Key Words

Job seekers have been advised for long time to emphasize action verbs/action words/power words in their job-search applications. That action verbs/action words/power words associated with "what you did" are the key words. In the vast majority of cases, they are nouns but they can be phrases too - like in the list below:

Key words, power words or action words, are words used to help make a statement stronger. By using action verbs, you can assume an "active voice" instead of a "passive voice" on your CV, resume or letter. Properly merging key words into your CVs, resumes or letters and other correspondence can help convey strong writing skills and increase the strength of your communication.

These key words can offer a significant CV, resume or cover letter improvement. Be careful not to overuse them. Too much fluff and not enough skills, and you could come across as fake. Check power word examples per industry listing.

List of Key Words


Abated, Abbreviated, Abolished, Abridged, Absolved, Absorbed, Accelerated, Acclimated, Accompanied, Accomplished, Accomplished, Achieved, Acquired, Acted, Activated, Actuated, Adapted, Added, Addressed, Adhered, Adjusted, Administered, Admitted, Adopted, Advanced, Advertised, Advised, Advocated, Affected, Aided, Aired, Alerted, Allocated, Altered, Amended, Amplified, Analyzed, Answered, Anticipated, Appeared, Applied, Appointed, Appraised, Approached, Approved, Arbitrated, Arranged, Articulated, Ascertained, Asked, Assembled, Assessed, Assigned, Assisted, Assumed, Assured, Attained, Attracted, Audited, Augmented, Authored, Authorized, Automated, Awarded


Balanced, Bargained, Began, Bench-marked, Benefited, Bid, Billed, Blocked, Bolstered, Boosted, Borrowed, Bought, Branded, Bridged, Briefed, Broadened, Brought, Budgeted, Built


Calculated, Canvassed, Captured, Carried out, Cast, Cataloged, Catalogued, Categorized, Caused, Centralized, Chaired, Challenged, Championed, , Changed, Channeled, Charted, Checked, Circulated, Clarified, Classified, Cleared, Closed, Coached, Co-authored, Co-directed, Collaborated, Collected, Combined, Commended, Commented, Commissioned, Committed, Communicated, Compared, Compiled, Completed, Complied, Composed, Computed, Conceived, Conceptualized, Condensed, Conducted, Conserved, Considered, Consolidated, Constructed, Consulted, Continued, Contracted, Contributed, Controlled, Converted, Conveyed, Convinced, Coordinated, Corrected, Cost, Counseled, Counted, Created, Critiqued, Cultivated, Customized, Cut


Dealt, Debated, Debugged, Decentralized, Decided, Decreased, Dedicated, Deferred, Defined, Delegated, Delivered, Demonstrated, Depreciated, Described, Designated, Designed, Detected, Determined, Developed, Devised, Diagnosed, Directed, Discovered, Discussed, Dispatched, Dissembled, Distinguished, Distributed, Diversified, Divested, Documented, Doubled, Drafted


Earned, Eased, Edited, Educated, Effected, Elicited, Eliminated, Emphasized, Enabled, Encouraged, Ended, Endorsed, Enforced, Engaged, Engineered, Enhanced, Enlarged, Enlisted, Enriched, Ensured, Entered, Established, Estimated, Evaluated, Examined, Exceeded, Exchanged, Executed, Exempted, Expanded, Expedited, Experimented, Explained, Explored, Exposed, Expressed, Extended, Extracted


Fabricated, Facilitated, Fashioned, Fielded, Filled, Finalized, Finalized, Financed, Fine-tuned, Focused, Forecasted, Formalized, Formed, Formulated, Fortified, Founded, Fulfilled, Furnished, Furthered


Gained, Gathered, Gauged, Generated, Governed, Graded, Granted, Greeted, Grew, Grouped, Guided


Halved, Handled, Headed, Helped, Hired, Hosted


Identified, Illuminated, Illustrated, Implemented, Improved, Improvised, Inaugurated, Incorporated, Increased, Incurred, Indexed, Individualized, Indoctrinated, Induced, Influenced, Initiated, Innovated, Inquired, Inspected, Inspired, Installed, Instigated, Instilled, Instituted, Instructed, Insured, Integrated, Interacted, Interpreted, Intervened, Interviewed, Introduced, Invented, Inventoried, Invested, Investigated, Invited, Involved, Isolated, Issued


Joined, Judged, Justified




Launched, Learned, Leased, Lectured, Led, Licensed, Lightened, Liquidated, Listed, Litigated, Lobbied, Localized, Located, Logged


Made, Maintained, Managed, Mapped, Marketed, Matched, Maximized, Measured, Mediated, Mentored, Merchandised, Merged, Met, Minimized, Modeled, Moderated, Modernized, Modified, Monitored, Motivated, Moved, Multiplied


Named, Narrated, Navigated, Negotiated, Netted, Noticed, Nurtured


Observed, Obtained, Offered, Opened, Operated, Orchestrated, Ordered, Organized, Oriented, Originated, Overhauled, Oversaw


Participated, Patterned, Penetrated, Perceived, Performed, Persuaded, Phased, Photographed, Pinpointed, Pioneered, Placed, Planned, Played, Polled, Prepared, Presented, Preserved, Presided, Prevented, Processed, Procured, Produced, Profiled, Programmed, Prohibited, Projected, Promoted, Prompted, Proposed, Proved, Provided, Publicized, Published, Purchased, Pursued


Qualified, Quantified, Questioned, Quoted


Raised, Ranked, Rated, Realized, Received, Recognized, Recommended, Reconciled, Recorded, Recovered, Recruited, Rectified, Redesigned, Reduced, Refined, Regained, Registered, Regulated, Rehabilitated, Reinforced, Reinstated, Rejected, Related, Remedied, Remodeled, Renegotiated, Reorganized, Repaired, Replaced, Replied, Reported, Represented, Researched, Resolved, Responded, Restored,. Restructured, Resulted, Retained, Retrieved, Revamped, Revealed, Reversed, Reviewed, Revised, Revitalized, Rewarded


Safeguarded, Salvaged, Saved, Scheduled, Screened, Secured, Segmented, Selected, Separated, Served, Serviced, Set, Set up, Settled, Shaped, Shared, Shortened, Showed, Shrank, Signed, Simplified, Simulated, Slashed, Sold, Solicited, Solidified, Solved, Sorted, Sought, Sparked, Spearheaded, Specialized, Specified, Speculated, Spoke, Spread, Stabilized, Staffed, Staged, Standardized, Started, Steered, Stimulated, Strategized, Streamlined, Strengthened, Stressed, Stretched, Structured, Studied, Submitted, Substantiated, Substituted, Succeeded, Succeeded in, Suggested, Summarized, Superseded, Supervised, Supplied, Supported, Surpassed, Surveyed, Synchronized, Systematized


Tabulated, Tackled, Tailored, Targeted, Taught, Terminated, Tested, Tightened, Took, Toured, Traced, Tracked, Traded, Trained, Transacted, Transcribed, Transferred, Transformed, Translated, Transmitted, Transported, Traveled, Treated, Trimmed, Tripled, Troubleshot, Turned, Tutored


Umpired, Uncovered, Underlined, Underscored, Understood, Understudied, Undertook, Underwrote, Unearthed, Unified, United, Unraveled, Updated, Upgraded, Urged, Used, Utilized


Validated, Valued, Verbalized, Verified, Viewed, Visited, Visualized, Voiced, Volunteered


Waged, Weathered, Weighed, Welcomed, Widened, Withstood, Witnessed, Won, Worked, Wrote



art_remember Key WordsCheck the spelling and grammar of key words on your CV, resume or cover letter. Use the word processor's spell and grammar checker. If you are not confident of your ability to detect grammatical, punctuation and English or other language usage errors or if you need help in organizing your CV or resume, send it to a professional for assistance. To make your CV or resume with key words preparation task easier you may take a look at CV keywords, CV templates and CV samples.

Remember that your CV or resume with key words must be targeted, scannable and generate hits.

art_tip Key WordsIf you have a difficulty with your CV or resume, instead of staring at a blank piece of paper, use:

Other Key Words Info

Now to finalize your Key Words topic, if your cover letter and CV are ready, you may email them through international job search engines to job recruiters and headhunters worldwide.

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Good luck with your key words!


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