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Contributors:H. Allen Brizee, Natasha E. Jarrett, and Katy A. Schmaling.
Summary:

"Action Verbs to Describe Skills, Jobs, and Accomplishments in Employment Documents" is a categorized list of action verbs that can be utilized to explain the daily tasks completed by an individual on the job. In addition to the categorized lists, there are examples with some of the actions verbs being used; and there is also a sample resume provided for further assistance.

What is an Action Verb?

What is an Action Verb?

An action verb expresses achievements or something a person does in a concise, persuasive manner.

Why is it Important to Use Action Verbs in Workplace Writing?

You should use action verbs in workplace writing because they make sentences and statements more concise. Since concise writing is easier for readers to understand, it is more reader-centered. Because reader-centered writing is generally more persuasive, action verbs are more convincing than non-action verbs. The following job description uses a non-action verb:

The job description below uses an action verb:

The job description using a non-action verb is less concise. It contains ten words, and it focuses action on a form of the verb "to be" (was).

The job description using an action verb is more concise. It contains seven words, and it focuses action on an action verb (supervised). Because concise writing is easier for readers to understand, the job description using an action verb is more powerful and is more persuasive.

Use action verbs in resumes to describe all skills, jobs, or accomplishments. Using action verbs will allow you to highlight the tasks you can do. Word choice is critical in order to describe what you have done and to persuade potential employers to give you an interview.

In order to make a striking first impression, use action verbs as the first word of each bullet point to emphasize job descriptions in your resume.

The following list is an example of action verbs in resume job descriptions:

The next section of this handout contains a categorized list of action verbs and examples to make concise and persuasive sentences, job descriptions, and/or lists of skills and accomplishments. In addition, you may view a sample resume using several action verbs in the Work Experience Section to see how these verbs work in employment documents.

Contributors:H. Allen Brizee, Natasha E. Jarrett, and Katy A. Schmaling.
Summary:

"Action Verbs to Describe Skills, Jobs, and Accomplishments in Employment Documents" is a categorized list of action verbs that can be utilized to explain the daily tasks completed by an individual on the job. In addition to the categorized lists, there are examples with some of the actions verbs being used; and there is also a sample resume provided for further assistance.

Categorized List of Action Verbs

Categorized List of Action Verbs

This categorized list contains only a few action verbs you can use to compose concise, persuasive, reader-centered resumes, cover letters, or other types of workplace documents. The examples are illustrations that overview the uses of action verbs in professional writing.

The link above takes you to a sample resume containing action verbs.

Communication Skills

Other words: Advocated, Clarified, Corresponded, Encouraged, Interpreted, Negotiated, Persuaded, Presented, Publicized, Solicited, Spoke, Translated

Creative Skills

Other words: Acted, Applied, Composed, Created, Established, Founded, Improvised, Introduced, Navigated, Originated, Presented

Data / Financial Skills

Other words: Adjusted, Allocated, Budgeted, Compared, Computed, Counted, Documented, Estimated, Forecasted, Inventoried, Invested, Predicted, Projected, Quantified, Recorded, Retrieved, Verified

Helping Skills

Other words: Aided, Assisted, Built, Demonstrated, Facilitated, Familiarized, Helped, Performed, Represented, Solved, Supported, Trained, Upheld, Volunteered, Worked

Management / Leadership Skills

Other words: Achieved, Administered, Assigned, Attained, Challenged, Coordinated, Decided, Delegated, Established, Executed, Handled, Headed, Implemented, Incorporated, Intervened, Launched, Led, Managed, Mediated, Motivated, Organized, Oversaw, Planned, Prioritized, Recommended, Scheduled, Supervised, United

Efficiency Skills

Other words: Accelerated, Allocated, Boosted, Centralized, Downsized, Edited, Eliminated, Enhanced, Expanded, Expedited, Heightened, Lessened, Leveraged, Maximized, Merged, Optimized, Outlined, Outsourced, Prevented, Prioritized, Reorganized, Reduced, Revised, Simplified, Standardized, Stream-lined, Synthesized, Systematized, Upgraded

Research Skills

Other words: Analyzed, Collected, Compared, Controlled, Detected, Diagnosed, Evaluated, Examined, Gathered, Identified, Investigated, Located, Measured, Organized, Reported, Replicated, Researched, Reviewed, Searched, Surveyed, Wrote

Teaching Skills

Other words: Aided, Advised, Clarified, Communicated, Defined, Developed, Encouraged, Evaluated, Facilitated, Fostered, Guided, Helped, Incorporated, Informed, Initiated, Instructed, Lectured, Prepared, Supported, Supervised, Stimulated, Taught

Technical Skills

Other words: Analyzed, Assembled, Built, Calculated, Computed, Conducted, Designed, Devised, Engineered, Maintained, Operated, Programmed, Reengineered, Remodeled, Transmitted

Sources/References:

Rosalie Maggio, How to Say It, Webster's Thesaurus.