Job Analysis: Job Descriptions: Action Words
Well written duty statements contain action words which accurately describe what is being done. The following is a list of acceptable action words. It is not a complete list, and you may find other suitable words. Avoid using ambiguous action words.
furnish a justifying analysis or explanation.|
buy or take possession of.|
|Adapts||To modify to suit or fit specific needs.|
|Adjusts||To bring the parts of something to a true, more desirable, or effective position.|
|Administers||To carry out or regulate organizational or program operations, policies, and procedures; to apply a remedy.|
|Adopts ||To accept
and use as one's own.|
|Advises ||To provide,
based on specialized knowledge and usually only on request, information,
ideas, suggestions, or informed opinions which aid/support others
in deciding on a course of action or making a decision.|
|Advocates||To endorse in an assertive and deliberate
|Allocates||To set aside money, property, power, or other resources
for a particular individual/program, group of individuals/programs,
or an organization.|
|Allots||To distribute a share or portion for a specific purpose.|
|Alters||To make different without changing into something else.|
|Amuses || To provide any form of distraction that contents the mind.|
|Analyzes || To separate all or any part of something into its constituent
parts for the purpose of identifying and examining relationships
or the parts to one another and to other factors.|
|Answers || To speak or write in reply to an inquiry.|
|Applies || To put to use for a purpose.|
|Appoints ||To officially designate.|
|Appraises ||To give an expert judgment of worth or merit.|
|Approves ||To exercise final authority with regard to the acceptability
of an action.|
|Arbitrates ||To act with defined authority to resolve a dispute.|
|Arranges ||To prepare for an event.|
|Assembles ||To convene individuals out of common interest or purpose;
to fit together with component parts of a structure or machine.|
|Assesses ||To determine the exact value or extent prior to judging
it or using it as the ground for a decision.|
|Assigns ||To specify or designate tasks or duties to be performed
|Audits ||To examine accounts in a final, official sense to verify
|Authorizes ||To give permission for or to empower through vested
|Awards ||To confer or bestow for performance or quality.|
|Balances ||To arrange or prove so that the sum of one group equals
the sum of another.|
|Bargains ||To negotiate the terms of a sale, exchange, or other
|Batches ||To group into a quantity for a future operation.|
|Budgets ||To plan a summary of probable expenditures and income
for a given period.|
|Calculates ||To determine by mathematical or statistical processes.|
|Calibrates ||To check, adjust, or standardize the graduation of.|
|Carries ||To move something or someone from one place to another,
using the hands.|
|Categorizes ||To group on the basis of a comparison of certain readily
perceived characteristics and criteria.|
|Certifies ||To officially endorse that something is in conformance
with set standards.|
|Checks ||To compare with a source and verify accuracy.|
|Circulates ||To move from person to person or place to place.|
|Classifies ||To arrange, distribute, or group facts/items according
to common characteristics.|
|Cleans ||To remove dirt or impurities; to prepare for cooking.|
|Climbs ||To move progressively upward.|
|Coaches ||To befriend and encourage individuals on a personal, caring
|Codes ||To translate words or figures into symbols (letters or numbers).|
|Collaborates ||To work jointly with.|
|Collates ||To assemble in proper numerical or logical sequence.|
|Collects ||To bring data or material together in a group or mass.|
|Compares ||To examine for the purpose of discovering similarities
|Compiles ||To place information or arrange material from other documents
into a formalized order.|
|Composes ||To create by artistic labor.|
|Computes ||To determine by arithmetical processes.|
|Condenses ||To shorten material without altering its meaning.|
|Confers ||To seek and compare views, opinions, and judgments with
others through discussions.|
|Confirms ||To assure the accuracy, consistency, or completeness
|Consolidates ||To bring together; to combine several into one.|
|Constructs ||To make or form by combining parts; to draw with suitable
instruments and under specified conditions.|
|Consults ||To give expert/definitive professional advice.|
|Controls ||To evaluate, verify, regulate, and/or be informed about
actions to the point of influencing or directing activities/functions
toward conformance with plans or desired results.|
|Converts ||To alter the physical or chemical nature of something.|
|Conveys ||To transfer by legal means ownership of property from
one individual to another.|
|Coordinates ||To guide, regulate, or adjust the interrelated and
interdependent activities of individuals or functions of a unit(s)
to facilitate a common action and to attain a common purpose or
|Copies ||To reproduce an original.|
|Corrects ||To eliminate error or defect.|
|Correlates ||To establish a direct or inverse relationship.|
|Corresponds ||To communicate with others in writing.|
|Counsels ||To provide advice, usually on one's own initiative, in
which a course of action is suggested or urged and some recourse
of follow-up is implied.|
|Counts ||To list or name, one by one, to find the total number of
|Creates ||To bring into existence; to produce through imaginative
|Debates ||To discuss and argue a question formally, and usually
|Decides ||To make up one's mind as to action, course, or judgment.|
|Defends ||To ward off something that actually threatens; to repel
something that actually attacks.|
|Defines ||To determine and state the limits and nature of; to give
the distinguishing characteristics of.|
|Delegates ||To designate with authority another to perform tasks
or duties which in turn may carry specific degrees of accountability
|Deliberates ||To consider carefully and thoroughly a matter with
abstract/complex variables to arrive at a conclusion.|
|Delivers ||To carry something to an intended destination.|
|Demonstrates ||To explain or make clear by using examples/experiments
or showing the operations of.|
|Describes ||To give an account in words that create a visual image
in the minds of others.|
|Designates ||To choose an incumbent or to detail a person to a certain
|Designs ||To conceive, create, and execute the form or shape of
a physical object or the method for doing something.|
|Destroys ||To completely tear down, do away with, or bring to an
|Detects ||To take notice of something by physical means (e.g. visual,
|Determines ||To fix conclusively or authoritatively the course,
character, functions, or scope of something.|
|Develops ||To expand or realize the potentialities of; to bring
gradually to a fuller, greater, or better state.|
|Devises ||To form in the mind by new combinations or applications
of ideas or principles; to invent.|
|Diagnoses ||To identify a disease, malfunction, or cause of disorder
by symptoms or distinguishing characteristics.|
|Digs ||To break and turn over or remove with a tool.|
|Directs ||To personally oversee, inspect, or guide the work of others,
with responsibility for ensuring certain standards of performance
|Disburses ||To pay out or distribute with authority.|
|Disciplines ||To penalize individuals or groups, whose behavior
is contrary to existing regulations; to establish habits of self-control.|
|Discovers ||To intentionally search for and acquire or find something
that already exists but is new to the discoverer.|
|Discusses ||To exchange views to arrive at a better understanding.|
|Dismantles ||To take apart or raze; to remove furniture or equipment.|
|Dispatches ||To send off or out.|
|Dispenses ||To give a carefully weighed or measured portion to each
of a group as a right or as to need.|
|Displays ||To show; to place before the views of others.|
|Disseminates ||To spread or disperse information or ideas.|
|Distributes ||To deal out portions or spread about units among a
number of recipients.|
|Drafts ||To prepare papers or documents in preliminary form for
clearance and approval by others.|
|Drives ||To start, stop, and control the movement or action of machines.|
|Dumps ||To empty out or unload in a heap or mass.|
|Duplicates ||To make a copy or reproduction through the use of machinery.|
|Edits ||To correct spelling, faulty phrasing, and imperfect punctuation,
and mark a manuscript to ready it for publication.|
|Elaborates ||To work out in detail; to give details.|
|Elects ||To vote for.|
|Eliminates ||To get rid of; to set aside as unimportant.|
|Employs ||To use or engage the services of; to provide a job with
|Encourages ||To inspire with spirit and hope.
|Endorses ||To support or recommend actively.
|Enlists ||To secure the support and aid of.
|Enters ||To write down in a record, diary, log, or list; to make
an entry of.
|Entertains ||To provide some activity or attraction that will give
pleasure or relieve monotony or boredom.
|Escorts ||To accompany another or others to give protection or to
watch over; to accompany as a courtesy or honor.
|Estimates ||To make a rough approximation of the size, extent, or
|Evaluates ||To judge reports, data, plans, or performances in relation
to established goals, policies, and standards; to compare critically
to a standard for suitability.
|Examines ||To look over closely to determine the condition, quality,
validity, or nature of.
|Exchanges ||To give or take one thing in return for another.
|Exercises ||To train by drills and maneuvers in order to strengthen
|Exhibits ||To put forward prominently or openly, either with the
express intention or with the results of attracting other's attention
|Experiments ||To undertake an action to discover something not yet
known or to demonstrate something known.
|Explains ||To make clear or easier to understand that which appears
vague, causeless, or inconsistent.
|Extracts ||To pull out by effort; to make a selection or quotation
of; to determine by calculation.
|Fabricates ||To build by assembling; to manufacture.
|Fastens ||To make secure by locking, shutting, buttoning; to fix
firmly in place.
|Feeds ||To move into a machine or opening in order to be used or
processed; to furnish with something essential for growth and
|Files ||To arrange in a methodical manner; to rub smooth or cut
away with a tool.
|Forecasts ||To predict or indicate a condition or event beforehand
as a result of rational study of available data.
|Formulates ||To prepare mentally a rough plan, policy, or procedure.
|Garners ||To gather and store in a granary.
|Gathers ||To bring materials together or accumulate.
|Gauges ||To assess a thing as authentic, good, or adequate or the
degree it is so in relation to a standard measure or scale.
|Generates ||To originate by a vital, chemical, or mechanical process.
|Governs ||To exercise continuous sovereign authority over.
|Grades ||To divide into groups based on ascending or descending
|Guards ||To watch over to keep safe from any potential attack or
|Guides ||To show the way or approach by applying intimate knowledge
or experience of the way or approach and of all its difficulties.
|Hauls ||To move by pulling or drawing; to transport by vehicle.
|Hires ||To engage the services of for a set sum.
|Hypothesizes ||To form a tentative assumption to test its logical
or empirical consequences.
|Identifies ||To recognize, acknowledge, or establish based on the
|Illustrates ||To make clear something which is difficult, abstract,
or remote from experience especially to use pictures or sketches
to make vivid or real what is being explained.
|Implements ||To carry out or into effect a plan, program, or operation.
|Imports ||To bring in from a foreign or external source.
|Improves ||To correct or advance something by supplying what it
lacks or wants.
|Indexes ||To classify information, usually by subject matter or
name to facilitate reference.
|Indicts ||To bring charges against an individual or organizations.
|Informs ||To make known; to call attention to.
|Innovates ||To exercise creativity in introducing something new
or in making changes.
|Inspects ||To search, through direct observations, for conditions
such as errors, defects, flaws, or shortcomings.
|Installs ||To establish in an indicated place, condition, or status;
to set up for use in service.
|Instructs ||To impart knowledge systematically.
|Interprets ||To explain meanings or intentions, not immediately
apparent to others, in light of individual judgment; to translate.
|Interviews ||To obtain facts or opinions through oral inquiry or
|Inventories ||To catalog; to count and list; to make an itemized
|Invents ||To create; to think up or imagine.
|Investigates ||To make a methodical, searching inquiry into a situation.
|Issues ||To put forth or to distribute officially.
|Itemizes ||To enumerate one after another; to set or note down in
|Joins ||To bring or put together.
|Judges ||To investigate and compare the evidence and merits of all
issues in a case and decide where the truth lies.
|Justifies ||To prove or show to be right or reasonable in light
of individual belief or facts.
|Leads ||To guide or direct others on a course or in the direction
of, without final responsibility for results achieved.
|Lifts ||To use effort to overcome the force of gravity.
|Loads ||To place in or on a means of conveyance.
|Locates ||To search for and find.
|Lubricates ||To apply a substance to machinery to reduce friction
|Manages ||To guide and coordinate worker activities and organizational
or program policies, rules, practices, methods, and standards.
|Manipulates ||To move, guide, or place objects or materials with
skill and dexterity.
|Manufactures ||To make or process raw material into a finished product.
|Maps ||To make a survey of for the purpose of representation.
|Matches ||To pair up or put into a set those items possessing equal
or harmonizing attributes.
|Measures ||To determine the quantity, mass, extent, or degree of
in terms of a standard unit or fixed amount.
|Mediates ||To interpose with parties to reconcile them; to reconcile
|Mends ||To repair; to restore to soundness that which is broken
|Mixes ||To combine or blend particles, parts, or elements into one.
|Modifies ||To limit or restrict the meaning of; to make minor changes
|Monitors ||To watch, observe, or check for a specific purpose.
|Motivates ||To stimulate the active interest or desire within someone
|Moves ||To go or transport from one point to another.
|Negotiates ||To confer with others for the purpose of reaching agreement.
|Notifies ||To send a formal notice giving required or pertinent
|Nullifies ||To make of no value or consequence; to cancel out.
|Observes ||To obtain data visually.
|Obtains ||To acquire or gain possession of.
|Opens ||To make available for entry or passage.
|Operates ||To start, stop, control, and adjust machinery or equipment.
|Organizes ||To take steps to set up the administrative structure
or functions of an office or process.
|Originates ||To bring into being; to initiate.
|Outlines ||To make a summary of the significant features of a subject.
|Overhauls ||To make repairs, adjustments needed to restore to good
|Oversees ||To watch; to monitor.
|Packages ||To wrap or box an item or group of items.
|Permits ||To consent to; to authorize.
|Persuades ||To induce others by argument or entreaty to accept a
belief or position; to prevail upon others to take a course of
|Picks up ||To collect or lift an object or material.
|Plans ||To devise a detailed means of course of action for attaining
|Posts ||To transfer or carry information from one record to another;
to display prominently.
|Predicts|| To foretell on the basis of observation, experience;
or scientific reason.
|Prescribes|| To recommend medical treatment with authority.
|Presents ||To lay as a charge before the court; to offer for view.
|Preserves ||To keep safe; to protect; to keep free from decay.
|Prevents|| To stop something from occurring; to take advance measures
|Procures ||To obtain possession of.
|Produces ||To grow; to make, bear, or yield something.
|Programs|| To arrange or work out a sequence of operations to be
performed by equipment or machinery.
|Promotes|| To advance to a higher level or position; to foster the
growth or development of.
|Proofreads|| To read copy of a printer's proof against the original
|Proposes|| To formulate and suggest for adoption.
|Pulls|| To cause to move in the direction toward the source of the
|Purchases|| To buy or procure by committing funds.
|Pushes ||To use force upon an object to move it away from the source
of the force.
|Quantifies|| To determine or express the amount of.
|Questions|| To interrogate; to inquire.
|Ranks|| To determine or assign the relative importance of data,
people, or things.
|Rates|| To determine the rank of in relation to others of the same
|Reaps ||To cut grain and pulse for harvest.
|Rebuilds|| To make extensive structural repairs.
|Recommends|| To suggest and support for adoption a course of action.
|Reconciles|| To adjust; to make congruous; to seek agreement.
|Records|| To set down in writing; to preserve in some permanent
|Reduces ||To narrow down; to diminish in size or amount.
|Refers|| To send or direct for aid, treatment, information, or decision.
|Refines|| To free from impurities, imperfections, or vulgarities;
to make more polished.
|Registers|| To enter in a record or list officially.
|Regulates|| To order or restrain by rule, method, or established
|Reinforces|| To strengthen with additional forces.
|Rejects|| To refuse to hear, receive, or admit.
|Releases|| To permit the publication or dissemination of.
|Remits|| To send money in payment of.
|Repairs|| To put into good or fitting order something that is injured.
|Replaces|| To provide a substitute for something now lost, gone,
or worn out.
|Reports|| To give an account, in detail, of facts and figures.
|Represents|| To foster general interest in, through speeches, and
consultation and contacts with individuals, groups, and constituencies.
|Rescinds|| To make void; to repeal; to abrogate a contract by restoring
|Rescues|| To free a person or animal from imminent danger by prompt
or vigorous action.
|Researches|| To perform a systematic, critical, intensive investigation
directed toward development of new or fuller knowledge of the
topic or issue studied.
|Resolves|| To decide to do or refrain from doing something; to take
|Retrieves ||To recover from a location where previously placed,
set, or thrown.
|Reviews ||To consider or to reexamine results for the purpose of
giving an opinion or approval.
|Revises ||To rework in order to correct or improve; to make a new,
improved, or up-to-date version.
|Rewards ||To give something in recompense for worthy behavior.
|Salvages|| To rescue or save (as from wreckage or ruin).
|Scans ||To survey from point to point in a cursory manner.
|Schedules|| To plan a timetable; to set specific time for.
|Scores|| To assign a numerical evaluation.
|Screens|| To examine for the purpose of separating one group.
|Seals|| To secure the contents of by closing with adhesive.
|Searches|| To systematically look over and through for the purpose
of finding an item.
|Selects ||To decide on one, or a few from several possibilities.
|Sells|| To give up property to another for money or other valuable
|Sends|| To dispatch by a means of communication; to convey.
|Serves ||To attend to the personal needs or requests of people.
|Services ||To make fit for use by providing maintenance, supplies,
repairs, or installations.
|Smells ||To acquire and examine the odor or scent with the nose.
|Solicits ||To approach with a request or plea; to strongly urge.
|Solves ||To answer a question or work out a problem.
|Sorts|| To group or categorize according to systematic relations
or common characteristics; to put in a definite place or rank
according to kind, class, or other category.
|Stacks ||To load or arrange in a somewhat orderly heap or pile.
|Stores|| To put away for future use; to deposit or receive for safe
|Studies|| To contemplate; to learn all the possibilities, applications,
variations, or relations of a subject before making plans and/or
|Submits|| To direct attention to something for consideration.
|Summarizes ||To present in a concise and compact manner.
|Supplies|| To provide space, equipment, material, and other non-financial
|Surveys ||To look at or consider in a general or comprehensive way;
to determine the location, form, or boundaries of by measuring
the lines and angles.
|Synthesizes|| To compose or combine parts or elements in order to
form a whole.
|Systematizes ||To arrange or make by the use of a method or orderly
|Tabulates|| To put in table form; to set up in columns, rows.
|Teaches ||To apply a guided process of assigned work, discipline,
direct study, and the presentation of examples to increase the
general knowledge of another person.
|Tends|| To start, stop, and monitor the functioning of machinery
|Testifies ||To provide oral or written testimony on facts known.
|Tests ||To put a thing to decisive proof by thorough examination
under controlled conditions.
|Totals ||To add up; to compute.
|Traces|| To copy as a drawing; to search for a lost item.
|Trades ||To give in exchange for another commodity; to make a purchase.
|Trains ||To develop a particular faculty or skill in others to bring
them up to a predetermined standard of work performance.
|Transacts ||To carry on or handle business in accordance with a
|Transcribes|| To transfer data from one form of record to another
or from one method of preparation to another, without changing
the nature of data.
Ambiguous Action Words
|Transfers ||To change from one mode of conveyance to another, or
from one depository to another.
|Translates|| To turn into one's own or another language.
|Transmits|| To transfer or send from one person or place to another;
to send out a signal either by radio waves or over a wire.
|Treats|| To give medical or surgical care; to subject to chemical
|Turns ||To make to rotate or revolve; to cause to move around so
as to effect a desired end (as locking, opening, shutting).
|Tutors|| To instruct on an individual basis and in a special subject
or for particular occasion or purpose.
|Types ||To write with a typewriter.
|Updates|| To make current with the most recent facts, methods, or
|Ushers ||To guide to a particular place.
|Washes ||To clean by means of water and/or other substances by dipping,
tumbling, or scrubbing.
|Waxes ||To rub, polish, cover, smear, or treat with a sealing substance.
|Weighs ||To determine the heaviness of an object.
|Writes ||To set down letters, words, sentences, or figures on paper
or other suitable material.
The following is short list of ambiguous, or imprecise, action words. While these words, if used in an appropriate context, may be used (such as "Endorses a check"), their use in duty statements should be avoided.
Appears (before a group)
Assumes Responsibility For
Carries Out (instructions)
Endorses (an idea)
Executes (an action)
In Cooperation With
Is In Charge Of
Is Responsible For
May (perform, serve, etc.)
Serves As (in a functional role)
Takes Necessary Action