5 Potent Action Verbs to Power Up Your Resume Today!

 Just the boost you need! (Jirsak/iStockphoto.com)

Just the boost you need! (Jirsak/iStockphoto.com)

When you present your resume, it's not about telling an employer who you are. It's about telling them what you can do for them.

In other words, you can tell an employer that you're ambitious and personable. Or you can show them!

Your accomplishments are your place to shine. Demonstrate what you've done for your current or past employers (or in your school projects, for that matter), and you help an employer visualize that you can provide similar results for them. A track record of success sells your ability to do more great things in the future. And the verbs you choose to illustrate your accomplishments have both overt and implicit meaning. They paint a picture of not just what you did, but how you did it – and often, that matters just as much.

Ready to power up your resume? Here are five potent action verbs you can start using today!

Verb: GENERATE
Definition: To bring into existence; cause to be; produce.
Why It's Potent: Demonstrates that you have the ability to build, create, or produce something. You don't just sit at your desk gathering dust, you get results. Implies positive action and activity.
Real-World Resume Example: "Generated $3M+ in annual sales through effective development and execution of marketing strategies."

Verb: INFLUENCE
Definition: To exercise influence on; affect; sway: to influence a person. To move or impel (a person) to some action.
Why It's Potent: People don't usually do things differently than they've historically done things just because you ask them nicely. Especially if you're not their boss. By influencing your boss, coworker, stakeholder, or anyone else to try a new approach, you've shown that you can change the status quo by getting other peoples' buy-in. Not an easy task, especially when you're asking for their time or money.
Real-World Resume Example: "Influenced clients to adopt new fashion home product line generating $1.2M in 2016 and projected to grow over 400% in 2017."

Verb: DEVELOP
Definition: To bring out the capabilities or possibilities of; bring to a more advanced or effective state.
Why It's Potent: This refers to developing people, by the way. If you're a leader, your ability to develop your staff if one of your key responsibilities. By helping others become the best they can be, you're building bench strength, enhancing employee engagement, and creating opportunities for the company's best and brightest.
Real-World Resume Example: "Developed high performing Team Lead into Director through coaching and mentoring."

Verb: COLLABORATE (OR PARTNER)
Definition: To work, one with another; cooperate.
Why It's Potent: Employers want people who can work well with others. Often that's essential in order to get things done. Showing a proclivity to partner up on projects provides tangible evidence that you believe in teamwork.
Real-World Resume Example: "Collaborated with industry partners to innovate products for market placement."

Verb: TRANSFORM
Definition: To change in form, appearance, or structure; metamorphose; to change in condition, nature, or character; convert.
Why It's Potent: Transformation is powerful stuff. You're seriously modifying the status quo for the better. Implies that you're a change agent.
Real-World Resume Example: "Transformed business into profitable operation within one year. Reduced expenses through operational efficiencies, renegotiated key vendor contracts, and reduced customer write-offs and outstanding credit."

(Definitions courtesy of Dictionary.com)


Scott Singer is the President and Founder of Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching, a firm dedicated to guiding job seekers and companies through the job search and hiring process. Insider Career Strategies provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, and career coaching services, including a free resume review. You can email Scott Singer at scott.singer@insidercs.com, or via the website, www.insidercs.com.