139 Action Verbs to Make Your CV Stand Out

When writing your CV, it’s important to avoid weak and passive verbs, stay away from business jargon or clichés, and watch out for tired words and phrases. These faulty word choices can undermine the strength and effectiveness of your CV. Instead, make a point of using powerful action verbs and avoid overusing the same verbs (such as “assisted,” “oversaw,” and “utilised”).

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Action words are specific, clarify your contributions, and bring a confident tone to your CV and list of accomplishments. Here’s an example:

Lacks strength and clarity: “Held weekly status meetings to share client updates.”

Empowered and detailed: “Initiated weekly status meetings to communicate agency revenue growth.”

Can you see how the second option is stronger and more detailed? The action verb at the beginning of the sentence makes your contribution clear and impactful.

Read more: 6 Universal Rules for Writing Your CV

Pro-tip: Combine your selection of action verbs with quantifiable results to show both what you did and the effect it had. For example, “Championed use of user feedback in program improvements, resulting in 50% boost in customer satisfaction ratings.”

Action verbs

Select from the following action verbs to give your CV an edge:

To demonstrate your strong work ethic or introduce your accomplishments, try:

Achieved

Capitalised

Championed

Deciphered

Discerned

Drove

Enacted

Endeavoured

Established

Exceeded

Sharpened

Sparked

Spearheaded

Steered

Stimulated

Supervised

Surpassed

Instead of “duties included,” “responsible for,” “served as,” or “actions encompassed,” try:

Accelerated

Accomplished

Analysed

Assembled

Built

Founded

Created

Constructed

Delivered

Developed

Executed

Expanded

Finalised

Forged

Guided

Handled

Headed

Improved

Increased

Initiated

Implemented

Instituted

Produced

Reached

Simplified

Volunteered

To illustrate your communication skills, try:

Collaborated

Conveyed

Enlivened

Instructed

Performed

Presented

Spoke

Trained

For creative positions, try:

Authored

Brainstormed

Briefed

Communicated

Conceptualised

Curated

Derived

Designed

Drafted

Edited

Illustrated

Imagined

Influenced

Intensified

Modelled

Proofread

Prototyped

Published

Researched

Strategised

Storyboarded

Translated

Visualised

Wrote

For sales positions, try:

Captured

Conserved

Converted

Earned

Generated

Maximised

Negotiated

Won

For management positions, try:

Advised

Arranged

Augmented

Centralised

Championed

Differentiated

Directed

Empowered

Endorsed

Enforced

Ensured

Forecasted

Fostered

Identified

Integrated

Leveraged

Reconciled

Reduced

Replaced

Resolved

Orchestrated

Optimised

Predicted

Renovated

For financial positions, try:

Audited

Classified

Collected

Equalised

Dispensed

Halted

Investigated

Lowered

Maintained

Minimised

Recognised

Secured

For technical positions, try:

Advanced

Architected

Automated

Coded

Deployed

Detected

Devised

Diagnosed

Discovered

Formulated

Installed

Launched

Networked

Planned

Programmed

Rewrote

Refined

Tested

Troubleshot

Upgraded

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