Action Verbs: A Must-Have in Your Résumé

November 3, 2015

Action Verbs: A Must-Have in Your Résumé

Put yourself in the shoes of a physician’s office recruiter, Susie. Susie has two résumés in front of her for a medical assisting position she is trying to fill. Both candidates were in the same graduating class and have one year of work experience. Which one of these peaks her interest the most?

  • I went to school to become a medical assistant
  • At my last job I was a part of the biohazard committee
  • I entered patient information into a computer
  • I assisted the doctor with procedures

VS

  • Headed up the student ambassador committee while earning my medical assistant diploma. Led the meetings, recruited other student leaders and did public speaking.
  • Improved the productivity of the monthly biohazard committee meetings by preparing agendas, taking attendance and decreasing meeting length to 15 minutes from 60.
  • Educated new staff on how to enter patient information into the electronic health record and monitored their progress for their first week on the job.
  • Maintained patient confidentiality while inputting patient information into the electronic health record.
  • Organized medical supplies, comforted patients, assisted the physician and applied bandages during minor office surgeries.

The use of action verbs makes all the difference to Susie as she selects the second candidate to come in for an interview. This candidate started each bullet point with an action verb, used strong action verbs within sentences and avoided the use of the word “I.” Susie felt that this candidate was more accomplished and had more experience that the first candidate.

Here is a brief list of powerful action verbs you may want to use: Organized, achieved, earned, increased, decreased, operated, ensured, demonstrated, succeeded and reached.

It doesn’t matter if you are a new grad or have been in the workforce for years– action verbs can up your chances of getting an interview. Can you see the difference?

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About the Author

is a marketing professional with decades of hands-on experience in all types of advertising including Internet, email, TV, radio, print, direct mail, communications and branding. She enjoys working with hospitals, schools, medical suppliers and product manufacturers.

The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Ultimate Medical Academy.

The UMA Blog covers information and advice for employers and workers at the intersection of healthcare, education and employment. Our contributors are intimately familiar with a wide range of subjects covering professional development, career advancement, workplace politics, healthcare industry specific topics, personal finance, education and so much more. Learn what you need to get ahead and stay ahead.

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