Action Verbs & Transferable Skills

In resumes and correspondence, active voice often is more impressive. Action verbs are more assertive and professional sounding.

Transferable skills are those skills that we gain in one capacity (such as in classes, volunteer experiences, and employment) and carry with us (transfer with us) wherever we go. Transferable skills are not usually mastered quickly but rather take years to develop and perfect. When reviewing your transferable skills, consider those skills that are most relevant to the employer and position for which you are applying.

Do you need stronger verbs for your experience descriptions? Have you used the empty phrases "Responsible for . . . " and "Duties included . . ." too often? Try this list of action verbs to help you along.

  • aided
  • answered
  • assisted
  • budgeted
  • coached
  • collected
  • completed
  • composed
  • counseled
  • created
  • critiqued
  • delegated
  • delivered
  • designed
  • detected
  • developed
  • diagnosed
  • drafted
  • edited
  • enforced
  • evaluated
  • experimented
  • filed
  • formulated
  • gathered
  • generated
  • helped
  • implemented
  • improved
  • increased
  • installed
  • inventoried
  • learned
  • maintained
  • manipulated
  • mentored
  • observed
  • obtained
  • operated
  • ordered
  • organized
  • performed
  • planned
  • processed
  • programmed
  • proofread
  • raised
  • recruited
  • repaired
  • retrieved
  • reviewed
  • scheduled
  • served
  • studied
  • supervised
  • surveyed
  • taught
  • trained
  • troubleshot
  • tutored
  • used
  • washed

Need more ideas? Download the full list of action verbs.

Did you know that just by doing your classwork, you have gained skills that can transfer to your career? Download a check list that can help you pinpoint some of your transferable skills.