Power Phrases: What They Are And How To List Them On Your Resume

Power phrases add impact to your resume through action verbs and metrics. Learn how to create your own or use our list of examples to boost your resume

a year ago   •   7 min read

By Rohan Mahtani
Table of contents

Gone are the days of simply writing that you’re “detail-oriented” or “a good team player”. Recruiters scan through hundreds of resumes, spending less than 7 seconds on each candidate, so if you want to win yourself an interview, you need to showcase your skills in a way that grabs attention and stands out from the rest.

Combining a strong action verb and quantifiable metrics into a memorable power phrase on your resume is one way to do just that. In this article, we’ll discuss what makes good resume power phrases, when and how to use them, and how to construct your own. We’ll also provide a list of key power phrase examples to boost your resume and increase your chances of being noticed.

But first, let’s look at what power phrases are and why you should use them on a resume.

What resume power phrases are and why you should use them

Power phrases are action-oriented phrases that showcase your skills and experience in a succinct, memorable, and informative way. In other words, it’s marketing for your resume.

The goal of a power phrase is to show a recruiter that you are the best candidate for the job through quantified experience and real-world examples. A good power phrase will be memorable and impressive, helping you stand out from the pack while giving the recruiter all the information they need about your skills and experience.

Power phrases can also help optimize your resume for Applicant Tracking Systems by including the keywords employers are searching for.

But where should you use them?

Where to use power phrases

Power phrases can be used in multiple sections of your resume, including your resume summary, work experience section, skills section, and cover letter.

Be mindful of overdoing it though. Don’t cram power phrases into every sentence or your resume will read like an advertising campaign. Choose your words carefully and avoid repeating phrases.

How to create a power phrase

When coming up with power phrases for your resume, consider:

  • What skill am I trying to demonstrate?
  • What project/achievement in my work experience showcases this skill?
  • How can I quantify my success?

Once you have these answers in mind, use this equation to generate a power phrase:

How to generate power phrase to include on your resume
How to generate power phrase to include on your resume

In other words:

What did you do + why/how did you do it + what was the positive result.

Start the phrase with a powerful action verb and end with a quantifiable metric. Research examples of strong action verbs, look for synonyms of common resume verbs, or peruse the examples below to create your power phrases.

If you're unsure whether your resume contains effective action verbs and power phrases, upload it to the tool below. You'll receive an instant review of your resume, supported by insights from recruiters and hiring managers.

List of key power phrase examples for your resume

Below is a list of key power phrases that can be used on any resume, followed by industry-specific examples. Be sure to adapt each phrase to suit your skills and experience.

You can either copy and paste these examples into your resume or use this list as inspiration when making your own.

Universal power phrases

These phrases all use the standard power phrase equation:

Action verb + task/project + result/metric.

The order of the result/metric and action/task is interchangeable, as long as you start with your strong action verb and include a quantifiable metric.

  • Accomplished (result/achievement) by (action taken)
  • Developed/executed (project/process) resulting in (achievement)
  • Improved (process/project) by (action) causing (metric)
  • Managed (X) projects simultaneously leading to (result)
  • Achieved (result) by (action/task)
  • Demonstrated (skill) through (action/example) leading to (result)
  • Increased/reduced (metric) by (percentage/amount) through (action)

Depending on your industry and the skills you are hoping to highlight, use the key action verbs listed below or copy these industry examples.

Training and mentoring

Action verbs to showcase training and mentoring skills are: trained, led, managed, coached, mentored, developed, coordinated, and facilitated. For example:

  • Coordinated onboarding processes resulting in (impact)
  • Mentored and coached (x) team members in (project/skill) resulting in (impact)
  • Led group training in (project/area of expertise) resulting in (result)


Action verbs to include for sales resumes are: Increased, improved, exceeded, reduced, developed, implemented, and generated. For example:

  • Increased/reduced (metric) by (percentage/amount) through (action)
  • Developed/introduced (strategy) resulting in (% increase) in sales
  • Generated new leads through (idea/strategy) leading to (result)

Conflict resolution

Keywords to show conflict resolution are: Mediated, resolved, collaborated, facilitated, and developed. For example:

  • Facilitated conflict resolution through (action) leading to (benefit)
  • Collaborated with (x) teams to resolve conflicts and (increase/improve result)
  • Developed (strategy) to resolve team conflicts, leading to (metric)

Management and leading a team

Verbs to showcase management, supervisory, and team lead experience include: Collaborated, managed, supervised, evaluated, led, delegated, facilitated, resolved, coordinated, and addressed. For example:

  • Managed (team/project) of (x employees) resulting in (achievement/benefit)
  • Led a team of (x) employees to achieve (result/metric)
  • Conducted training and performance evaluations of (x) team members, leading to (benefit/result)

Social media management

Verbs for social media management roles include: Developed, created, ran, managed, spearheaded, collaborated, marketed, and engaged. For example:

  • Developed social media strategies through (platform) leading to (metric)
  • Created engaging content for (project/platform) resulting in (result)
  • Managed (x) social media campaigns for (platform/project) which increased/boosted (revenue/traffic/sales/exposure)

Data analysis

Keywords for data analysis are: Analyzed, developed, implemented, modeled, produced, streamlined, and conducted. For example:

  • Analyzed (data/process/project) leading to (result/action/benefit)
  • Conducted data analysis and modeling resulting in (achievement)
  • Developed and implemented (strategy/system) leading to (benefit)

Research and development

Verbs for R&D resumes include: Researched, developed, conducted, managed, monitored, evaluated, collaborated, and coordinated. For example:

  • Developed and implemented (R&D strategy) leading to (metric)
  • Monitored and evaluated R&D for (project) resulting in (achievement)
  • Conducted R&D for (x) projects, leading to (result)

Talent acquisition

Verbs for HR and talent acquisition include: Hired, trained, sourced, managed, oversaw, developed, and conducted. For example:

  • Managed the interview and hiring process for (x) employees, leading to a (metric) retention rate in staff
  • Conducted candidate sourcing and screening through (process) resulting in (metric)
  • Developed and executed (strategy/process) resulting in (achievement)


Keywords for marketing resumes are: Researched, identified, managed, optimized, executed, ran, led, oversaw, created, marketed, and developed. For example:

  • Optimized digital marketing through (channel/platform) for (x) projects, leading to (achievement)
  • Conducted market research through (process/platform) identifying target audiences and resulting in (metric)
  • Developed and executed successful marketing campaigns that saw a (%metric) increase in (sales/leads/customer interaction)

Budget management

Verbs to showcase budget and finance skills include: Monitored, analyzed, forecast, evaluated, managed, budgeted, implemented, identified, and executed. For example:

  • Managed and optimized budgets through (hard skill/process) resulting in (impact)
  • Conducted financial analysis and forecasting for (project) resulting in (result)
  • Monitored and evaluated the financial performance of (team/project) resulting in (achievement)

Now that you’ve seen some examples of strong power phrases to include on your resume, let’s look at exactly how to include them.

How to list power phrases on your resume

Whenever you describe responsibilities, skills, or experience on your resume, consider using strong action verbs to turn your statement into a power phrase.

Use bullet points

Use bullet points to break up blocks of text and make your resume more easy to skim. Don’t worry about full sentences or pronouns (such as I or my) and cut out any flowery language. Use short, concise sentences to let your accomplishments take center stage.

Quantify your achievements

Use numbers and metrics to quantify your achievements, such as stats, percentages, revenue, or sales. Don’t use vague words like “some,” “most,” or “many.” Instead, use specific numbers, such as “trained 50 employees” or “increased revenue by 15%”.

Tailor your word choice to the application

Use the job description and position requirements to guide your word choice. For example, if you are applying for a management position, use the terms managed, oversaw, and/or led. If applying for a teaching position, include the terms mentored, trained, or taught.

To determine relevant action words, scan the job description with a keyword finder to create a list of relevant keywords. Convert these keywords into past tense verbs to find your action words.

For example, if your keywords are editing, writing, and publishing, your action words would be edited, wrote, and published. If your keywords are research, management, and data analysis, your action words would be researched, managed, and analyzed.

Another good way to tailor your resume to the job is to use the skills and keyword tool below to search for the job you’re applying for and it’ll provide you with a list of hard skills relevant to that job.

Avoid buzzwords

Power phrases are not buzzwords.

Buzzwords are cliche, overused words such as “team player,” “motivated,” or “hardworking.” These words provide no quantifiable information, are subjective and immeasurable, and can actually negatively affect your resume.

If you are unsure if a word is a power word or a buzzword, consider if the word can be quantified and if it describes an action or a mentality. “Collaborated” is an action you can quantify with metrics, making it a great power verb. “Results-orientated” is a personality trait that is hard to explain through experience, making it a buzzword.

Improving weak statements

Here is an example of how to improve a weak resume statement using a power phrase.

Weak statement: Responsible for managing a team

This statement doesn’t tell a recruiter anything about the team managed or showcase a successful result. It isn’t memorable or impressive and leaves the recruiter with questions.

Strong statement: Led a team of 10 employees to achieve a 20% increase in sales

This statement is engaging and informative. It quantifies both the size of the team and the success you had in increasing sales, demonstrating the positive impact of your leadership.

As you can see, power phrases increase the impact of your resume, clearly demonstrating your experience and helping your resume make a strong impression and stand out from the rest.

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