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Powerful Vocab To Use On Your CV

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Tips And Advice

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Your CV is your first contact with a recruiter and hiring manager – think of it as the crow bar to open the door ajar before sticking your excellent interview performance and personality through the gap to open it up. So how can you use the wording on your CV to give you an edge?


For a document all about ‘what you did’, your verb choice is key. It is easy to repeat words like ‘ran’ or ‘made’, which kind of say what you did, but don’t sell it.

‘Increased’, ‘created’, ‘improved’, ‘implemented’ are all better alternatives. The biggest benefit with using different verbs is that it keeps your mind focused on your successes not just your actions. There is a big difference between ‘I ran the CRM system’ to ‘I increased repeat custom by 20% through the existing CRM system’. 


CVs aren’t the place for sweeping, elegant prose. Bullet points are king in today’s scan-reading society. Cut out any phrases that don’t say anything; trust us, you’re not alone in being able to work well whether alone or in a team. Anything that doesn’t relate directly to your personal experience and soft skills is just wasting space.


Many employers will be looking out for certain buzzwords. Read the job ad thoroughly and make sure you highlight anything that it mentions. 
For example:

  • Specific systems – Magento, Salesforce

  • Training qualifications – CIM, IDM

  • Languages

  • Awards

  • Sectors/markets – B2B/B2C, travel, luxury

What to avoid

Bin the clichés. ‘Excellent communication skills’, ‘motivated’, ‘multi-tasker’. These phrases have been used so much in the history of CV-writing that they no longer really mean anything – plus they mark you out as unoriginal and uncreative. Go for more creative adverbs that are actually about you: ‘practical’, ‘dilligent’, ‘analytical, ‘consistent’.

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