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, such as “assisted,” “utilised” and “responsible”.

So what are good action words for a CV?

Good action verbs for CVs are specific and used in phrases written in the active voice, for example ‘(I) analysed’ rather than the passive ‘an analysis was performed’.

Also, the best action words come directly from the job posting. This is what the employer wants to see most and likely what they’re looking for first. 

So if the job advert is looking for someone who has led projects in the past, make sure you’re including “leadership” in your list of skills, and put a bullet that says “Successfully led…” in your recent work if possible. 

So when reviewing your own CV or resume, which action words would work better in communicating your impact? Here are some suggested action words to get you started.

Research, Analysis & Business Decision-Making

  • Calculated
  • Audited
  • Discovered
  • Analyzed
  • Tested
  • Quantified
  • Mapped
  • Forecasted
  • Evaluated
  • Assessed
  • Determined
  • Diagnosed
  • Validated
  • Verified
  • Uncovered

Show Achievements, Awards & Success

  • Completed
  • Attained
  • Recognized for
  • Received
  • Reached
  • Succeeded in
  • Earned
  • Surpassed
  • Outperformed
  • Won

Improving a Process

  • Accelerated
  • Increased
  • Optimized
  • Re-engineered
  • Reorganized
  • Transformed
  • Adjusted
  • Re-calibrated
  • Modified
  • Overhauled
  • Restructured
  • Transformed
  • Upgraded
  • Strengthened
  • Streamlined

Creating a New Process or Initiative

  • Planned
  • Piloted
  • Pioneered
  • Built
  • Started
  • Initiated
  • Founded
  • Created
  • Devised
  • Delivered
  • Implemented
  • Established
  • Introduced
  • Launched
  • Pioneered
  • Authored

Leading People, Projects & Tasks

  • Led
  • Organized
  • Oversaw
  • Orchestrated
  • Managed
  • Chaired
  • Headed
  • Coordinated
  • Facilitated
  • Mentored
  • Supervised
  • Trained
  • Taught
  • Empowered

Saving Money or Resources

  • Conserved
  • Saved
  • Reduced
  • Decreased
  • Improved
  • Prevented

Boosting Sales/Revenue

  • Produced
  • Increased
  • Expanded
  • Gained
  • Generated
  • Maximized
  • Boosted

Examples of how to use action words

  • Completed an average of 19 projects per month, bringing in £2.4M in revenue for the company in 2021
  • Audited 4 internal processes and systems related to order management, identifying an opportunity to save 1.2% on payment processing costs.
  • Overhauled the training program for new sales associates, resulting in 2 fewer weeks of training necessary and a 7% increase in first-month revenue generated by new sales associates in Q1 2020.
  • Oversaw and mentored 10 new team members per quarter, instructing them on the day-to-day work, company policies, and best practices
  • Boosted sales revenue by 38%.
  • Evaluated customer data to identify new opportunities for targeting specific markets.
  • Researched ways to improve website performance, KPIs and other analytics
  • Leveraged sales experience to capitalize on opportunities to upsell customers.
  • Consulted with external partners to identify creative solutions to everyday business challenges.
  • Generated leads and built brand awareness while managing both internal and external teams.
  • Capitalized on marketplace trends to identify new solutions and enhance business operations.
  • Coached, trained and delegated responsibilities to 10 team members in order to meet departmental goals.
  • Tracked business revenue and costs using advanced financial software.
  • Overhauled the process for performing inventory to save on time and improve accuracy.

    If you would benefit from a CV review and how to maximise your achievements and impact to recruiters, contact me for a free consultation call to discuss further.

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