Using action verbs in your application

by Eavanne Allen

Some of the verbs that applicants commonly use on CVs, covering letters and application forms are rather passive words, ones which may well be used by many of your fellow candidates. However, you may be able to make your application stand out by using ‘action verbs. Examples of some passive verbs, and their active equivalents, are listed below – try to use one of those in the right-hand column wherever possible

Advised Recommended, Counselled, Trained, Directed, Guided
Calculated Evaluated
Changed Converted, Corrected, Modernised, Re-designed, Re-organised, Re-structured, Simplified
Checked Appraised, Audited, Inspected, Monitored, Tested
Controlled Administered, Executed, Regulated, Supervised
Engaged Appointed, Hired, Recruited, Selected
Looked into Analysed, Forecast, Interpreted, Surveyed
Made bigger Augmented, Doubled (or equivalent depending on size of growth), Expanded, Increased
Made smaller Eliminated, Lightened, Reduced, , Streamlined
Set up Arranged, Conceived, Developed, Established, Formed, Formulated, Initiated
Motivated Inspired, Stimulated
Put right Rescued, Resolved, Saved, Settled, Solved
Showed Demonstrated, Taught, Trained
Stopped Averted, Avoided, Prevented
Wrote Edited, Published