Communication Resources 


Action Verbs in Professional Writing


Overview: Action verbs enliven sentences and promote concise writing. Use action verbs throughout your resume and cover letters to highlight your achievements. Use action verbs in business letters and memos to keep your readers' interest.


Resume Example

Passive Verb: Was in charge of new advertising campaign. (7 words)

Active Verb: Directed new advertising campaign. (4 words)


Cover Letter Example

Passive Verb: I was able to contribute my skills to improve the company's website. (12 words)

Active Verb: I re-designed the company's website. (5 words)


Memo Example

Passive Verb: It is not feasible to lower the thermostat from 68 degrees on weeknights because many staff members work late. (18 words)

Active Verb: The thermostat remains at 68 degrees on weeknights because many staff members work late. (13 words)


Categorized List of Action Verbs

Ten in each category. Of course, many others exist.

sample action verbs 


The Writing Lab & OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. (2008) Action

         Verb to Describe Skills, Jobs, and Accomplishments in  

         Employment Documents. (2008) Action Verbs.