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Action Verbs to Use in a CV (Examples for All Levels)

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Action Verbs to Use in a CV (Examples for All Levels)

by Artöm Obenko

  • CV
  • · May 14 2024
  • · 10 min read
Most Common Action Verbs

Table of contents

Whether you are a student new to the UK job market or a seasoned professional, incorporating strong action verbs on your CV could get you noticed. Writing a good CV means that you can persuade your hiring manager and show the impact of your previous work. Action verbs add further depth to your career documents, presenting you as a suitable and competent candidate. See our step-by-step guide with 200+ examples of action verbs for various job functions and industries.

Check out our array of CV templates, such as Oxford or Harvard, to help your application shine amongst the competition.

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List of top 20 action verbs for a CV

See below our collection of top action verbs to include in your CV or cover letter:

  1. Executed

  2. Oversaw

  3. Mentored

  4. Advocated

  5. Spearheaded

  6. Established

  7. Negotiated

  8. Implemented

  9. Delegated

  10. Designed

  11. Renewed

  12. Developed

  13. Scaled

  14. Advanced

  15. Increased

  16. Streamlined

  17. Amplified

  18. Boosted

  19. Supported

  20. Optimised

Powerful action verbs for your CV

List of 20 categories of action verbs

1. Leadership and Responsibility

Recruiters like to see proactive candidates with leadership skills, which increases your chances of an interview by 51%. Instead of merely saying ‘I’m a leader’, quantify your impact with measurable achievements or projects you’ve completed to bring these action verbs to life. They show you’re able to motivate others, lead a team, or start an initiative. This category is especially relevant for managerial or team leader positions across industries like healthcare, IT, or finance.

Leadership examples of action verbs:

  • Executed

  • Oversaw

  • Mentored

  • Advocated

  • Spearheaded

  • Established 

  • Negotiated

  • Budgeted

  • Implemented

  • Delegated.

Check our related CV guides for roles requiring strong leadership abilities, including but not limited to project manager, sales manager, and office manager.

2. Innovation and Creativity

If you work in an industry, such as design, research, or technology, recruiters would want to see candidates with innovative and creative thinking abilities. You may be in charge of designing new products, creating short-term or long-term solutions to complex problems, or improving modern technologies. Your role could also include developing methodologies to tackle scientific research questions.

Creativity examples of action verbs:

  • Designed

  • Renewed

  • Developed

  • Scaled

  • Conceptualised

  • Imagined

  • Invented

  • Merchandised

  • Crafted

  • Innovated.

For more inspiration on careers in this field, refer to our design CV and artist CV guides.

3. Efficiency and Productivity

Sectors such as manufacturing, logistics, and operations management within the UK greatly value candidates who can streamline procedures, optimise workflows, and automate tasks. For example, you could show how you improved inventory management protocols, leading to lower expenses and heightened efficiency within the warehouse.

Examples of action verbs for when increasing efficiency:

  • Advanced

  • Increased

  • Upgraded

  • Fine-tuned

  • Streamlined

  • Amplified

  • Boosted

  • Optimised

  • Streamlined

  • Automated.

Explore our related operations manager and warehouse CV guides for more examples and tips.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

In the UK, these are crucial across several industries, such as event management, customer service, and human resources (HR). They look for candidates who can work well with others by collaborating, leading group discussions, and inspiring team members. For example, in customer service, you should show your ability to resolve customer problems and strive for a higher customer satisfaction score.

Examples of action verbs for teamwork:

  • Coordinated

  • Facilitated

  • Cooperated

  • Delegated

  • Encouraged

  • Supported

  • Fostered

  • Empowered

  • Co-authored

  • United.

See our event manager, store manager, and HR CV examples for more examples of roles requiring strong teamwork and cross-team collaboration abilities.

5. Communication and Presentation

These are crucial, especially for jobs where you need to interact with clients or participate in team meetings. It's vital for applicants to express their ideas clearly, convince using an analytical mindset, and present complex terms in an easy-to-read language. For example, someone applying for a sales job might need to negotiate contracts with customers. This means they should be good at explaining the benefits of products or services and dealing with customer worries so as to win over deals.

Examples of action verbs for communication and presentation:

  • Persuaded

  • Authored

  • Negotiated

  • Articulated

  • Briefed

  • Conveyed

  • Interviewed

  • Presented

  • Liaised with

  • Advocated.

Refer to our journalist, personal trainer, teacher and event manager CV examples which require outstanding interpersonal skills.

6. Problem-Solving and Decision-Making

These abilities are valuable across various sectors in the UK, including IT, consultancy, and project management. You should demonstrate your ability to thoroughly handle difficult situations, devise creative solutions, and execute concrete strategies. For example, if you're working as a consultant you could analyse challenges in the company's structure and develop bespoke solutions customised to the client's needs.

Examples of action verbs for problem-solving and decision-making:

  • Analysed

  • Debugged

  • Diagnosed

  • Resolved

  • Conceived

  • Conceptualised

  • Applied

  • Devised

  • Evaluated

  • Implemented.

For more examples of roles demanding strong problem-solving skills, explore our consultant and engineer CV examples.

7. Customer Service and Satisfaction

These abilities are in demand in industries like retail, hospitality, and telecommunications in the UK. You should be proactive in assisting customers efficiently, resolving issues promptly, and informing clients about the terms and conditions of each product or service. For instance, as a retail worker, you can guide customers through the whole process ensuring you meet their needs.

Examples of action verbs for customer service and satisfaction:

  • Resolved

  • Advised

  • Assisted

  • Guided

  • Satisfied

  • Promoted

  • Arranged

  • Proposed

  • Translated.

Read our CV guides for customer service and call centre for more insights on how to display your customer-oriented attitude.

8. Sales and Business Development

In the UK, these types of action verbs are prominent in fields such as finance, technology, and FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods). You need to be good at negotiating deals, promoting products or services, and forging leads. For example, as a finance worker, you close acquisition deals with clients who might want case-by-case solutions for their specific needs.

Examples of action verbs for sales and business development:

  • Acquired

  • Directed

  • Pitched

  • Pioneered

  • Revamped

  • Sold

  • Retained

  • Generated

  • Closed

  • Expanded.

Follow our sales manager and business analyst CV guides for more information on how to land a job in a corporate setting.

9. Accountancy and Finance

The following action verbs apply to sectors like banking, accounting, and consulting in the UK. You should showcase your proficiency in managing budgets, analysing financial data, and forecasting trends. For example, if you're working in investment banking you could review financial reports to check they meet the rules with the latest standards and identify areas for improvement for stakeholders.

Examples of action verbs for financial management and analysis:

  • Arbitrated

  • Controlled

  • Calculated

  • Assessed

  • Reviewed

  • Evaluated

  • Assured

  • Accomplished

  • Budgeted

  • Audited.

Check out our accountant and finance CV guides for more examples and tips on how to list action verbs and achievements.

10. Technical Skills and Expertise

In the UK, technical experts are highly valued in IT, engineering, and software development industries. You need to show your ability to program software, configure systems, and troubleshoot technical issues. For example, an engineer would be responsible for maintaining machinery in a manufacturing plant to ensure smooth operation with minimal downtime.

Examples of action verbs for IT skills:

  • Restructured

  • Introduced

  • Eliminated

  • Maintained

  • Troubleshoot

  • Advanced

  • Attained

  • Upgraded

  • Established

  • Generated.

Read our IT, computer science, and software developer CV guides for more examples of skills, action verbs, and technical proficiencies to add to your career documents.

11. Data Analysis and Reporting

These action verbs from UK industries demand those who are proficient in analysing data, interpreting insights, and reporting findings. For example, in marketing, you might compile and analyse market research data to identify trends and opportunities that could lead to better decision-making for product and market positioning.

Examples of action verbs for data analytics and reporting:

  • Analysed

  • Reported

  • Visualised

  • Cleaned

  • Corrected

  • Combined

  • Grouped

  • Modelled

  • Forecasted

  • Validated.

Explore our data analyst, financial analyst, and data scientist CV guides to learn more.

12. Quality Assurance and Control

Tailor your action verbs to the specific job you're applying for and industry terminology, whether you work in manufacturing, pharmaceutics, supply chain, or aerospace in the UK. Your duties could include inspecting products, testing materials, and ensuring compliance with quality standards. For example, when working as a pharmacist, your job could be to audit manufacturing processes to maintain product quality and regulatory compliance, ensuring the safety and efficacy of medications.

Examples of action verbs for quality assurance and control:

  • Processed

  • Inspected

  • Located

  • Verified

  • Tested

  • Ensured

  • Automated

  • Monitored

  • Identified

  • Investigated.

Read our pharmacist, procurement, and supply chain CV guides for more examples of how to incorporate these action verbs in the work experience section.

13. Project Planning and Coordination

Show your skills and achievements in planning projects, coordinating resources, and meeting deadlines, whether you aim to work in construction, event management, or consultancy industries in the UK. For example, if you're looking to work in construction you need to manage project timelines, allocate all necessary resources, and ensure accountability within all parties.

Examples of action verbs for project planning and coordination:

  • Delivered

  • Organised

  • Brought

  • Procured

  • Prepared

  • Examined

  • Manoeuvered

  • Scheduled

  • Exhibited

  • Planned.

Check out our related construction, counsellor, and travel agent CV guides for more useful tips and examples.

14. Management and Supervision

You might need these action verbs when applying for a role in management, education, and non-profit sectors in the UK. You should be good at motivating teams, inspiring colleagues, and mentoring junior staff. For example, a teacher can empower students to achieve academic success by providing mentorship, support, and guidance, fostering a positive learning environment.

Examples of action verbs for management and motivation:

  • Converted

  • Handled

  • Headed

  • Chaired

  • Led

  • Energised

  • Appointed

  • Consolidated

  • Contracted

  • Approved.

See our related recruitment, product manager, and scrum master CV examples for more examples and useful tips.

15. Strategic Planning and Execution

These are essential in sectors like business consultancy, government, and non-profits in the UK. Candidates should demonstrate proficiency in strategising initiatives, directing projects, and coordinating resources. For example, in government, a candidate might orchestrate policy implementations by conducting comprehensive research, analysing stakeholder feedback, and formulating strategic recommendations to address societal challenges.

Examples of action verbs for strategic planning and execution

  • Refurbished

  • Maximised

  • Strategised

  • Provided

  • Prioritised

  • Extended

  • Redesigned

  • Formulated

  • Strategised

  • Orchestrated.

For more examples and tips, refer to our civil service, estate agent, and civil engineer CV guides.

16. Marketing and Advertising

This is critical in industries such as retail, fashion, and digital marketing in the UK. You should leverage in managing products or services, positioning brands, and researching consumer trends. For example, in digital marketing, a candidate might launch targeted social media campaigns, leveraging data analytics to segment audiences and tailor marketing messages for maximum engagement and conversion.

Examples of action verbs for marketing and branding:

  • Accelerated

  • Marketed

  • Researched

  • Reached

  • Campaigned

  • Launched

  • Brainstormed

  • Managed

  • Positioned

  • Advertised.

Check our marketing CV and marketing cover letter examples to learn more about presenting your action verbs and achievements.

17. Training and Development

Recruiters value this type of action verbs in sectors, such as education, human resources, and professional services in the UK. Candidates should demonstrate proficiency in training individuals, developing programmes, and mentoring staff. For instance, in human resources, a candidate might coach employees on performance improvement strategies, leveraging feedback and performance metrics to facilitate skill development and career progression.

Examples of action verbs for training and development:

  • Coached

  • Referred

  • Aided

  • Guided

  • Taught

  • Motivated

  • Trained

  • Educated

  • Onboarded

  • Expedited.

For more insightful career advice for this kind of industry, see our academic and teacher CV guides.

18. Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

These are crucial in industries such as law, diplomacy, and project management in the UK. Candidates should excel in negotiating agreements, mediating disputes, and persuading stakeholders. For example, in law, a candidate might arbitrate legal disputes, leveraging legal expertise and negotiation skills to reach fair and mutually beneficial resolutions for clients and stakeholders.

Examples of action verbs for negotiation and conflict resolution:

  • Mediated

  • Empathised

  • Settled

  • Compromised

  • Influenced

  • Restored

  • Deescalated

  • Reconciled

  • Arbitrated

  • Persuaded.

Read our lawyer and talent acquisition CV examples for more useful tips and examples for your next career move.

19. Research and Outcome

This category of action verbs is crucial in sectors like academia, market research, and consultancy in the UK. Candidates should demonstrate proficiency in researching topics, analysing data, and interpreting findings. For example, in academia, a candidate might conduct surveys to gather data on student satisfaction and use statistical analysis to identify trends and insights, informing institutional strategies and policies.

Examples of action verbs for research and analysis:

  • Documented

  • Surveyed

  • Synthesised

  • Observed

  • Appraised

  • Discovered

  • Summarised

  • Defined

  • Collated

  • Uncovered.

Check out our biomedical scientist, lab technician, and student CV examples.

20. Client Relationship Management (CRM)

They are applicable in industries such as consulting, account management, and sales in the UK. Candidates should excel in managing client relationships, consulting on business needs, and developing customer loyalty. For example, in consulting, a candidate might cultivate long-term client partnerships by providing personalised solutions, addressing client concerns, and exceeding expectations to drive customer satisfaction and retention.

Examples of action verbs for CRM:

  • Captured

  • Nurtured

  • Strengthened

  • Served

  • Reviewed

  • Studied

  • Consulted

  • Cultivated

  • Enforced

  • Measured.

Glance through our related digital marketing and account manager for more details on incorporating these types of action verbs.

Key takeaways

To sum up, choose specific action verbs that demonstrate the most relevant duties and responsibilities in previous roles. Align them closely with the specific job requirements, ensuring you meet the job's criteria and presenting yourself as a right fit for it. Remember to carefully proofread your CV to ensure consistent formatting, error-free content, and professional language throughout your document.

Tips for how to add action verbs to your CV:

  • Tailor your action verbs to each job you apply for ensuring each achievement is unique to job specifications.

  • Enrich your CV with a mix of action verbs, showcasing a broad range of skills and experiences.

  • Refrain from overusing action verbs, such as 'created', 'led', or 'developed'.

Action verbs to use in a CV | Tips

Next steps?

See the overview of all the tools and resources you need to create an easy-to-read CV:

  • If you need help writing or updating your CV, get in touch with our professional writers using a CV Writing Service who ensure your documents are tailored and ATS-friendly.

  • Explore our diverse array of cover letter templates, which you can customise based on your career goals. 

  • Use our extensive library of UK-specific CV example guides, as well as matching cover letter examples to help you streamline your application process. Customise them based on your career goals!

Additionally, check out our collection of blog articles to help you nail your next job interview:

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FAQ

How many action verbs should I include in my CV?

Do not overload your CV with action verbs. To maintain conciseness and clarity, aim to use less than two action verbs per sentence. Use bullet points and start each sentence with powerful action verbs when describing your achievements or projects. Doing so makes it easier for recruiters to identify your strengths. Remember to ensure each verb adds value to your CV and make it easier for them to show your eligibility for the job.

For more advice, consult our related blog article on how long should a CV be.

Can I use the same action verbs for different job applications?

The short answer is: do not use the same action verbs across multiple job applications. Repetition words within your CV or cover letter can diminish the impact. While some action verbs apply to various settings, we recommend customising them to each job description to show your suitability for the role. 

Check out our related blog article on how to send a CV via email to learn more.

Are action verbs more effective than passive verbs on a CV?

Yes, using action verbs makes your writing more concise, direct, and appealing to hiring managers. Think of them as beacons that guide your recruiter to essential information on your CV or cover letter. On the other hand, passive verbs appear to be wordy, flabby, and, overall, less engaging. 

How to choose the right action verbs for a CV?

  • Opt for industry-specific action verbs relevant to your field.

  • Look up the keywords used in the job description.

  • Focus on action verbs to describe your achievements and awards.

  • Use the action verbs to describe your quantifiable achievements or projects on your CV.

  • Use specific and diverse action verbs to avoid repetition.

How do you identify weak action verbs on a CV?

Look for signs of weak action verbs, such as vagueness, over-usage, or ambiguity. They show little to no impact, failing to effectively showcase your achievements. Because of that, it makes it more likely for a recruiter to discard your application and move on with another candidate. They lack clarity and energy, Examples of weak action verbs include:

  • Tried

  • Worked with

  • Responsible for

  • Did

  • Worked.

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Updated May 14 2024

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Written by

Artöm is your go-to Content Specialist committed to assisting job seekers globally. Through his engaging blog articles and in-depth guides, he's on a mission to make your career journey a breeze. Artöm is passionate about SEO, design, and all aspects of marketing, delivering expert advice that resonates with diverse audiences. Beyond work, you can find him practicising Kung Fu, travelling, reading a book, or enjoying the company of his beloved black cat. Try it now

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