CV and Resume Words That Work and do not Work

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Resume Words by Candidate Tips

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To provide impact on your CV, use an action word at the beginning of each sentence. The following list will help you. These CV and Resume words are based on research and will help you construct your sentences and bullet points.

Research Powerful CV and Resume Words

Overcame Enlarged Referred Delivered Analysed
Served Reduced Produced Negotiated Conducted
Networked Headed Won Observed Sold
Trained Studied Completed Assisted Improved
Designed Accomplished Consulted Consolidated Increased
Ordered Evaluated Trained Invented Calculated
Supplied Diagnosed Identified Maintained Examined
Performed Administered Constructed Advised Processed
Controlled Restored Reviewed Translated Formulated
Improved Rewarded Tested Represented Oversaw
Promoted Obtained Installed Recorded Programmed
Operated Instructed Audited Coached Coordinated
Organised Received Researched Implemented Expanded
Presented Devised Selected Prepared Directed
Recommended Managed Distributed Eliminated Provided
Conserved Developed Collected Acquired Simplified
Wrote Delivered Instructed Founded Created
Demonstrated Leveraged Led Planned Compiled

Really powerful CV and Resume Words that Work

The list below contains the researched CV and Resume words that are most appealing for employers. Use these wherever possible:

Effectively Efficiently Decisively Successfully Creatively
Competently Positively Energetically Enthusiastically Responsibly
Quickly Patiently Resourcefully Flexibly Carefully

 

Things to Avoid in Your CV or Resume

  1. Anything that is overly technical. We understand that if you are a scientist or engineer, your world is based on technical terminology.
    Anything that is too personal. Stating your children’s names and ages, telling the odd joke that requires someone in the know to understand it, a photograph of you, and being negative about previous employers all fall into this category.
    Now think about it from those screening your CV. Your very best scenario is a technical recruiter. However, even for this group, the breadth of technical language across disciplines is way beyond any individual understanding the meaning of all discipline based technical language. What’s worse, it is more likely that it will be a generalist recruiter either in-house or agency and may have no technical knowledge. Just soften the language and make it understandable.
  2. Anything that is too personal. Stating your children’s names and ages, telling the odd joke that requires someone in the know to understand it, a photograph of you, and being negative about previous employers all fall into this category. And, yes, people do all of these things.
  3. Stating ‘how’ you achieved something. If you are stating how, why should they invite you for interview – you already told them the story. If you say how you did something, the chances are that you are being overly detailed in your content. That takes up too much room and you may well end up on the ‘read later’ pile (which will end up in the reject pile due to time constraints).
  4. Anything that could be subjectively interpreted. This cuts across CV and resume words used.  Age, marital status, ethnicity/religion, outside commitments, and certain hobbies and interests fall into this category. When you are stating your hobbies and interests, think if anyone could possibly interpret this negatively. Obvious ones include fishing and hunting, social nights out, and high risk sports. All of these can be negatively of subjectively interpreted.
  5. Too many words. Every country has an informal standard for a resume or a  CV. Too many words breaks the expected length. Keep within expectations or you will go the dreaded ‘read later’ pile. And we all know that from the pressures recruiters are under what happens to the read later pile.
  6. Typing errors. Okay, these may not be important to you, but the chances are that the person reading it has an eye for detail. Typing errors will eliminate you from the process.

Although CV and resume words are important, if you follow these general rules, you CV will glow and you will increase your chances of getting that perfect role.

To move on with this pathway, click here for the cover letter template.

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