endorsed

enhanced
facilitated
fostered
founded
guided
hired
influenced
instructed
interviewed
judged

led
moderated
monitored
motivated
officiated
recruited
sanctioned
supervised
trained

Power Verbs for When You Showed Organizational Skills

Rather than utilizing the word organized, consider using one of the following power verbs:

arranged
assembled
budgeted
calculated
catalogued
centralized
charted

classified
collected
compiled
consolidated
correlated
indexed

linked
orchestrated
organized
oriented
planned
processed

purchased
recorded
regulated
scheduled
systematized
tabulated

Power Verbs for When You Showed Problem Solving Skills

Rather than utilizing the word problem solving, consider using one of the following power verbs:

aided
alleviated
ameliorated
augmented
counseled
customized
debugged
eased
elevated
enlarged
extended

extracted
finalized
fulfilled
generated
identified
interceded
invented
lightened
polished
procured
reconciled

rectified
reduced
refined
reformed
rehabilitated
reinforced
rejuvenated
relieved
remedied
remodeled
repaired

restored
retrieved
revitalized
revived
settled
solicited
solved
streamlined
strengthened
supplemented
transformed

Power Verbs for When You Showed Teamwork Skills

Rather than utilizing the word teamwork, consider using one of the following power verbs:

assisted
collaborated

contributed
cooperated

mediated
participated

partnered

Power Verbs for When You Showed Assistive Skills

Rather than utilizing the word helped or assisted, consider using one of the following power verbs:

Aided

Accommodated

Advised

Alleviated

Assured

Bolstered

Coached

Continued

Cooperated

Counseled

Dealt

Eased

Elevated

Enabled

Endorsed

Enhanced

Enriched

Familiarized

Interceded

Mobilized

Modeled

Polished

Prescribed

Provided

Protected

Rehabilitated

Relieved

Rescued

Returned

Saved

Served

Sustained

Tutored

Validated

Power Verbs for When You Showed Quantitative Skills

Accounted for

Appraised

Approximated

Audited

Balanced

Budgeted

Calculated

Checked

Compiled

Compounded

Computed

Conserved

Converted

Counted

Dispensed

Dispersed

Earned

Enumerated

Estimated

Figured

Financed

Grossed

Increased

Inventoried

Maximized

Multiplied

Netted

Profited

Projected

Purchased

Quantified

Rated

Reconciled

Power Verbs for When You Showed Supervisory Skills

Adjusted

Analyzed

Apportioned

Assessed

Certified

Compared

Controlled

Corrected

Correlated

Developed

Discovered

Established

Examined

Explored

Graded

Inspected

Indexed

Judged

Licensed

Maintained

Measured

Modified

Monitored

Officiated

Overhauled

Oversaw

Policed

Prohibited

Refined

Regulated

Reviewed

Revised

Screened

Updated

Additional Power Verbs to Consider

acted
activated
added
admitted
apportioned
appraised
approximated
attained
audited
certified
commissioned
committed
consented
contracted

disbursed
dispatched
displayed
enlisted
excelled
executed
exercised
familiarized
figured
guaranteed
indicated
instituted
involved

issued
licensed
maintained
operated
performed
prepared
programmed
realized
related
reserved
reviewed
satisfied
screened

secured
served
set
smoothed
sought
specified
submitted
surveyed
sustained
traced
transacted
transmitted
valued

Conclusion

Power verbs are important in a resume because they help you to tell a more bold, compelling, and interesting achievement.  The use of power verbs can help to entice an employer to invite you to an interview, substantially increasing your chances of being offered the position.

In order to enhance your resume with power or action verbs, go through it and identify the “boring” verbs.  These are verbs that are used too often and don’t provide an accurate description of your accomplishments.  Once identified, feel free to replace with a power verb that fully conveys the message you are trying to get across.

So long as the power verb you decide to use can replace the aforementioned verb, you should be good to use it.  Power verbs can significantly enhance your resume and the description of your accomplishments and skills and should be used where possible and applicable.

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