100+ Most Powerful Words to Make Your Resume Stand Out

You may be wondering why you never seem to make it to the interview stage of the recruitment process. Well, just imagine eating the same kind of food every day for weeks, you’ll eventually get bored.

This is exactly what happens when you join thousands of other applicants in using the same old, boring and repetitive words in your resume.

Recruiters are tired of scanning through CVs that look the same and if yours falls in this category, they won’t spend 10 seconds before tossing it in the trash.

You need to learn how to jazz up your resume with attention-grabbing power words that will make yours stand out from the rest.

Luckily for you, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of such words. This article will be focused on providing detailed information on what power words are, their types, benefits, and how and where you can use them in your resume.

What Are Power Words?

Power words are also referred to as action verbs and are used to highlight your experience and skills to make your resume stand out. Power words help to highlight your strengths and emphasise why you’re right for the job. Using power words in your resume and cover letter increases your chance of moving into the next phase of the recruitment process.

What Do Power Words Do?

Power words are important for several reasons.  Here are some of the things you can achieve with power words-

Stronger description

Many recruiters are faced with the task of going through large volumes of applicants’ cover letters and resumes. A great number of them use repetitive and boring language. It will be hard for you to stand out if you’re using the same language as everyone else.

These power words can easily catch the attention of the recruiter, showing them that you have the right qualifications and skills to get the job done.


For example, instead of saying “Responsible for marketing at Company X”

You can say “Spearheaded content marketing operations at Company X’

The difference between these two statements is that the second one makes you seem a lot more competent.


Improved readability

Using industry terms while describing your previous job experiences is important. But more importantly, is making sure that your resume is readable and makes sense to someone outside your job role. If you use industry jargon to mention your skill and achievements, an employer who does not under such terms might not be unable to fully understand how qualified you are. Power words can help you explain better in clear terms while still sounding professional.

For example, instead of saying ” Team lead of JavaScript developers in charge of UI/UX design for an optimized web application at Company X”

You can say, “Supervised a team of JavaScript developers in creating a user interface for Company X to generate more organic traffic”


Varied language

You may find yourself repeating certain words, especially when describing similar duties in a role. Replacing them with power words can add variety to your description.

For example instead of saying ” Responsible for managing a team of five customer service representatives”.

You can say ” Managed and mentored a team of five customer service representatives”.


Making it through the ATS

A type of power word, which are keywords, is necessary when you’re applying to a company that makes use of an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

The ATS works by eliminating resumes that are missing special keywords. This tracking system helps the employer to screen applications so that they only have to focus on the top candidates.

Your chances of successfully passing through the ATS and having your application read are greatly increased when you add these keywords (power words) to your resume.


Types Of Power Words

There are four types of powers words and we’ll explain them in detail below:

1. Action Verbs

Action verbs are words that highlight the skills you have used to achieve success in your previous job. This type of power word shows the employer that you have the abilities needed to perform well in the position you’ve applied for. Some examples of action verbs are:

  • Supervised
  • Initiated
  • Designed
  • Accomplished

2. Company Values

This is another type of power word that helps present you as a great fit not just for the job but for the company too. You need to use key terms that the company uses to describe itself in your resume. For instance, if the company describes itself as being innovative, you can incorporate the power word “innovate or innovative” into your resume. You can learn about these company languages and terms in the job listing or the “About Us” page on the company website.

3 . Popular Skill Words

Almost every employer wants to hire passionate employees, who have good leadership skills and are responsible. These are some examples of the skills that will always be in demand by employers. Try to use the kind of language that indicates that you possess these essential skills.

4 . Keywords

These are words that relate to the job requirements. Pay close attention to the words in the job listing or description, you’ll find certain keywords that you can incorporate into your resume or cover letter. Adding these words will tell the recruiter, at a glance that you have the requirements for the position. Some examples of keywords are:

  • Designed
  • Trained
  • Taught
  • Programmed
  • Analyzed
  • Planned
  • Quantified

Industry buzzwords and jargon

There are certain words and terms unique to every industry. Knowing and accurately inserting these industry buzzwords and jargon into your application tells the recruiter that you have the necessary hard skills.


Resume buzzwords

More like keywords, you can learn about them in the job listing and use them to highlight your most relevant skills in your resume. Scatter these buzzwords all over your resume to show that you’re part of the industry. But be careful not to overdo it. Some examples are:

  • Experienced
  • Skilled
  • Expert
  • Facilitated
  • Launched
  • Demonstrated


Where to use power words on your resume

Power words can be used all through your CV including the resume summary, job descriptions, experience and achievements section, skill and qualifications section, bullet points and statements.

However,  just because they are called power words doesn’t make them immune to overuse. It’s advisable to limit usage to one or two power words per sentence. Repeating these power words will turn off recruiters. Instead, spice things up with a variety of terms that you are familiar with and that best describes your accomplishments.


100 power words you can include in your CV today


Resume power words for Leadership

1 . Authorize

2 . Delegate

3 . Critique

4 . Coach

5 . Assist

6 . Foster

7 . Inspire

8 . Oversee

9 . Enforce

10. Lead


Example: Lead a team of 3 social media marketers to increase company visibility and brand awareness on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Resume power words for Achievements

11. Attain

12. Reduced

13 . Yielded

14 . Decreased

15 . Complete

16 . Conserve

17 . Exceed

18 . Reach

19 . Succeed

20 . Surpass


Example: Reduced monthly expenses by 35% by outsourcing smaller tasks and projects.


Resume Power words for Management

21 . Execute

22 . Establish

23 .  Coordinate

24 . Track

25 . Handle

26 . Represent

27 . Manage

28 . Solve

29 . Report

30 . Inspect


Example: Coordinated data integrity in the firm’s applicant tracking system


Resume power words for Communication and Teamwork

31 . Informed

32 . Persuaded

33 . Clarified

34 . Facilitated

35 . Advised

36 . Collaborated

37 . Supported

38 . Guided

39 . Mentored

40 . Aided

41 . Publicized

42 . Instructed


Example: Mentored and instructed new employees on work duties and expectations


Resume power words to highlight your creativity

43 . Designed

44 . Drafted

45 . Formulated

46 . Spearheaded

47.  Launched

48 . Built

49 . Modified

50 . Revitalised

51 .  Pioneered

52 . Originated

53 . Conceptualise

54 .  Adapted


Example: Built a sales funnel to drive organic traffic and increase conversion rate


Resume power words for Research, Planning and Analysis

55 . Discovered

56 . Detected

57 . Experimented

58 . Organized

59 . Conducted

60 . Assembled

61 .  Examined

62 . Reviewed

63 . Assessed

64 . Analysed


Example: Organised meetings and handled all correspondence for the company


Resume power words to describe sales or customer service roles

65 . Boost

66 . Correspond

67 . Capture

68 . Convince

69 . Deliver

70 . Generate

71 . Earn

72 . Increase

73. Resolve


Example: Generated 20% more sales in 2 months


Resume power words for describing technical roles

74. Automate

75. Deploy

76.  Engineer

77. Troubleshoot

78. Upgrade

79. Test

80. Transform

81. Program

82. Code

83. Devise

84. Advance


Example: Created an automated message response system for customer service.


Resume power words for problem-solving

85 . Calculated

86 . Budgeted

87 . Inventoried

88 . Projected

89 . Recorded

90 . Crafted

91 . Verified

92 . Audited

93 . Fixed

94 . Rectified

95 . Debugged

96 . Lessen

97 . Reconciled

98 . Corrected

99 . Rebuilt

100. Remodeled

 Example: Debugged company’s internal operating systems, reducing cost by 10%

Key Takeaways

Power words are important additions to your resume, as they can help spice up and add variety to ensure that you do not get eliminated at the application screening stage either by the hiring manager or the applicant tracking system.

You can use these words in your resume summary, when stating your qualifications, skills and achievements and in your cover letter. All you need to do is carefully scan through the job listing to identify those key responsibilities which the employer is looking for and use them to your advantage. But remember, do not use more than one power word per sentence and avoid repeating the same sets of power words throughout your resume, so it doesn’t get boring or lose its value.

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