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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: 

A

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 

B

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

C

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 

D

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 

E

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 

G

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

H

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

I

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 

J

joined, judged, juggled, justified 

K

kept, kindled 

L

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

M

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

N

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

O

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

P

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 

Q

quadrupled, qualified, quantified, queried, questioned, quoted 

R

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 

S

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 

T

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 

U

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

V

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

W

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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