How to Use Action Verbs On Your Resume

How to Use Action Verbs On Your Resume

Every job applicant wants their resume to shine. After all, your resume could be what gets you a job interview and, ultimately, an offer. But making your resume stand out is challenging and requires some editing. If you're looking for a simple way to make your resume appeal to the manager, you should add action verbs. Learn more about action verbs and how to use them.

The Importance of Action Verbs

If you work in a position that requires any sales, you probably already know the value of action verbs. When you pitch an idea or try to sell a car, you need to use action verbs to showcase its value. Action verbs allow the other person to imagine what you're describing, rather than just hearing your words.

On a resume, action verbs are one of the only things that create movement. Bulleted list of duties and short descriptions of achievements alone aren't enough to show a hiring manager your capabilities. To bring your resume to life, you need action verbs.

With that said, it's not enough to just include action verbs. There are certain verbs you should use, and specific places for you to use them. If you don't take the right approach, you'll end up with a weak resume. Before you integrate action verbs into your resume, take the time to think about how you will include them.

What is an Action Verb?

Here's a quick English lesson on action verbs. Although you probably learned this at some point in your life, most people forget what action verbs do.

An action verb is a word used to show the subject is taking action. If you say, "Beth walked to the house while the snow fell to the ground," you're using an action verb. However, saying, "The dishes were done at night," is using a passive verb.

Skip the Overused Verbs

If you use too many buzzwords in your resume, the document will seem forced. This gives the hiring manager a reason to believe you're not everything you say you are. Instead of seeing you as an asset, they may think you're unqualified and trying too hard to appease them.

When you notice buzzwords on a job listing, make a note of them. While you should incorporate a few of those words into your resume, avoid using them more than two times. After you're done with your resume, read it over and determine if it sounds forced.

While you're working on your resume, don't be afraid to pick up a dictionary or use a thesaurus. You can also ask your friends, family members, or colleagues for advice on how to word your resume. It's also beneficial to look at resumes from other individuals in the industry.

Finding the Right Action Verbs

To be successful with your action verbs, you first need to pick industry-specific verbs. They should showcase your skills, and also tie into the new job. If you're too general or use everyday verbs, you may come across as a weak candidate or as a follower.

Likewise, generic words don't add any value to your resume. Can you think of a job that doesn't involve some type of teamwork? When you say you collaborated with employees, you don't make much of an impression. Your word choice could keep you from an interview offer.

Here's a breakdown of action verbs you should and shouldn't use to display various skills and actions:

Communication Skills

When discussing communicating skills, avoid these words: talked, led, presented, and organized. In lieu of those, use these words: reconciled, addressed, persuaded, and publicized.

Everyone has communication skills. Therefore, you need to show the hiring manager you can do more than just talk to someone. Every other job applicant can lead a presentation, but not everyone can persuade clients to come on board. Ultimately, your word choice could convince a manager to meet with you in person. It's a simple way to truly shine and impress your prospective employer.

Organizational Skills

To say you organized a project doesn't mean much of anything. In the workplace, anyone can organize. But not everyone is capable of following through with a project. Choose words that show how you completed or executed the project.

Excellent substitutes for organized, filed, and ordered are the following: cataloged, executed, operated, and monitored.

In addition to showing your follow-through, using these unique action verbs ensures you don't downplay your abilities. Filing paperwork is something an intern can do, but monitoring your client's accounts is something a valued employee does.

Management Skills

In almost every industry and career, management skills are valued. But leading others isn't the same as being successful and establishing a team. When you include your verbs, avoid these words: led, oversaw, and handled. Replace them with delegated, established, and appointed.

Your word choice can make a job transform from a low-level position into a high-level one. For the best results, use words that highlight the best of your contributions.

Live Up to Your Potential

What happens if your resume doesn't have the right action verbs? If you don't use the right verbs, you won't be unemployed and destitute for the rest of your life. But you will make the job search much more challenging.

Finding a new job is tough enough. By using the right action verbs in your resume, you give yourself a better chance of an interview. Furthermore, you improve your chances of a job offer. As the hiring manager reviews resumes to decide who deserves the position, they might return to yours.

There's no secret to getting a job offer. However, the whole process is like a puzzle. When you use the right action verbs, you complete a piece of that puzzle. Don't hesitate to get started on improving your resume, and you may be rewarded with several interviews.

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