Resume Synonyms for Possess

Want another word for Possess to use on your resume? Our team's compiled the most effective action verbs and synonyms you can use instead of the overused resume phrase, "Possess".

Kimberley Tyler Smith Author Photo
Compiled by: Kimberley Tyler-Smith
Senior Hiring Manager
20+ Years of Experience

Possess is a word that implies ownership and control, so it is best to use it when writing about your experience as a manager or supervisor. It also shows the hiring managers that you have a certain level of expertise and know-how with a given topic, which they hope to see when filtering through hundreds of resumes.

The verb 'possess' is a great way to emphasize skills and strengths. But, when using this verb in your resume, it's important to use synonyms—words that mean the same thing as each other—so that it reads smoothly. You should also use the past tense of an action verb (i.e., possessed) to indicate achievements that are in the past. This will show that you have a strong work history and can be trusted to perform well in future positions.

For example, instead of writing 'possess,' use another word such as 'obtained,' 'achieved,' or 'accomplished.' This will make your resume flow better and make it easier to read.

Using synonyms on your resume can make a big difference. This simple trick shows that you're detail-oriented and can craft a strong, well-written resume—which could help get a recruiter's attention.

I've compiled some synonyms you can use instead of Possess on your resume, followed by real examples I've written for clients (feel free to use them!).

Resume Synonyms for Possess:

  • Commanded
  • Retained
  • Absorbed
  • Grasped
  • Monopolized
  • Reserved
  • Maintained
  • Procured
  • Secured
  • Obtained
  • Acquired
  • Adopted
  • Achieved
  • Attained
  • Reached
  • Fostered
  • Gained
  • Garnered
  • Accomplished
  • Yielded

How to replace Possess with a stronger action verb:

Let's look at examples of how you can remove and replace the overused phrase, Possess, with a stronger synonym and alternative that is more effective at highlighting your achievements.

Before: Weak example using Possess

Possess strong analytical, design and web development skills

After: Using a stronger synonymRevamped website flows and navigation menus, reducing the frequency of misdirected customer service queries by 30% and increasing traffic to previously neglected pages .

Replacing Possess with Cultivated

Before: Possess

Possess expertise in building client relationships

After: CultivatedCultivated strong professional relationships with 50+ clients, leading to increased retention rate of 30% and referral rate of 40%

As a recruiter, I've strengthened this bullet point by replacing 'Possess' with 'Cultivated' - a more specific action verb that exhibits direct achievement. I also added an impact by outlining the number of relationships built and the increased retention and referral rates.

Tip: I've prepared a ton of additional examples for you to give you inspiration. Please click on any of the following to expand and see real examples of how I've rewritten client bullet points.

How to use these synonyms in practice

We've put together an infographic to give you more examples of how to put this into practice. Note the use of strong action verbs instead of words like Possess.

More resume bullet point samples that use strong synonyms

How to use Developed on a resume:

Developed an iPhone app to help medical professionals measure the insulin needs of patients with diabetes.

How to use Enabled on a resume:

Enabled integration with existing systems by creating tool that extracts metadata from images and provides metadata to a system-wide search database..

How to use Produced on a resume:

Produced comprehensive pitch decks, used for internal research and external marketing, on 1) an Indian real estate investment with a $4.5B market cap and 2) telecommunications in emerging markets.

How to use Reduced on a resume:

Reduced signup drop-offs from 65% to 15%, increased user-engagement by 40%, and boosted content generation by 15%, through a combination of user interviews and A/B-testing-driven product flow optimization.

How to use Performed on a resume:

Performed DCF analysis to evaluate offers for company's sell-side process; qualitative offer comparison and quantitative model outputs were shared directly with client's senior management team.

How to use Led on a resume:

Led five developers to establish client's ERP system; identified $1.5MM in cost savings, and secured $1MM+ in additional work for Accenture.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is another word for Possess on a resume?

If you're looking for another word to use in place of Possess, consider using one of these stronger alternatives:

  • Monopolized
  • Acquired
  • Retained
  • Grasped
  • Attained
  • Yielded

What is a better word for Possess on a resume?

Below are some alternative words and synonyms to add to your resume instead of Possess:

  • Obtained
  • Monopolized
  • Reserved
  • Procured
  • Retained
  • Absorbed

Get a free resume review: Find out if your action verbs are strong enough.

Hiring managers are unnecessarily picky when it comes to resumes, and it's hard to know what they want to see. That's why you should upload your resume to the free resume checker below. It'll check your bullet points and identify any mistakes on your resume that recruiters specifically look out for.

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