Personal Brand Management – 65 Power Personal Branding Verbs to Nail Your Executive Value Proposition

How many times do you use the boring, passive verbs “led” and “managed”, and the tired phrase “responsible for” in your executive resume, career biography, other career documents, and online profiles?

These words are used to death and may not precisely and vibrantly describe the unique promise of value you offer potential employers. They’re not very likely to ignite interest in the people you’re trying to impress.

If you’ve done your personal branding work, you’ve identified your key personal attributes and pivotal strengths with precise words and keyword phrases.

Take the time to match the right action verbs with your top attributes and strengths in your personal marketing materials.

Need some help defining your personal brand? Read my post 10 Steps to Uncovering and Building Your Authentic Personal Brand.

Recruiters and hiring decision makers say they’re looking for executives who are energetic and passionate. These vital traits need to come across in your career marketing communications.

Your excitement about what you do best should shine through in your paper documents (executive resume, career bio, cover letters, achievement summary, etc.) and the online profiles you develop based on those documents.

Of course, you’ll need to use “led” and “managed” sometimes, but don’t settle for those words alone. Make your documents and online profiles a more interesting, compelling read.

Use an online thesaurus to pinpoint precise verbs — or Merriam-Webster online.

Here are some of my favorite action verbs:

accelerate ~ advance ~ amplify ~ architect ~ benchmark

brainstorm ~ brand ~ capitalize ~ capture ~ catapult

champion ~ collaborate ~ compel ~ conceptualize

cultivate ~ decipher ~ deliver ~ devise ~ differentiate ~ direct

embrace ~ empower ~ engage ~ engineer ~ envision

exploit ~ fortify ~ generate ~ harness ~ incentivize

innovate ~ inspire ~ intensify ~ launch ~ leverage

maximize ~ mentor ~ monetize ~ optimize ~ orchestrate

pinpoint ~ pioneer ~ propel ~ reinvent ~ renew ~ revitalize

revolutionize ~ safeguard ~ seize ~ spearhead ~ stimulate

strategize ~ streamline ~ synergize ~ synthesize

systematize ~ target ~ transform ~ transition

troubleshoot ~ unify ~ unleash ~ visualize ~ win

What are your favorite vibrant verbs? Did I miss any good ones?

An Executive Personal Branding, Online Identity and Job Search Strategist, Meg is a 20-year careers industry professional and one of only a handful of people worldwide to hold both the Reach Certified Personal Branding Strategist and Master Resume Writer credentials.

“I love my work collaborating with savvy corporate leaders and entrepreneurs who know where they’re going, but need help differentiating their unique promise of value in the new world of work and executive job search, and positioning themselves to work their passion. My clients are typically C-suite, Senior-level executives and rising stars.”

Find out more about Meg at Executive Career Brand, and by viewing her LinkedIn profile and following her on Twitter.


Add yours
  1. 1

    Great article… I love using those words- and there are quite a few in there that I don't regularly use! Gonna change that for sure!
    My favs…

    Want help on that resume? Google Me. I'm The Resume Chick.

  2. 2
    Crux Resume Writing

    I like the action words: Collaborate, championed, and organized. Thanks for sharing.

    Need a job? Get a Free Resume Critique. Send me a tweet or send me a note on facebook.

    Looks for Cruxresumes

  3. 3

    Thanks for this excellent resource, Meg. It's tough to come up with power verbs like these on our own, especially since we're brainwashed from the get-go to stick to bland verbs like “managed.” Bleh!

    I will always choose an applicant who *championed* a project over one that simply *oversaw* that same project. Simple semantics really allow you to read between the lines about a person. Always make sure you're articulating your value with appropriate verbiage.

    Happy new year!

    – Pete Kistler

  4. 4
    Meg Guiseppi

    Thanks for commenting, Resume Chick, and adding a few of your own favs.

    Using a simple word like “doubled”, as you suggest, will capture attention more readily than an overused word like “grew”.


  5. 5
    Meg Guiseppi

    Hey Pete!

    You're right. It does help to have a list nearby when writing. I have a dandy one printed out and taped at my side on my printer to which I refer when writing clients' resumes, career bios, leadership briefs, LinkedIn profiles, etc.

    Strong action verbs, in themselves, can prompt me to write better. “Championed” is one of my favorites, too.


  6. 7

    Glad theresumechick knows a few words to help job seekers.

    Unfortunately, her own services have a LOT to be desired. Don't fall for her like I did. I'm out $70 and have one of the worst resumes I've ever read in return. And she didn't even respond to one email I sent to her. Shame shame shame.

    Enjoy her advice to some degree, but please, don't Google her or fall into her trap.

  7. 8

    Meg, I really like your article. Would you mind if I reposted your article on my websites career blog? Linked back here of course. You can find the site and blog at greenerResume.

    Great action verbs! I like to include strong action verbs in my clients cover letters.

    A few I use daily…


  8. 9
    Meg Guiseppi


    Thanks so much for your interest, and for asking before posting.

    You're welcome to post a short excerpt (1-2 paragraphs) of this post with attribution to me and a link back to the full article here, but please don't duplicate the entire article on your site.


  9. 10
    Meg Guiseppi


    Thanks so much for your interest, and for asking before posting.

    You're welcome to post a short excerpt (1-2 paragraphs) of this post with attribution to me and a link back to the full article here, but please don't duplicate the entire article on your site.


  10. 11

    I feel that two powerful words are: Forged and Spearheaded. For mew, they convey the essence of the action in a powerful and succinct way.

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