by Katharine Hansen, Ph.D.
Action verbs form the heart of a resume’s Work Experience section, with most bullet points in this section ideally kicking off with powerful action verbs.
You can find lists of action verbs for use in resumes (and cover letters) all over the Internet; the list below provides samples of how these action verbs can be used. These verbs, from resumes for many professions, are shown in both past-tense (for past jobs) and present-tense (for current jobs).
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“A” Action Verbs in Action: Sample Resume Bullet Points
- Accelerated time-to-market for embedded software by 25 percent through use of appropriate software quality tools, improved debugging methods, and timely personnel training.
- Accomplished shift from Large Quantity Generator status to Small Quantity Generator Status.
- Accounted for more than 25 percent of company’s revenues.
- Achieved profitability in highly competitive industry and significant growth of services in all market categories against eight direct competitors.
- Acted as co-facilitator for work group and partnered with facilitator to help coordinate group’s work.
- Added four new customers, a new industry, and more than $1 million in revenue.
- Address deeply rooted, beneath-the-surface systemic causes of organizational problems/conflicts instead of merely tackling known symptoms.
- Administer $2 million in contracts with City of Orlando to operate Visitors Bureau and Economic Development Programs.
- Advised management regarding accounting processes, findings, and financial performance.
- Aligned and trained management staff to focus on attaining world-class service levels through quality feedback to staff, utilizing Witness Monitoring System, top-level training programs, and targeted interviewing/hiring specifications.
- Applied global experiences and localized process to create relevance to Japan, which involved learning entire process and identifying high leverage points in Japan context.
- Architected operational and financial business cases for outsourcing. Assessed effectiveness of 16,000-employee Symantec’s global payroll operations (APAC and EMEA).
- Assumed and maintained P&L responsibility for administrative departments, including Human Resources, HRIS, MIS, Training and Development, Safety, Security, Internal Audit, Benefits and Compensation, Legal, Insurance, Travel, and Internal Investigations.
- Assured programmatic and budgetary compliance of programs according to funding objectives.
- Attracted 33 new corporate memberships over 12 months after corporate membership campaign design and implementation.
- Audited corporate client reports of portfolio holdings and transactions on accounts containing equities, fixed income, and derivatives.
- Authored paper for publication in New Jersey Association of School Business Officials magazine on implications of Sarbanes-Oxley Act to New Jersey School Districts.
- Avoided $700,000 annual cost through negotiation of multiyear master lease agreement with U.S. Government.
- Awarded U.S. patent for developing solution to common industry problem related to calibration; solution resulted in lower maintenance cost for customers.
- Benchmarked specifications for systems implementation.
- Bolstered productivity and saved company approximately $10 million through playing key role in restructuring company; reengineered all financial processes and related systems; redesigned all related jobs, resulting in enriched staff development; reduced headcount from 1,500 to 1,000.
- Boosted sales to $2.6 million from $450,000.
- Broadened target audience to include corporate travel managers, meeting planners, and consumers.
- Brokered US Treasury and European fixed-income cash, futures, and options, calculated risk, and executed trades on multiple trading platforms.
- Brought strong management discipline and Asian-market expertise to role as board director who assumes operational oversight in absence of COO.
- Built and implemented employee-owned development matrix for all management and call-center staff; selected, trained, and tested employee base to support continued educational and career objectives.
- Captured 57 percent of North American-served market.
- Chair corporate-wide Software Configuration Review Board.
- Championed development of software simulation and modeling methods to assist marketing in determining customer’s “voice” — procedure is now SOP.
- Changed paradigm for district’s copy center in collaboration with Management Information Systems and transformed it from district-subsidized operation to one that has produced hundreds of thousands of dollars in positive cash flow for the last two years.
- Cited as “Best Producer” by Director of Development, who said, “He always manages to strike a comfortable balance between encouraging and facilitating creative people like me and looking out for the needs of the company.”
- Clarified and confirmed database specifications of end-users and offered additional suggestions or alternatives.
- Closed $15 million contract negotiation that accounted for 45 percent of company orders in 2011; generated more than 50 percent of total company revenue.
- Co-facilitated two sets of monthly meetings, one with full group of 18 provider representatives plus county representatives, and a second with key representatives from larger group.
- Coached partners on internal company dynamics and steps for developing business and marketing plans so they could learn to write their own.
- Codified rating system to concentrate rehabilitation impacts.
- Collaborate with hospital and regional medical center in-house legal departments on regulatory compliance cases.
- Combined technical and management skills while mentoring group members as they resolved complex technical issues and provided expert technical advice to management for business decisions.
- Commanded contingency operations and established safety programs at three austere flying locales supporting UN operations; supervised 200+ personnel at each site and earned Outstanding Unit Safety Award.
- Commended at project’s end and identified as invaluable contributor who provides “insight, clarity, and definition.”
- Communicated consistently and proactively with team members via phone and e-mail between meetings, coordinated meeting notes, and helped team members with individual work plans.
- Completed successful name change and followed up by developing new branding platform, logo, and tagline that accurately captures and identities organization’s personality, values, and objectives and will articulate its mission and package it for savvy, heavily pitched funding audience.
- Conceived and led initiative that saved $1 billion annually in industry settlement costs and eradicated costly customer error by eliminating manual customer input.
- Conducted two all-customer surveys; reported results to internal partners with issue, cause, and resolution outline to significantly impact internal and external customer satisfaction.
- Consolidated marketing-services organization in 45 days.
- Constructed and presented sales forecasts and competitive analyses.
- Consult with business and community leaders to respond to diversity concerns and issues.
- Contributed to annual giving campaign’s success, exceeding $450K goal by $100K through increased marketing and e-giving technology implemented on website and through printed materials.
- Convinced management to re-formulate existing local brand, refine its brand position, as well as redesign its graphics and packaging to align with its updated positioning, resulting in significant volume increase and long-term brand growth.
- Coordinate all facets of the program, including curriculum development, teaching, training, volunteer management, staff recruiting, and grant writing.
- Counseled three clients; conducted informational interviews with customers and staff members for VP of Environmental Health and Safety and provided feedback, resulting in defining new work processes to increase customer satisfaction and employee job satisfaction; collaborated with Art Museum Director’s team during major transition and change, resulting in on-time new museum opening with intact and cordial team; conducted workshops on Change Leadership.
- Crafted decision memos at request of Prime Minister of Bangladesh and US President; laid foundation that influenced Congress to approve unprecedented buy-back of $400M aircraft program from Thailand.
- Created organizational design and built effective teams; structured and led new Information Management Division, including Business Response Team, Quality Assurance Group, and Application Services Team.
- Cultivate strong relationships with city, volunteers, and key constituents.
“D” Action Verbs in Action: Sample Resume Bullet Points
- Decreased inbound volume into help-desk support systems by more than 20 percent by expanding and refining Comerica University program to encompass client base as well as internal associates, delivering Certified Equity Edge Expert program that trained clients to utilize online tools.
- Define world area budgeting, forecasting, revenue, and profitability objectives.
- Delighted management and employees by redesigning job descriptions, using a “Vision for Success” statement to illustrate successful job performance.
- Delivered annual revenue of $1.5B annually across Europe/Middle East/Africa, accounting for 20 percent more revenue and profit than comparable operation in North America delivered.
- Delivered presentations to American community on travel opportunities in Western and Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, and North America.
- Demonstrated product-knowledge growth and enhanced external customer contact through constant communication with some of the financial world’s most demanding and knowledgeable people — hedge-fund managers, traders, and operations personnel.
- Deploy excellent political skills and contacts to testify to New Jersey Education Finance Program task force and legislative committees about public education in New Jersey.
- Designed E-Plan and managed software development, adaptation, and interface with regional and national hospital-provider market-share leaders.
- Determine annual unit and gross-profit plans by implementing sales and marketing strategies and analyzing trends and results.
- Developed 5-10 year strategies and plans; identified and exploited new business opportunities to achieve objectives.
- Devised strategic marketing and sales plans to improve revenues, market share, and profitability.
- Discovered and identified significant differences among funding levels that threatened interference with focus on work plan.
- Dissuaded venture capitalists from canceling $25-million investment client needed for upcoming payroll.
- Doubled annual subscription revenue in both 2013 and 2014, to $4M/year in 23-country Eastern European market.
- Drafted and responded to motions; prepared and responded to discovery related to complex litigation case set for trial.
- Drew from project experience to co-author three-part series of articles, on marketing for consultants, which was published in online organizational-development magazine.
“E” Action Verbs in Action: Sample Resume Bullet Points
- Earned Boys & Girls Club of the USA’s Professionals Award of Excellence in Leadership, Award of Excellence in Innovation, and Award of Excellence in Program Development.
- Educate employees and the public about how school district earns its money; speak frequently at local service clubs and professional conferences, serve as guest lecturer for classes at local universities, and appear as TV/radio guest.
- Emphasize excellent customer service internally and externally; created new ways of communicating with customers that helped increase enrollment for various programs by 75 percent over past two years.
- Enabled company to sustain itself through industry down times by developing preplanned marketing initiatives and clear marketing strategy that can be updated as company goals.
- Encouraged upward mobility of females and minorities in professional Boys & Girls Club positions across upstate New York and secured training funds to provide them leadership-development opportunities and job-related training.
- Engineered $US 50 million annual technology spend; obtained technology savings/expense reductions of $US 4.5 million, including $US 0.7 million in technology employee and consultant staff reductions.
- Enhanced processes, procedures, and controls, as well as MIS development, throughout Accounting and Finance Division.
- Enlisted internal staff, including marketing, operations, and systems developers, to QA-test system without increasing staffing costs.
- Ensure that entire school district focuses on maximizing use of resources — not on how to spend the budget, but rather on programs that will best meet student needs and improve student achievement, as well as enhance operating effectiveness and efficiency.
- Entered into successful barter deals that included extensive activity with government bodies in Malaysia, Brunei, and Thailand, exchanging for rice, sugar, and wheat for the Philippines.
- Escalated critical issues and implemented strategies for their timely resolution.
- Established $1.4M annual revenue hotel business in region, representing 23 percent of all revenue from this market segment in Europe/Middle East/Africa.
- Evaluated processes and implemented changes that improved production and effectiveness as well as fiscal accounting procedures.
- Examined markets and back-tested trading theories using technical analysis of charts.
- Exceeded plans for growth, achieving revenue of $100 million within two years while maintaining high profitability levels.
- Excelled during more than 10 years as leader in Boys & Girls Club of the USA’s preeminent system of recruitment, training, and career education that develops mission-focused leaders for Boys & Girls Club movement.
- Executed turnaround via non-cash acquisition of local equity, converting to wholly foreign owned.
- Expanded strategic alliance and public-relations activities.
- Extended business field to China and Japan.
“F” Action Verbs in Action: Sample Resume Bullet Points
- Facilitated Board of Directors and managed technical, marketing, operational, and financial teams.
- Focused company’s resources on middleware product line connecting devices to the Internet without a PC.
- Followed up Susquehanna Corporation corporate survey with focus groups to define specific challenges this territory was facing.
- Formulated strategy, prepared proposals for company products and services, and provided business leadership to program management.
- Founded consulting practice focusing on healthcare clientele requirements and delivered comprehensive management and business-development solutions to healthcare providers, suppliers, and group-purchasing organizations.
- Functioned in senior-management role at for-profit subsidiary of regional integrated delivery network conglomerate with operations in four states and revenue from eight for-profit firms exceeding $40 million.
“G” Action Verbs in Action: Sample Resume Bullet Points
- Gained international experience with manufacturing license, distributor, and representative agreements with customers in Southeast Asia and South America.
- Gathered extensive competitive data and audited competitors’ websites and positioning to identify target market.
- Gave IBM competitive advantage by designing customer experience metrics to measure satisfaction, enabling IBM to become the only company in the industry that could provide reduced expenses by $2 million yearly.
- Generated 35 percent increase in annual subscription revenue to $27M in 1998, exceeding budgeted 25 percent growth by $2M.
- Guided learning modules for faculty development and enhanced learning environments.
“H” Action Verbs in Action: Sample Resume Bullet Points
- Hired, trained, and supported Account Executives in six related Midwest industries; hired and trained more than half of existing sales force.
- Honored with company special recognition award for outstanding performance for Reactor Center project.
“I” Action Verbs in Action: Sample Resume Bullet Points
- Identified and implemented $100 million+ in expense savings.
- Implemented IT cost-allocation model, resulting in equitable redistribution of IT costs back through corporation and clearer understanding of departmental technology expenses.
- Improved cash flow from a negative $13 million to positive cash flow by restructuring company.
- Initiated capital funding in conjunction with investment bankers and venture capitalists.
- Instituted project-management policies and procedures, resulting in standardized system to define, categorize, and track projects.
- Integrated new Business Analyst team into organization, resulting in improved interaction between IT and its customers and alignment of IT initiatives with departmental goals.
- Interacted with CEOs and top executives from various medical equipment, networking, software, and semiconductor companies.
- Interpreted policy and applied federal and state laws to employee-relations issues.
- Interviewed lay and expert witnesses.
- Introduced new Problem Management process focused on defect resolution using severity codes.
- Invented and headed development of all core technologies, including ion implantation equipment, semiconductor process applications, and use of proprietary doping materials and chemicals.
- Investigated allegations of discrimination, sexual harassment, and unfair employment practices.
- Invited to serve three-year term on community-development committee.
- Isolated and reduced waste streams within facility.
“J” Action Verbs in Action: Sample Resume Bullet Points
- Juggled multiple projects on tight deadlines covering numerous diverse areas.
“K” Action Verbs in Action: Sample Resume Bullet Points
- Kept 10-person team motivated to complete multi-faceted mission-driven assignment, under deadline and under budget.
“L” Action Verbs in Action: Sample Resume Bullet Points
- Launched pan-European UBT and Cartoon Central into 542,000 cabled households, generating $2.2M in annual revenue and establishing Cartoon Central as region’s No. 2 children’s channel.
- Learned strategies and market terminology during simulated trading sessions with senior traders.
- Led company-wide strategic team developed to redefine and align services and responsibilities of customer care and distribution operations groups.
- Leverage clients’ competencies by providing a common vision and creating an energetic, inspired, and honest atmosphere.
- Liaised with vendors and manufacturing department to ensure high-quality, yet low-cost, production methods.
- Lowered customer tool cost $500,000 annually through implementing process changes.
“M” Action Verbs in Action: Sample Resume Bullet Points
- Maintained supportive, neutral posture and encouraged continuing collaboration and problem-solving strategies.
- Managed successful launch of three Danish and Swedish customized entertainment networks.
- Met goals ahead of schedule and assisted in strategic direction of product and business development.
- Minimized wasteful spending and ensured consistency among schools by partnering with Facilities Division and Purchasing Departments to develop standardized furniture and equipment package for all new schools.
- Modeled constructive group-member behavior to inspire team members to become active, constructive participants.
- Monitored staff and program effectiveness to ensure residents received quality service at limited costs and free of liability by collaborating with board of directors to establish and implement policies and long-term plans.
- Motivated 40-manager team to develop “zone concept” by dividing large team into smaller zones to focus on needs of those markets.
“N” Action Verbs in Action: Sample Resume Bullet Points
- Negotiated multi-million-dollar aircraft upgrade proposals for company products and services supporting United Kingdom AH-64 Apache fleet.
“O” Action Verbs in Action: Sample Resume Bullet Points
- Obtained factual information concerning employee/management inquiries or complaints.
- Opened channels of communication and encouraged team members to take active role in team development and accessing resources.
- Orchestrated decrease in sales expenses by 20 percent while increasing sales productivity by expanding alliance partner network.
- Organized workforce and service flow for entire resort.
- Oriented and trained new top-management team in product-line unique sales points and product sales strategies.
- Outperformed peers in constructing online reports with Albuters and Infocast.
- Overcame internal obstacles and ensured buy-in by product managers in new diamond technologies.
- Oversee market development, financial management, and operational management.
- Own, operate, and function as Senior Organization Consultant for international consulting/educating/training company specializing in improving individual and organizational performance.
“P” Action Verbs in Action: Sample Resume Bullet Points
- Participated in developing and implementing unique computerized claims system.
- Partnered with team leaders to design strategy to address conflicting priorities.
- Performed legal research and drafted legal memoranda regarding employment law, personal injury, contract disputes, trademark law, and environmental law issues.
- Planned for and co-facilitated monthly meetings of 20+ member group, assisted client in initial steps to develop outcome measures, and created outline for policies and procedures manual.
- Played key role in business development, branding, planning, marketing, and web design.
- Practice health-care law, representing academic medical center.
- Prepared experts and witnesses in fast-paced legal environment of firm dealing with construction defect, personal injury, and employment law.
- Presented program to Boeing senior staff and company president, CEO, and founders.
- Preside over all board meetings and perform executive-director functions.
- Priced options deals using Derivatech and Bloomberg; calculated delta and vega hedges.
- Prioritized annual must-do projects, introducing new products and programs, managing group’s product life-cycle efforts in optimizing inventory of standard and non-stock standard SKUs, market segmentation, and professional development for staff employees.
- Procured funding through private grant to continue counseling program.
- Produced business results and market-share growth, as measured by unit case volume sold in this region where business size is almost 50 percent of entire Japan business.
- Project-managed automated work centers, an $18M, state-of-the-art automated manufacturing facility for clinical trials manufacturing and R&D.
- Promoted appropriate integration of evaluation system with other systems throughout division, including performance contracting, continuous quality improvement, and management information system.
- Propelled company to meet forecasted numbers and achieve 20 percent growth year over year in an industry where average growth was 10 percent.
- Provided ongoing support in both business and marketing strategies
“Q” Action Verbs in Action: Sample Resume Bullet Points
- Qualified new accounts and grew revenue within territory.
- Quoted current bid/ask and market interests for FX OTC options by telephone and Reuters.
“R” Action Verbs in Action: Sample Resume Bullet Points
- Ranked in top one percent of 300 officers; won Army Maintenance Effectiveness Award.
- Re-engineered process management to improve overall productivity and operational cost efficiency by relocating plant and revising plant layout; reinforced cost-reduction program.
- Realized $80 million in cost savings by implementing suggestion system.
- Rebuilt websites and set up new web services, producing more than $50,000/month.
- Recommended and prepared project proposals to optimize business and production needs, thus facilitating corporate and divisional strategy.
- Recruited to fill director position as a result of outstanding job performance and timely delivery of initiatives.
- Recruited executives to establish first distribution sales office.
- Redesigned HR business processes, leveraging manager self-service via PeopleSoft.
- Reduced machine inventory from $8 million to $2 million; created policies around use of trials and collaborated with Sales VP/Director to implement these policies.
- Refined salary systems for all levels of employees with compensation programs that included stock options, 401(k), commissions, stock savings plans, bonus plans, and executive SERP plans.
- Reinforced sales process implementation, focusing on sales strategy/target account selling.
- Reorganized cooperating broker program and registration process to maximize profitability.
- Represent clients regarding employment-related issues that typically arise in hospital and medical-center settings.
- Researched and implemented CRM system.
- Restructured process management and network marketing of retail stations.
- Reviewed and restructured health-benefit program without reducing benefits to employees; reduced cost from more than $2 million for 225 employees to just over $1.5 million for 600+ employees.
- Revised European-designed products for introduction into U.S. market.
- Revitalized events and programs to reflect new organizational image; infused programming with latest technology and hottest speakers.
- Revolutionized customers’ trade capturing processing for reducing intra-day trade risk.
- Rolled out revamped editorial process guidelines across departments located in London, Sydney, and Tokyo.
“S” Action Verbs in Action: Sample Resume Bullet Points
- Satisfied clients by building effective professional and personal relationships with key external/internal stakeholders.
- Saved company $600,000 in first six months through alliance with another provider.
- Secured $8M during funding freeze to save critical programs; secured 33 percent funding increase.
- Selected by Vice President to turn around HMO subsidiary that lost $11.3 million in 2003 and delivered $2.4 million profit within 12 months for largest health insurer in Florida, with $4.5 billion in annual revenues and 2.4 million members.
- Settled lawsuit (filed before my employment) pertaining to hotel acquisition.
- Shared P&L responsibility for five-state market area.
- Shifted manual procedures to automated procedures and processes, thus saving company more than $500K in a six-month period.
- Sold, designed, and managed solutions projects with average total margins of 50 percent in one year.
- Solicited, developed and maintained large national accounts, such as MGM, Target, Dillard’s, Kohl’s, The Limited, Tommy Bahama, Steve Madden, and Venus Swimwear, among others.
- Solved problem for South Jersey Hospital Authority, which owed contractors hundreds of thousands in sales taxes on Moorestown Hospital construction but did not have sufficient funds to pay them.
- Spearheaded three-year renaming and re-branding process, bringing diverse stakeholders together, delivering multiple presentations, and successfully synthesizing input from various groups.
“B” Action Verbs in Action: Sample Resume Bullet Points
“C” Action Verbs in Action: Sample Resume Bullet Points
Katharine Hansen, creative director and associate publisher of Quintessential Careers, is an educator, author, and blogger who provides content for Quintessential Careers; edits QuintZine, an electronic newsletter for jobseekers; and blogs about storytelling in the job search at A Storied Career. Katharine, who earned her PhD in organizational behavior from Union Institute & University, Cincinnati, OH, is author of Dynamic Cover Letters for New Graduates and A Foot in the Door: Networking Your Way into the Hidden Job Market (both published by Ten Speed Press), as well as Top Notch Executive Resumes (Career Press); and with Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., Dynamic Cover Letters, Write Your Way to a Higher GPA (Ten Speed), and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Study Skills (Alpha). Visit her personal Website or reach her by e-mail at kathy(at)quintcareers.com. You can also check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus.