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Setting the Right Tone:  Action Verbs that Count

compiled by http://www.ExecSearches.com

           Verbs may take one of three distinct forms: occurrences (become, happen), states of being (are, seem, be) or actions (accomplish, strategize, bungy jump). Action verbs frame your experiences in terms of the movement towards a goal. Without action verbs, your resume reads flat, and without a variety of them, your writing reads even flatter. The following is a non-exhaustive list of action verbs relevant to describing most middle to senior level management jobs: 


absorbed, accelerated, accessed, accompanied, accomplished, achieved, acquainted, acquired, acted, activated, actuated, adapted, added, addressed, adhered, adjusted, administered, admitted, adopted, advanced, advertised, advised, advocated, affected, aided, aired, allocated, altered, amended, amplified, analyzed, answered, anticipated, applied, appointed, appointed, appraised, apprise, approached, approved, arbitrated, arranged, ascertained, asked, assembled, assessed, assigned, assisted, assumed, attained, attended, attracted, audited, augmented, authored, authorized, automated, availed, averted, awarded 


balanced, bargained, began, boosted, borrowed, bought, briefed, brought, broadened, budgeted, built


calculated, called, calmed, canvassed, capitalized, captured, carried, cast, catalogued, catapulted, categorized, catered, centralized, chaired, challenged, changed, channeled, charted, chartered, checked, choreographed, chose, circulated, clarified, classified, cleared, closed, coached, co-authored, collaborated, collected, combined, comforted, commissioned, committed, communicated, compared, competed, compiled, completed, complied, composed, compounded, computed, conceived, conceptualized, concluded, condensed, conducted, conferred, conserved, considered, consolidated, constructed, consulted, contacted, contracted, contrasted, contributed, contrived, controlled, converted, conveyed, convinced, cooperated, coordinated, copied, corrected, correlated, corresponded, counseled, counted, crafted, created, criticized, critiqued, cultivated, customized, cut 


debated, debugged, decentralized, decided, decreased, deduced, deferred, defined, defused, delegated, delighted, delivered, demonstrated, depreciated, described, designated, designed, detailed, detected, determined, developed, devised, devoted, diagnosed, diagrammed, directed, disciplined, disclosed, discounted, discovered, dispatched, dispensed, displayed, disproved, dissembled, disseminated, dissuaded, distinguished, distributed, diversified, divested, documented, doubled, drafted, drew, drove, duplicated 


earned, eased, edited, educated, effected, elaborated, elected, elevated, elicited, eliminated, emphasized, employed, enabled, encouraged, endorsed, enforced, engaged, engineered, enhanced, enlarged, enlisted, enriched, ensured, entered, entertained, established, estimated, evaluated, examined, exceeded, excelled, exchanged, excited, executed, exempted, exercised, exhibited, expanded, expedited, experimented, explained, exploited, explored, exposed, extended, extracted, extrapolated

fabricated, facilitated, familiarized, fashioned, fielded, figured, finalized, financed, fit, focused, followed, forecasted, formalized, formed, formulated, fortified, fostered, found, founded, framed, fulfilled, functioned, furnished 


gained, gathered, gauged, gave, generated, governed, graded, granted, greeted, grossed, grouped, guaranteed, guarded, guided 


handled, harnessed, headed, heightened, helped, highlighted, hired, honed, hosted, hypothesized 


identified, illuminated, illustrated, imagined, implemented, improved, improvised, inaugurated, incorporated, increased, incurred, indexed, indoctrinated, induced, inferred, influenced, informed, initiated, innovated, inquired, inspected, inspired, installed, instigated, instilled, instituted, instructed, insured, integrated, interested, interfaced, interpreted, interviewed, introduced, invented, inventoried, invested, investigated, invited, involved, isolated, issued 


joined, judged, juggled, justified 


kept, kindled 


launched, lead, lectured, led, leveraged, licensed, lightened, linked, liquidated, listened, litigated, lobbied, localized, located, logged 


maintained, managed, mapped, marketed, mastered, maximized, measured, mediated, mentored, merchandised, merged, met, minimized, mobilized, modeled, moderated, modernized, modified, monitored, motivated, moved, multiplied 


named, narrated, navigated, negotiated, netted, noticed, nurtured 


observed, obtained, offered, offset, opened, operated, operationalized, orchestrated, ordered, organized, oriented, originated, outlined, overcame, overhauled, oversaw


paid, participate, participated, passed, patterned, penalized, perceived, performed, permitted, persuaded, phased, photographed, phrased, pinpointed, pioneered, placed, planned, played, polled, practiced, praised, predicted, prepared, prescribed, presented, preserved, presided, prevailed, prevented, priced, printed, prioritized, probed, processed, procured, produced, profiled, programmed, projected, promoted, prompted, proposed, protected, proved, provided, provoked, publicized, published, purchased, pursued 


quadrupled, qualified, quantified, queried, questioned, quoted 


raised, ran, ranked, rated, reached, reacted, read, realized, received, recognized, recommended, reconciled, recorded, recovered, recruited, rectified, redesigned, reduced, reengineered, referred, refined, regained, registered, regulated, rehabilitated, reinforced, reinstated, rejected, related, remedied, remodeled, rendered, renegotiated, reorganized, repaired, replaced, reported, represented, requested, researched, reshaped, resolved, responded, restored, restructured, resulted, restored, retained, retrieved, revamped, revealed, reversed, reviewed, revised, revitalized, revolutionized, rewarded, routed 


safeguarded, salvaged, saved, scheduled, screened, searched, secured, segmented, selected, sent, separated, served, serviced, settled, shaped, shopped, shortened, showed, shrank, signed, simplified, simulated, sold, solicited, solved, sparked, spearheaded, specialized, specified, speculated, spoke, sponsored, spread, stabilized, staffed, staged, standardized, started, steered, stimulated, strategized, streamlined, strengthened, stressed, stretched, structured, studied, submitted, substantiated, substituted, succeeded, suggested, summarized, superseded, supervised, supplemented, supplied, supported, surpassed, surveyed, sustained, synchronized, synthesized, systematized 


tabulated, tailored, targeted, taught, tended, terminated, tested, testified, thanked, thrived, tightened, took, traced, tracked, traded, trained, transacted, transferred, transformed, translated, transmitted, transported, traveled, treated, trimmed, tripled, troubleshot, turned, tutored 


uncovered, undertook, unified, united, unraveled, updated, upgraded, used, utilized 


validated, valued, verbalized, verified, viewed, visited, vitalized, volunteered 


weighed, welcomed, widened, witnessed, won, worked, wrote 


When was the last time a potential employer used the  action verbs "interview" and "offer" with you?  

Perhaps it's time to have a headhunter take a look at your resume.  

ExecSearches.com offers fee-based resume reviewing, cover letter editing and interview skills training.  

Please write to LGO@ExecSearches.com for more information.

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