Using Action Words in Résumés

[Instructors: PDFs of the exercise and solution key can be found at the end of the post]

Hirers looking at résumés are notorious for speed reading, so writing concise, powerfully
worded experience statements is critical.

To make experience statements effective, do the following:

  • Begin with a strong action verb (present tense for current job, past tense for former positions).
  • Quantify where possible and add detail to provide context.
  • Omit I.
  • Use truncated language rather than complete sentences.


Poor                  I am a good speaker and have given talks to large audiences.

Improved         Used finely-honed speaking skills while presenting to audiences of 50+.

In the experience statements below, replace the bland verb with a stronger action verb, and flesh out the sentences so a reader would find them more descriptive as well as vivid.

  1. Have good writing skills.
  2. Worked well with teammates.
  3. Showed new employees very difficult payroll system.
  4. Did data input with Data Entry App on a daily basis.
  5. Was good at customer service especially for complaints.
  6. Can use Adobe CS for variety of projects like newsletters.
  7. Went to weekly status meetings.
  8. Responsible for counting cash and doing bank deposit slips.
  9. Got Best Salesperson of the month.
  10. Made weekly report spreadsheet about sales statistics.

Action Words in Résumés-Exercise

Using Action Words in Résumés-Solutions

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