Words to use in a CV

Check out the comprehensive list of words to include in your CV to make sure your application gets noticed. Go through detailed tips and hints on words to use in specific sections of your CV.

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By Jagoda Obszarska, Senior Content Editor, TranslatorLast Updated: April 1, 2024
words to use in a cv

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In today’s increasingly competitive job market, a well-prepared CV is critical to attracting the interest of recruiters and getting your dream job. However, in order to get through the CV prescreening system and stand out from the competition, it is essential to skilfully use the right words in the different sections of your document. In this article, you will find detailed tips and suggestions on words to use in your personal statement and descriptions of responsibilities and achievements in your work history and education. Check out how to write your personal statement, responsibilities and achievements in your work history and education in order to successfully pass the CV pre-selection system and get recruiters interested in your application.

Including relevant keywords in a CV can help:

  • Understand the candidate’s profile: Keywords allow the employer to quickly understand what the candidate’s core competencies and work experience are. This helps in scanning the CV and verifying that the person meets the requirements of the position.

  • Search for candidates: Some companies use ATS (Automated Tracking Systems) that scan CVs for specific keywords. Including the right keywords increases the chances that the CV will be noticed by such systems and reach the recruiter’s desk.

  • Matching the job requirements: Using keywords that match the requirements of the job advert shows the employer that the candidate has the experience and skills needed for the job.

  • Stand out: Adding relevant keywords can help your CV stand out from other applications, especially if they include specific terms and phrases related to your industry or profession.

However, it is worth exercising restraint and not using too many keywords in your CV, as this can introduce chaos and make the document harder to read. Keywords should be used in appropriate contexts so that the phrases are understandable and adequately highlight the candidate’s skills and experience. It is also advisable to tailor the CV to each specific job offer, so as to incorporate the keywords from the advertisement and show what competencies and experience are most relevant to the employer.

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Words to use in a Personal Statement

Crafting a compelling personal statement is a crucial step towards securing your dream job or gaining admission to the desired educational institution. It serves as an introduction to your application, giving an overview of your professional profile, experience and aspirations. Using impactful adjectives can help you stand out and make a strong impression on potential employers. If you want it to have the intended impact, consider using the following words in your CV:

  • Ambitious: Demonstrates your determination to achieve your goals and succeed.


    An ambitious marketing professional with a drive to lead impactful campaigns that yield exceptional results.

  • Dynamic: Highlights your energy and ability to adapt to various situations.


    A dynamic team player, adept at adapting to fast-paced environments and collaborating effectively with diverse colleagues.

  • Innovative: Illustrates your creativity and ability to think outside the box.


    An innovative software developer, constantly seeking inventive solutions to optimize user experiences.

  • Resourceful: Emphasises your ability to find solutions and overcome challenges.


    A resourceful project manager who excels in finding creative solutions to complex challenges.

  • Results-driven: Indicates your focus on achieving tangible outcomes.


    A results-driven sales executive, consistently surpassing targets and exceeding expectations.

  • Resilient: Showcases your ability to bounce back from setbacks and persevere.


    A resilient entrepreneur, embracing challenges as opportunities for growth and learning.

  • Motivated: Illustrates your enthusiasm and passion for your work.


    A motivated educator, passionate about inspiring students to excel in their academic journey.

  • Adaptable: Emphasises your flexibility and ability to adjust to new circumstances.


    An adaptable HR professional, skilled in navigating change and building cohesive teams.

  • Proactive: Demonstrates your inclination to take initiative and anticipate needs.


    A proactive customer service representative, anticipating customer needs and ensuring utmost satisfaction.

  • Collaborative: Highlights your ability to work well with others and foster teamwork.


    A collaborative healthcare professional, committed to working with colleagues to deliver top-notch patient care.

  • Analytical: Indicates your strong problem-solving and critical thinking skills.


    An analytical data scientist, proficient in extracting valuable insights from complex datasets.

  • Detail-oriented: Illustrates your meticulousness and attention to accuracy.


    A detail-oriented graphic designer, dedicated to delivering polished and visually striking designs.

  • Communicative: Emphasises your strong communication and interpersonal skills.


    A communicative PR specialist, adept at building strong relationships with clients and the media.

  • Organised: Demonstrates your ability to manage tasks efficiently and effectively.


    An organised event planner, orchestrating seamless and memorable occasions for clients.

  • Influential: Indicates your capacity to persuade and make a positive impact.


    An influential public speaker, empowering audiences with inspiring and thought-provoking messages.

  • Goal-oriented: Highlights your focus on achieving specific objectives.


    A goal-oriented project coordinator, driven to achieve project milestones with precision.

  • Confident: Illustrates your self-assurance and belief in your abilities.


    A confident consultant, offering expert advice and solutions to clients with assurance.

  • Versatile: Emphasises your ability to handle various responsibilities and roles.


    A versatile administrative assistant, adept at managing multiple tasks and responsibilities with ease.

  • Forward-thinking: Demonstrates your ability to anticipate future trends and needs.


    A forward-thinking engineer, envisioning and implementing sustainable solutions for the future.

  • Empathetic: Indicates your capacity to understand and connect with others.


    An empathetic social worker, committed to understanding and supporting individuals facing challenges.

Words to use in your employment history

Writing an impactful work history section is crucial in making your CV stand out to potential employers.

Instead of just listing jobs and positions held, list your responsibilities and most important achievements in bullet points under each entry. By highlighting your accomplishments, employers can quickly see the value you bring to their organisation. This approach is especially impactful if you have achieved significant results in various roles and experiences. It allows hiring managers to easily recognise your potential contributions and strengths, making a strong impression during the application process.

  • Achieved
  • Managed
  • Implemented
  • Led
  • Generated
  • Improved
  • Developed
  • Coordinated
  • Resolved
  • Streamlined
  • Collaborated
  • Innovated
  • Negotiated
  • Spearheaded
  • Revamped
  • Mentored
  • Exceeded
  • Initiated
  • Optimised
  • Trained
  • Executed
  • Championed
  • Instituted
  • Influenced
  • Solved
  • Consolidated
  • Pioneered
  • Standardised
  • Motivated
  • Headed
  • Diversified
  • Modernised
  • Orchestrated
  • Accelerated
  • Sustained
  • Launched
  • Supervised
  • Empowered
  • Maximized
  • Researched
  • Analysed
  • Communicated
  • Rebranded
  • Redesigned
  • Secured
  • Cultivated
  • Implemented
  • Researched
  • Chaired
  • Spearheaded

See MoreSee Less

Examples of work history sections with strong action verbs

Example 1

Marketing Manager | Marketing Solutions | London, UK | Jan 2021 – Present

  • Spearheaded innovative marketing campaigns that generated a 30% increase in customer acquisition.
  • Collaborated with cross-functional teams to streamline processes and improve efficiency.
  • Developed and executed a successful social media strategy, leading to a 50% increase in brand engagement.

Example 2

Project Coordinator | Modern Construction | Manchester, UK | Jul 2021 – Dec 2022

  • Managed and coordinated multiple construction projects, ensuring timely delivery and client satisfaction.
  • Implemented new project management software, which streamlined communication and increased productivity by 20%.
  • Resolved project-related issues promptly, maintaining positive relationships with stakeholders.

Example 3

Sales Representative | Future&Us | Birmingham, UK | Mar 2019 – Sep 2023

  • Exceeded quarterly sales targets consistently, achieving a 25% increase in revenue.
  • Negotiated favourable contracts with key clients, resulting in a 15% increase in customer retention.
  • Trained and mentored new sales team members, enhancing their sales performance by 20%.

Example 4

IT Support Specialist | Bright Tech Solutions | Edinburgh, UK | Apr 2018 – Jun 2022

  • Implemented IT security measures that optimised data protection and reduced security breaches by 30%.
  • Orchestrated the successful launch of a new helpdesk system, improving response times by 40%.
  • Analysed and solved complex technical issues, earning praise from clients for effective problem-solving.

Example 5

Operations Manager | Easy Logistics | Glasgow, UK | Jan 2017 – Mar 2022

  • Consolidated and standardised warehouse processes, resulting in a 25% increase in operational efficiency.
  • Headed a team of 15 staff, fostering a motivated and cohesive work environment.
  • Initiated cost-saving measures that reduced expenses by 20% without compromising quality.

Words to describe skills

The skills listed on a CV speak volumes about a candidate’s abilities, qualifications and suitability for the role. When potential employers or recruiters review a candidate’s CV, the skills section provides valuable insight into the candidate’s strengths and potential contributions. Take a good look at the job posting you want to respond to and use the same wording that the employer uses.

There are many ways to describe the same groups of skills. Check the examples below:

  1. Technical Skills: Specific skills related to using tools, software, or equipment, like programming, graphic design or network administration.

    • Proficient
    • Skilful
    • Competent
    • Experienced
    • Knowledgeable
    • Trained
    • Certified
    • Expert
  2. Communication Skills: Skills necessary to convey information clearly and effectively.

    • Articulate
    • Fluent
    • Persuasive
    • Concise
    • Effective
    • Expressive
    • Collaborative
    • Listener
  3. Leadership Skills: Skills related to guiding and motivating others.

    • Decisive
    • Visionary
    • Inspiring
    • Influential
    • Empowering
    • Strategic
    • Mentoring
    • Delegating
  4. Problem-Solving Skills: Skills needed to identify and solve challenges.

    • Analytical
    • Innovative
    • Resourceful
    • Logical
    • Critical
    • Adaptable
    • Proactive
    • Systematic
  5. Organisational Skills: Skills that involve time management and coordination.

    • Efficient
    • Organised
    • Detail-oriented
    • Time-sensitive
    • Prioritising
    • Multitasking
    • Methodical
    • Planning
  6. Teamwork Skills: Skills that facilitate collaboration and cooperation.

    • Cooperative
    • Supportive
    • Reliable
    • Flexible
    • Respectful
    • Contributive
    • Empathetic
    • Communicative
  7. Creativity Skills: Skills related to generating new ideas and solutions.

    • Imaginative
    • Innovative
    • Original
    • Artistic
    • Inventive
    • Visionary
    • Open-minded
    • Problem-solving
  8. Interpersonal Skills: Skills that help to interact with others.

    • Personable
    • Approachable
    • Empathetic
    • Diplomatic
    • Tactful
    • Friendly
    • Confident
    • Collaborative
  9. Adaptability Skills: Skills that promote adjusting to new situations and changes.

    • Flexible
    • Resilient
    • Versatile
    • Open-minded
    • Adaptable
    • Resourceful
    • Quick learner
    • Versed
  10. Numeracy Skills: Skills related to working with numbers and data.

    • Mathematical
    • Analytical
    • Statistical
    • Numerical
    • Financial
    • Quantitative
    • Data-driven
    • Problem-solving

How to use power words in a CV

good words to use in a cv


Choose your power words wisely

Start by identifying the essential skills, achievements and qualities related to the position you are applying for. Read the job description to understand the employer's requirements and priorities. From there, select keywords that align with these qualifications.


Expand on your employment history by adding strong bullet points

When listing your job duties and achievements, start each bullet point with a strong action verb.

"Managed a multi-tasking team of 12 employees which led to meeting project milestones ahead of schedule."


Quantify your achievements

Use numbers to add credibility and context to your achievements. Wherever possible, use powerful words to quantify your achievements.

"Generated £500,000 in sales revenue in the first quarter of 2023".


Highlight your leadership and problem-solving skills

Use powerful adjectives to highlight your leadership skills and proactive approach to problem-solving.

"Led the implementation of a training programme for new employees, which resulted in a 40% improvement in implementation efficiency".


Present achievements, not just responsibilities

Although it is important to outline your professional responsibilities, make sure to focus on highlighting your achievements

"Achieved a 35% increase in website traffic through strategic content marketing initiatives".


Ensure transparency and consistency

After integrating power words, review your CV with care to ensure a smooth flow and lasting clarity. Avoid overloading your CV with too many power words to make sure it's clear and easy to read.

Example of a strong CV

Check this example of a strong CV for a foreign language teacher

Mary James

4 Covington Close
London WC2 4TF

Professional summary

Fluent Chinese Teacher with extensive experience developing confident, competent students. Devised innovative learning programmes and materials to meet requirements. Built outstanding rapport with learners for improved engagement and attainment.

Work history

August 2021 - Current
Wells International School - London
Chinese Teacher

  • Researched teaching methods, advising colleagues on interesting findings.
  • Prepared students to take official exams, achieving high success rate.
  • Provided engaging educational resources to broaden student learning tools.
  • Adapted teaching styles and resources to suit student age and ability.

August 2017 - July 2021
Bainbridge Academy - London
Chinese Teacher

  • Implemented practical and theoretical lessons in Chinese studies.
  • Related course material to students' interests, preferences and experiences.
  • Established positive, productive classroom environments for maximised student engagement.
  • Spoke clearly and concisely for optimised student comprehension.


  • Lesson design
  • Voice control
  • Language immersion
  • Accent coaching
  • Chinese literature
  • Calligraphy proficiency
  • Verbal communication
  • Lesson Planning
  • Learning style assessment
  • Curriculum Development


Chinese (Cantonese) Fluent

Chinese (Mandarin) Fluent


London University London
Bachelor of Arts Chinese Language Education

Words to use in a CV - Takeaways

  • Now that you know all about the words to use in a CV, check this brief summary to make sure you don’t leave anything out.

  • Power words (action verbs) are essential to creating an impressive CV, and supplementing your application with keywords helps employers quickly identify your key competencies and qualifications.

  • Including the right keywords can optimise your CV for applicant tracking systems (ATS) and impress recruiters. Check CV examples to get a grip of it.

  • An attractive CV presents your profile and sets the tone. Effective adjectives express ambition, innovation, resourcefulness and other qualities.

  • Tailor your CV to each application to make a good first impression.

  • Power words quantify achievements and demonstrate leadership, problem-solving and adaptability.

  • Presenting achievements alongside responsibilities makes your employment story compelling.

  • Choose precise words to describe your skills.

  • Categories include technical skills, communication skills, leadership skills, problem-solving skills and more.

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Jagoda Obszarska

Senior Content Editor, SEO Content Writer

Meet Jagoda Obszarska – a certified copywriter, Polish language translator, and seasoned career adviser. Thriving on constant self-improvement, she eagerly stays ahead in her field. With a rich background working with individuals from over 50 countries, Jagoda has successfully completed more than a thousand projects in copywriting and translation.

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