Cover Letter TipsResume Tips

148 strong verbs to use in your resume and cover letter

strong verbs for your resume and cover letter

When it comes to any type of writing, not just resume writing, there are many ways to convey the same thought, but with a slightly different variation. That’s the beauty of language. You have words to play with to express the full spectrum of actions, emotions, and results. But some power words such as strong verbs have an unfair advantage. They make your writing sound more persuasive.

What are Strong Verbs? 

From a grammar perspective, strong verbs, also called irregular verbs, are those that form a past tense from their own resources i.e. by changing some or almost the entire word structure.

We use strong action verbs every day without much thinking such as:

  • Go — went — gone
  • Do — did — done
  • Begin — began —begun 

Strong verbs are descendants of the Old English language and grammar. Today, there are about 200 strong verbs in active use.

From a resume writing perspective, however, strong verbs have a somewhat different ring to them. 

Also called power verbs, such words and phrases are often used by writers to strengthen the narrative, add some persuasion, and better articulate the duties and accomplishments. 

In other words, strong verbs are the lingo to use for hammering down the idea that you are a capable, experienced professional, who knows their tradecraft well. 

What are Weak Verbs and How to Spot Them

On the other hand, we have so-called “weak verbs” — words that make us sound somewhat more timid and uncertain. We often use them without much thinking when we want to downplay our abilities. But your resume is a place to go big and bold

So when you proofread and edit your copy, look for the following weak verbs and replace them with strong synonyms. These include: 

  • State-of-being verbs such as “Am”, “Is”, “Do”, “May”, “Could”, “Might” etc. In some cases, these are helpful to connect ideas. But overall, you can often find a stronger alternative to just iterating your state. 
  • -Ing Verbs: The continuous form usually indicates an unfinished task. Also, such verbs can be easily replaced with more descriptive and persuasive options. 
  • Verbs pard with an adjective/adverb: delivered confidently, worked quickly, etc. Replace these with snappier one-word verbs to make your cope more coherent. 

Strong Verbs for Resume: Master List 

Strong action verbs are a must use for the following sections of your resume:

Also, you should always prioritize them in your cover letter to project that extra confidence through your words. 

Below is our curated strong verbs list, organized around different skills groups and work experiences. 

Strong Verbs to Describe Leadership and Managerial Duties 

  1. Launched
  2. Led
  3. Coordinated
  4. Executed
  5. Delivered
  6. Controlled
  7. Monitored
  8. Chaired
  9. Enacted
  10. Oversaw
  11. Instituted
  12. Introduced
  13. Formalized
  14. Devised
  15. Charted
  16. Formed
  17. Formulated
  18. Pioneered
  19. Promoted
  20. Coached
  21. Trained
  22. Initiated
  23. Signed
  24. Innovated
  25. Founded
  26. Conceived
  27. Patented
  28. Hired
  29. Onboarded
  30. Slated
  31. Arranged
  32. Budgeted
  33. Orchestrated 
  34. Shipped
  35. Mentored
  36. Paved

Need more ideas? Check our list of management skills for your resume

Strong Verbs to Talk About Your Accomplishments

  1. Attained
  2. Succeed 
  3. Yielded
  4. Delivered
  5. Produced
  6. Facilitated
  7. Accelerated
  8. Advanced
  9. Amplified
  10. Improved
  11. Enhanced
  12. Expedited
  13. Gained
  14. Surged
  15. Earned
  16. Signed
  17. Saved
  18. Edged
  19. Amassed 
  20. Procured
  21. Vested
  22. Became
  23. Lifted
  24. Maximized
  25. Minimized
  26. Outpaced
  27. Surpassed
  28. Outperformed
  29. Overtook
  30. Boosted
  31. Doubled
  32. Swelled

Strong Verbs to Describe Your Problem-Solving Abilities

  1. Resolved
  2. Reconciled
  3. Strategized
  4. Tackled 
  5. Corrected
  6. Handled
  7. Addressed 
  8. Facilitated 
  9. Settled 
  10. Negotiated
  11.  Rectified
  12. Bridged
  13. Restored
  14. Optimized
  15. Fixed
  16. Amended 
  17. Modified
  18. Reworked
  19. Overhauled
  20. Modified
  21. Diagnosed
  22. Investigated
  23. Analyzed
  24. Studied
  25. Determined
  26. Discovered
  27. Calculated
  28. Computed 
  29. Found
  30. Defined 

Strong Verbs to Describe Your Communication Skills 

  1. Briefed
  2. Conveyed
  3. Relayed
  4. Disseminated
  5. Wrote 
  6. Authored 
  7. Researched
  8. Fact-checked
  9. Circulated
  10. Elaborated
  11. Guided 
  12. Explained
  13. Informed
  14. Translated 
  15. Interpreted
  16.  Reported
  17. Presented
  18. Disclosed 
  19. Consulted
  20. Convinced
  21. Persuaded
  22. Promoted
  23. Lobbied
  24. Documented
  25. Recorded
  26. Listened
  27. Published 
  28. Reported
  29. Hyped 
  30. Broadcasted
  31. Published 
  32. Streamed
  33. Edited
  34. Conferred 

Swipe even more compelling examples of interpersonal skills from our separate guide. 

Strong Verbs to Describe How You Saved Money or Resources

  1. Deducted
  2. Redeemed
  3. Preserved
  4. Reclaimed
  5. Economized
  6. Streamlined
  7. Reduced 
  8. Cut
  9. Slashed
  10. Curbed
  11. Lowered
  12. Lessened
  13. Dropped
  14. Mitigated
  15. Restricted 
  16. Revitalized

Strong Verbs to Show You are a Team Player 

  1. Supported
  2. Inspired
  3. Motivated
  4. Shaped
  5. Collaborated
  6. Partnered
  7. Liaised
  8. Engaged
  9. Served
  10. Contributed
  11. Shared
  12. Engaged
  13. Paired
  14. Consulted
  15. Supervised
  16. Taught
  17. Tutored
  18. Sponsored
  19. Corrected
  20. Emphasized 
  21.  Retained
  22. Praised
  23.  Recognized
  24. Acknowledged
  25. Cautioned
  26. Accentuated

Putting The Strong Verbs Together in a Resume 

You now have this jumbo-sized list of strong verbs to use for your resume. What’s next? Get back to the editing board and start optimizing!  

Re-read your copy and weed out the weaklings. When reviewing the “Work Experience” section, apply a consistent format to your sentences and start each new duty description with a sharp action verb. 

Then move on to your cover letter and LinkedIn profile. These two also deserve a nice revamp and can benefit a lot from some action-oriented vocabulary.

Finally, remember that moderation is key. Don’t try to sound overly eloquent and cherry-pick the fanciest words from a Thesaurus. Because the last thing you’d want is to confuse the prospective employer!


  • Elena Prokopets

    Elena runs content operations at Freesumes since 2017. She works closely with copywriters, designers, and invited career experts to ensure that all content meets our highest editorial standards. Up to date, she wrote over 200 career-related pieces around resume writing, career advice... more

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