Power Words to Use in Your Resume

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The following is a list of resume power words to include in your resume and the cover letters you write when applying for jobs. Power words help demonstrate your strengths as an employee, and highlight why you are right for the particular job.

Read below for more information on types of power words, why they are important, and how to effectively use them.

Also see below for a detailed list of power words.

Use these words to write a compelling resume and cover letter that will get you selected by the hiring manager.

Why Use Power Words?

Power words are useful for a couple of reasons. Firstly, many hiring managers quickly skim through all the resumes and cover letters they receive. These power words will jump off your page, quickly showing the hiring manager that you have the skills and other qualifications for the job.

Also, because employers read so many job applications, the language gets repetitive and boring. If your language is the same as everyone else’s, it will be hard for you to stand out. Good, thoughtful word choice will set you apart from the other candidates.

Finally, power words (especially keywords) are useful when a company uses an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). These tracking systems help screen applications so that employers only need to focus on the top candidates. One way an ATS works is to eliminate resumes that are missing certain keywords.

By including these words, you increase your changes of making it through the ATS, and having your application read by a human.

Types of Power Words

Action Verbs – One type of power word is an action verb. This kind of verb shows your ability to succeed. These words demonstrate the skills you have used in previous jobs to achieve success.

Examples of action verbs include "accomplished," "designed," "initiated," and "supervised."

Company Values – To demonstrate that you are a good fit for the company, use key terms that the company uses to describe itself. You might find this language on the company’s “About Us” web page, or in the job listing. For example, if the company identifies itself as “innovative,” one power word you might incorporate into your resume is “innovate” or “innovative.” You can also choose synonyms of the words in the company’s “About Us” web page if you want to avoid sounding like you are simply repeating their ideas.

Popular Skill Words – There are certain skills and qualities that almost every employer is looking for in a job candidate. For example, employers always want an employee who is responsible, passionate, and a strong leader. Try to use this kind of language (or words related to this language) to demonstrate you have these essential skills.

Keywords Keywords are words from the job listing that relate to particular skills or other requirements for the job. By embedding them in your resume or cover letter, you will demonstrate, at a glance, that you fit the requirements of the position.

Industry Buzzwords and Jargon – Each industry has certain key words that are important.

Knowing and accurately using those words demonstrates that you have the hard skills needed to work in the field. Sprinkle the appropriate buzzwords into your resume and cover letter to demonstrate that you understand and are a part of the industry.

Of course, also make sure you fully understand any jargon that you use. Misusing jargon will show that you do not know what you are talking about, and are not qualified for the position.

How to Use Power Words

You can include these power words throughout your resume. For example, include action verbs in your job descriptions. You might include power words in your resume summary statement as well.

You can also use this language in your cover letter. When describing some of your skills and accomplishments in the letter, use these words to make your application stand out.

Remember to vary the words that you use - repeating the same word (even power words) leads to a dull reading experience, and will not show the hiring manager the breadth of your abilities. Use a variety of terms that best describe your accomplishments to show employers the scope of your achievements.

Finally, only include power words that you understand. For example, if you are trying to include jargon that you have never heard of, you will appear uninformed, and your application will likely not get a second glance. Only use terms you are familiar with.

Power Words for Resumes and Cover Letters

A - D

  • Absorb
  • Accelerate
  • Access
  • Accomplish
  • Accrue
  • Acquire
  • Achieve
  • Act
  • Activate
  • Adapt
  • Address
  • Adjust
  • Administer
  • Advertise
  • Advise
  • Advocate
  • Affirm
  • Aid
  • Alert
  • Align
  • Allocate
  • Analyze
  • Apply
  • Appraise
  • Approve
  • Arbitrate
  • Arranged
  • Assemble
  • Assess
  • Assign
  • Assist
  • Attain
  • Authorize
  • Award
  • Begin
  • Brief
  • Bring
  • Broadcast
  • Budget
  • Build
  • Business
  • Calculate
  • Campaign
  • Certify
  • Chaired
  • Change
  • Chart
  • Check
  • Choose
  • Clarify
  • Classify
  • Coach
  • Collaborate
  • Collate
  • Collect
  • Combine
  • Communicate
  • Compare
  • Compile
  • Complete
  • Comply
  • Compose
  • Compute
  • Conceptualize
  • Conclude
  • Condense
  • Conduct
  • Confer
  • Configure
  • Connect
  • Conserve
  • Consolidate
  • Construct
  • Consult
  • Contact
  • Continue
  • Contribute
  • Control
  • Convert
  • Convey
  • Convince
  • Coordinate
  • Correspond
  • Counsel
  • Critique
  • Cultivate
  • Customize
  • Decide
  • Declare
  • Decline
  • Decorate
  • Dedicate
  • Define
  • Delegate
  • Deliver
  • Demonstrate
  • Depreciate
  • Describe
  • Design
  • Detail Oriented
  • Determine
  • Develop
  • Development
  • Devise
  • Diagnose
  • Direct
  • Dispatch
  • Dispense
  • Distribute
  • Document
  • Draft

E - H

  • Edit
  • Educate
  • Effective
  • Efficient
  • Emphasize
  • Encourage
  • Energized
  • Enforce
  • Engineer
  • Enhance
  • Ensure
  • Enthusiastic
  • Establish
  • Estimate
  • Evaluate
  • Examine
  • Execute
  • Expand
  • Expedite
  • Experience
  • Explain
  • Fabricate
  • Facilitate
  • Finance
  • Focus
  • Forecast
  • Formulate
  • Foster
  • Fund
  • Furnish
  • Gain
  • Generate
  • Graduate
  • Greet
  • Guide
  • Handle
  • Help
  • Hire
  • Host

I - M

  • Identify
  • Illustrate
  • Implement
  • Improve
  • Improvise
  • Increase
  • Index
  • Influence
  • Inform
  • Initiate
  • Initiative
  • Innovate
  • Inspire
  • Install
  • Institute
  • Integrate
  • Interact
  • Interested
  • Interview
  • Introduce
  • Investigate
  • Itemize
  • Join
  • Justify
  • Knowledge
  • Launch
  • Leadership
  • Learn
  • Lecture
  • Lessen
  • Lift
  • Link
  • Listen
  • Maintain
  • Manage
  • Management
  • Manipulate
  • Map
  • Market
  • Measure
  • Mediate
  • Merge
  • Mobilize
  • Modify
  • Monitor
  • Motivate

N - S

  • Negotiate
  • Observe
  • Obtain
  • Open
  • Operate
  • Order
  • Organize
  • Originate
  • Outpace
  • Outperform
  • Participate
  • Passion
  • Perform
  • Persuade
  • Plan
  • Practical
  • Prepare
  • Present
  • Prevent
  • Printed
  • Prioritize
  • Priority
  • Process
  • Produce
  • Professional
  • Program
  • Project
  • Promote
  • Propose
  • Prospect
  • Prove
  • Provide
  • Publicize
  • Purchase
  • Pursue
  • Qualify
  • Run
  • Rate
  • Reach
  • Receive
  • Recommend
  • Reconcile
  • Record
  • Recruit
  • Reduce
  • Refer
  • Refocus
  • Regulate
  • Reorganize
  • Repair
  • Replace
  • Report
  • Represent
  • Research
  • Reserve
  • Resolve
  • Respond
  • Responsibility
  • Restore
  • Restructure
  • Results
  • Results-Oriented
  • Retrieve
  • Review
  • Revise
  • Revitalize
  • Schedule
  • Screen
  • Search
  • Secure
  • Seize
  • Select
  • Send
  • Serve
  • Share
  • Showcase
  • Simplify
  • Skill
  • Solution
  • Solve
  • Sort
  • Specialize
  • Specify
  • Sponsor
  • Staff
  • Standardize
  • Start
  • Succeed
  • Suggest
  • Summarize
  • Supervise
  • Supply
  • Support
  • Surpass
  • Survey
  • Sustain

T - Z

  • Target
  • Teach
  • Team
  • Team Player
  • Test
  • Timely
  • Track
  • Trade
  • Train
  • Transact
  • Transcribe
  • Transform
  • Translate
  • Transmit
  • Transport
  • Tutor
  • Unite
  • Update
  • Upgrade
  • Use
  • Utilize
  • Validate
  • Value
  • Verify
  • View
  • Volunteer
  • Watch
  • Weigh
  • Witness
  • Win
  • Write
  • Yield

More Power Words: Powerful Words to Use During a Job Interview

Related Articles: Resume Skills Section | How to Include Keywords in Your Resume | List of Keywords for Resumes and Cover Letters | Resume Skills Lists | The Top 15 Words to Include and Avoid on Your Resume