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Keywording your CV

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Published: 18 March 2021

Student writing in a coffee shop

Writing a CV can be difficult. You’re aiming to advertise the very best of yourself and your work experience in as short a space as possible.

But knowing how to put together a great resume is the key to getting the interviews you want.

For one thing, many companies these days use software to find the words they most associate with a job.

If you’re hoping to work in Human Resources, you can bet their computers are looking for the term HR.

But let’s look a little deeper than the obvious word choices. Here are the five most important words to include in your CV whether you want to work in nursing, engineering or anything else.

1) Numbers

OK, strictly speaking, this is less of a word and more of a thing you should just include.

Demonstrate you get results by showing off some statistics. For example, rather than saying you’re amazing at marketing say, ‘I grew our Facebook audience by 20%’.

If you don’t have traditional work experience, talk about the impact you’ve had volunteering, like student society numbers for example.

2) Redesigned

Action words are really important in a CV, especially ones that indicate leadership and transformation.

Verbs like ‘redesign’ show the recruiter you have problem-solving skills, can think big and reduce processes.

It also implies you’re an independent worker that comes up with their own ideas – not bad for one little word!

3) Launched

Avoiding cliches is vital when putting your CV together. That’s simply because the person reading your resume has seen the same wording lots of times and it will lose its meaning for them.

Instead, rely on simple, easy to understand words like ‘launched’, ‘solved’, ‘transformed’ etc.

You want to show responsibility while not relying on phrases like ‘strong team-player' for example.

4) Modernised

This is a descriptive word to use in your CV. It shows you’re thinking about moving the company forward and being innovative.

All of that, for an employer, means more customers and greater revenue, plus an improved reputation in their industry.

Using a word like 'modernised’, ‘conceived’, or ‘metamorphosed’ starts to create a story around your work experience.

You’re not just saying you did the same thing for five years. You changed the company, improved it even.

5) Value/Valuable

The point of using these words is to demonstrate how you think – I.e., in terms of improving the business.

You could say ‘hard-working’ as an alternative, but hard work doesn’t always produce results.

Employers are looking for impact, so it’s what you need to show you have.

Writing an amazing CV isn’t just about the words you use, although they are important. It’s making sure that everything you say tells a story.

You’re trying to demonstrate who you are so employers can understand what it would be like to actually work with you.

More than that though, you need to show what you can do for them – recruiters are always looking for employees who can bring value to their organisation. 

Yes, you need to prove you can do the job in terms of your skills, but every candidate who applies will do that.

Find something extra to show off how amazing you are!

If you need help with your CV writing, please contact

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