Action verbs are the most effective verbs to use in job descriptions.

What is an action verb? It’s a verb that expresses physical or mental action.

Examples of action verbs:

  • The CEO motivates his team.
  • The developer writes code.
  • The accountant approves the balance sheet

An action verb is distinct from linking verbs (am, are, is, was, were, etc.). and helping verbs (can, shall, will could, would, should, etc.).

It’s almost always a good idea to use action verbs for job descriptions instead of helping/linking verbs.

Below is a list of 200 action verbs for job descriptions (with their definitions). I’ve found these 200 to be the most useful in writing job descriptions here at Ongig. I’ve categorized them best I can though there’s a lot of overlap.

Note: If you want a little extra automated help on writing JDs better, check out The Top 6 Augmented Writing Tools for Job Descriptions. And, for even more tips on writing job descriptions, check out How to Write a Job Description — Best Practices & Examples.


The Comprehensive List of Action Verbs for Job Descriptions

Action Verbs for Management & Leadership

Action VerbDefinition
AchieveTo bring to a successful end.
AdviseOffer suggestions about the best course of action.
AnnounceTo provide a public statement or release of information.
AppointSet officially, arrange.
ApproveAccept as satisfactory; exercise final authority with regard to commitment of
AssignSpecify or designate tasks or duties to be performed by others.
AssessTo evaluate or estimate a specific quality.
DecideSelect a course of action.
DelegateTo entrust to another
DevelopTo cause to grow or expand.
DetermineTo resolve or fix conclusively or authoritatively.
DirectTo cause to turn, move, or point undeviatingly or to follow a straight course
EnforceTo effect or gain by force. To carry out effectively.
EstablishTo institute permanently by enactment or agreement.
Executeto carry out fully : put completely into effect
FinalizeComplete a task or decision based on an agreed version.
InitiateSet going or introduce.
ManageTo handle or direct with a degree of skill.
OverseeTo manage or coordinate.
RejectTo refuse to accept, consider or submit to.
RepresentOfficially act or speak on behalf of a group or company.
RequireTo ask for by right and authority, request.
SuperviseTo be in charge of.
MotivateTo move or drive someone to an action.

Action Verbs for Design & Creation

Action VerbDefinition
CreateProduce through imaginative skill.
CodeTo write computer/software code.
CombineMerge two or more elements for a single purpose.
CopyReproduce an identical product or idea.
DesignTo create, fashion, execute, or construct according to plan.
DevelopDisclose, discover, perfect or unfold a plan; includes to "develop" software.
DeviseCome up with something new by combinations or applications of ideas.
HighlightTo draw added attention to a specific point.
IllustrateTo enlighten.
ImportTo transport a file or data.
InventTo create something.
ProgramTo write code for (e.g. a software application).
StructureArrange according to a plan or established pattern.
UpgradeTo raise the standards of systems and components.

Action Verbs for Exchange & Transactions

Action VerbDefinition
AcceptGive admittance or approval to.
AcquireCome into possession or control of an item or items.
ArrangeMake preparation for; put into proper order.
BudgetTo plan allotment of (funds, time, etc.).
BuyAcquire possession, ownership or rights to the use of services, items.
CollectTo gather.
DeliverSend or bring a desired object.
DiscussTalk or write about something with someone.
DistributeDeliver or hand out to several or many.
ExchangeGive and receive reciprocally.
ForwardSend goods or information onward.
FurnishProvide or equip with what is needed.
GatherBring together or collect parts of a group.
GetObtain or receive.
GiveGrant or yield to another.
InstallTo set up for use.
InitiateTo begin.
Issue"To put forth or distribute usually officially".
NegotiateTo bring to settlement.
NetworkInteract with others for the exchange of information and develop professional relationships.
ObtainGain or possess.
OriginateTo begin or start or take origin of.
ProcureGet possession or obtain by particular care and effort.
ProvideTo supply or make available.
PullDemand or obtain advantage by use of exertion or influence.
PurchaseGain or acquire by labor, money.
RecallCall back or cancel.
ReceiveCome into possession of or acquire an item, idea.
RecruitIncrease numbers of a group or bring in new members.
RenderDeliver or hand down.
RequestFormally ask for something in a polite manner.
SecurePut beyond hazard or receive lasting control.
SellGive up property in exchange for money.
SendDeliver or dispatch as means of communication or delivery.
SolicitTo make a petition or request for services, money.
SortTo systematically arrange.
SubmitTo present or propose to another for review, consideration, or decision.
SupplyMake materials available for use.
TakeGet or seize into possession.
TransferPass over from one person to another.
WithdrawTo draw back or remove.
TruncateTo shorten the duration or length of something.

Action Verbs for Launch, Speed & Execution

Action VerbDefinition
AccelerateTo make faster.
ActivateTo make something reactive or more reactive.
DeployBring into effective action.
EncourageTo give courage, spirit or confidence to.
ExpediteTo speed up.
FurtherTo help forward or promote.
ImplementCarry out or fulfill by taking action.

Action Verbs for Analysis & Review

Action VerbDefinition
ForecastPredict future events based on specific assumptions.
AnalyzeSeparate into elements and critically examine.
AppraiseGive an expert judgment of worth or merit.
ArchiveTo store and manage official records.
AscertainFind out or learn with certainty.
CalculateMake a mathematical computation.
CheckTo proof or review for errors.
CompareTo examine characteristics to discover similarities or differences.
ConsiderTo observe or think about with regard to taking some action.
CriticizeTo evaluate and judge merits or faults.
EstimateTo determine roughly the size, extent, or nature of.
Evaluateto determine the significance, worth, or condition of usually by careful appraisal and study'.
ExamineInvestigate in order to determine progress, fitness or knowledge.
ForecastPredict future events based on specific assumptions.
FormulatePut into a systemized expression or statement.
IdentifyThe act of proving identity.
InspectExamine materials, equipment, reports, work, etc., to determine quality, suitability for use, etc.
InterpretExplain something to others.
InterviewObtain information through questioning.
InvestigateUncover facts by systematically finding them, conducting a search, and examining various sources.
LimitSet or serve as a restriction in value.
MeasureControl or regulate by a standard or in measured amounts.
RateEstimate or determine the relative value, rank, or amount of an item.
ResearchTo search or investigate exhaustively.
ResolveDeal with a problem, dilemma successfully.
ReviewTo examine or study again.
SolveFind a solution, answer, or explanation for a question or problem.
StudyApply thought to any subject of investigation in order to arrive at the most suitable conclusion.
SummarizeTo tell and reduce a story, idea.
SurveyExamine a condition, situation or value.
TestTo try out.
WeighTo consider the importance of.
ReviseTo examine and make corrections where required.

Action Verbs for Communication

Action VerbDefinition
AdjournTo pause a meeting or event with the intention of resuming at a later time.
AuthorTo be the author of or originate or create a design for.
ClarifyTo throw light on a subject or matter.
CollaborateWork jointly with; cooperate with others.
CorrespondCommunicate with.
DraftPrepare in preliminary form.
InformCommunicate knowledge to others.
InquireAsk or search into.
NotifyGive notice or a report on an occurrence or information.
RepeatTo do or say something again.
ReplyRespond verbally or by writing.
ReportGive notice or a report on an occurrence or information.
UpdateTo provide someone with the latest version of something.
WriteTo express or communicate through written words.

Action Verbs for Organization

Action VerbDefinition
AccumulateIncrease gradually in quantity or number.
AlignPut things into perspective according to their relative positions.
AdministerManage or direct the execution of affairs.
ArrangeMake preparations for, to plan.
AssembleTo bring together or gather in one place.
CommenceTo begin a task, project, or initiative.
CompilePut together information, collect from other documents.
ComplimentPolitely congratulate or praise someone for an achievement or progress.
ConsolidateBring together.
CoordinateBring together things or people for a desired result.
InviteFormally request participation of an event or task.
OrganizeTo form as or into a whole consisting of interdependent or coordinated parts, especially for united action.
OrderArrange or command to come to a specified place or decision.
PlanTo arrange a method or scheme beforehand for (any work, enterprise, or proceeding).
PlanTo design or plot a scheme or project by means or method devised for doing something to achieve an end.
RecoverFind or regain misplaced or stolen items and documents.
ScheduleTo appoint, assign, or designate for a fixed time.

Action Verbs for Compliance, Finance, etc.

Action VerbDefinition
AuditTo examine for verification.
CheckTo proof or review for errors.
DeleteEliminate or wipe out.
PreventKeep from happening or holding back.
ReturnGo back in thought or action. Give an official account to a superior.
StopKeep from carrying out a proposed action.
AccrueGradually accumulate or receive over time.
AllocateAssign or apportion for a specific purpose or to a particular person.
ApproveTo consent or agree to or authorize.
AuditTo examine for purposes of verification.
CheckTo proof or review for errors.
ConserveSlow or block the progress of something.
ControlTo exercise influence over; or check, test or verify by evidence.
EditAlter, adapt or refine a written text, concept, or idea.
EnforceTo effect or gain by force. To carry out effectively.
EnsureMake sure, certain, or safe.
GuaranteeUndertake to answer for debt and default or promise security.
InspectExamine materials, equipment, reports, work, etc., to determine quality, suitability for use, etc.
ProtectTo cover or shield from injury or danger.
RegulateFix or adjust the time, amount, degree, or rate.
RestrictPlace under restriction as to use or distribution.
ReviewConsider or examine facts or results for accuracy, completeness and suitability.
VerifyConfirm or substantiate by oath, law, or other documentation.

Action Verbs (Misc.)

Action VerbsDefinition
AdaptModify or change to fit new situations.
ControlExercise restraint or direction over; dominate; command.
CooperateAct jointly with others. Act or work with others to obtain a mutual benefit.
EstablishTo bring into existence.
KeepPreserve or maintain in a good and orderly condition.
ListenPay quality attention to someone.
MaintainTo keep in an existing state (as of repair, efficiency, or validity) : preserve from failure or decline.
ParticipateTo take part in.
ReviewExamine something for accuracy, completeness and suitability.
ServeComply with the commands and demands of a boss, group.

Action Verbs for Candidate to Take Action on Your Job Description

A job description (or job posting) wouldn’t be complete if you don’t ask the candidate to take action. Here are the top 2 keywords used for the candidate/employee to sign up for the opportunity:

Action VerbDefinition
ApplyTo apply to a job (or to dedicate oneself to something).
JoinTo put or bring together as to form a unit.

Special thanks to these 2 sources:

Why I wrote this?

Action verbs are key to effective job descriptions. And that’s the mission for my team here at Ongig. Please click the demo button on this page to find out more about Ongig’s Text Analyzer job description software. It helps you write the most effective job descriptions to attract top-tier, diverse talent.

by in Writing Job Descriptions