Executive Resumes — 100 Research Proven Power Words — Infographic

Executive power words. They belong on executive resumes. We know they’re mostly verbs.

We know they’re embedded in your descriptions of your responsibilities, skills, and accomplishments.

However, we don’t know which words deliver the best results — interviews and job offers.

Power Words That Won Jobs

Last year, several of my resume clients got new jobs very quickly. For example, I sent one client a draft of his resume and then didn’t hear back from him. Odd. After a month, I emailed him a “What’s up?” and he replied that he had a new job. Best answer!

Given this, I decided to review the resumes of my most quickly hired clients and pull together a list of market-proven power words.

“What” Verbs

It’s no surprise that clients who showed their ability to make things happen at work landed new jobs quickly.

My study revealed that resumes that emphasized “what,” the change, progress, and results my clients obtained, quickly won interviews and job offers. 72% of the words on this list are “what” verbs.

“How” Verbs

“How” my clients achieved their “whats” mattered too. Resumes that highlighted classic managerial and situational awareness skills got attention. In addition, resumes that described “how” my clients related to and led people got the nod. 28% of the words on this list are “how” words.

Compare Your Resume to the List

Check your resume. Look for about a 70/30 distribution between “what” and “how” verbs. If you want a better balance between “what” and “how” verbs, the lists below give you market-proven performers. They helped my clients get interviews and six-figure jobs very quickly. I hope they’re helpful to you too.

Words to Avoid

If you’re wondering about words to avoid, read this post: 10 Most Common Resume Words People Hate. There’s also a link inside the post to a longer list.


I write executive resumes and LinkedIn profiles.
Save time. Look good. Get hired.

Click to learn more about my executive resume writing service or email me. 

Image: Fotolia/melpomene
Updated February 2019

© 2014 – 2019, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.

Follow AvidCareerist & Subscribe:

Comments 1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *