• By Check-a-Salary
  • Posted Wednesday 17 th November 2021

Words to use in a CV

Your CV is supposed to inform an employer, recruiter, or hiring manager who you are, what you offer as an employee, and your career goals and aspirations. Your words tell your story and will either captivate the reader and produce an interview request or disenchant the reader and see your CV put through the shredder.

It is therefore crucial that you use the right words in your CV. The best words and phrases sell you as a professional and match the skills the employer desires. Suppose you struggle to find powerful words to describe yourself, wish to avoid using words unnecessarily, and avoid words readers won’t understand or have an unintended negative connotation. In that case, this article provides the career advice you need.

Good to words to use in a CV

You can leverage this first set of words to use in a CV to describe yourself or your achievements. All of these are positive words, and you should prioritise them by reading the recruiter’s job description and identifying those the employer is seeking.

We provide an example of how you can include each word in your CV:


I solve problems with a creative approach that results in…


I have experience working independently and as part of a team, achieving…


I am flexible in my availability, able to work on national holidays or during weekends.


I am motivated to help customers find the best services and products.


I am reliable and always arrive at work ahead of my scheduled start time.


I have an energetic personality that lifts the office atmosphere and motivates others into…


I am motivated to help co-workers learn new skills in…


I like to participate in training sessions by actively…


By resolving customer complaints, I helped the company achieve a 23% increase in…


I utilise my organisational skills to manage multiple projects simultaneously.


By auditing contracts at the end of each day, I reduced compliance issues saving the company…


My commercial knowledge helps me converse with business partners and build…


My colleagues describe me as an inspirational coach who has helped them…


I have been able to maintain consistent results throughout…


I mentor junior individuals by passing on advice about…


I have increased sales by 20% by taking a versatile approach to…


I am very personable and enjoy working in…


By sharing past experiences, I enthuse co-workers to…


I can articulate complex data to help non-technical team members…


I am trustworthy and honest, counting contributions made to the charity during…

Key words to use in a CV

Recruiters always have a checklist of skills individuals will need to fulfill the job’s role, responsibilities, and duties. These CV key words might reflect a professional or personal attribute or resemble a technical skill.

Employers may scan your CV to see if you possess these skills. Recruiters may search CV databases or professional networking sites, such as LinkedIn to find appropriate candidates.

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is the most-searched-for CV phrase, with database proficiency a core part of many roles across all industries.

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office comes in second, and this is not surprising because it is the software suite that includes Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, and other software.


Employers always want an individual who can work as part of a team. If you have not worked in a team, consider examples when you collaborated on a project, communicated with another department, or participated in group training or classroom activities.

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is a word processor, and you may have used it to write business proposals, a letter, or a CV.

Customer Service

Customer service is a core communication skill and vital in any profession where you speak to clients, partners, or suppliers.

Problem Solving

You can quantify your problem-solving skills by describing an issue or challenge, how you overcame it, and the result.

Microsoft PowerPoint

Microsoft PowerPoint is presentation software that can be leveraged in meetings, training sessions, reporting, and pitching.

Time Management

You can show your time management skills by discussing task prioritisation or working to deadlines.

Communication Skills

You can pair communication skills with a proficiency such as customer service, Microsoft Office, or email.

Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Outlook is the default email client for Windows PCs and laptops.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills can be expressed through instances of communicating with a team, co-worker, or customer.

Organisational Skills

Organisational skills can be described through multi-taking, prioritisation, productivity, and performance.

Project Management

You can demonstrate project management on your CV by exploring times you led a team or oversaw a project through to completion, mentioning the result.


You can provide evidence of your sales skills by writing about hitting targets, cross-selling, achieving a high mystery shopper score, or helping clients understand product features and benefits.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is core proficiency if you wish to secure a creative position such as web developer, designer, photographer, or graphic artist.

Helping and Advising Customers

Helping and advising customers can appear on your CV and be proven through sales results, customer satisfaction figures, or customer feedback.

Working Independently

Just as important as teamwork is the ability to work independently, use your initiative, and solve problems.


You can show off your multitasking skills on your CV by exploring topics such as organisation, prioritisation, and project management.

Microsoft Access

Microsoft Access is an Office 365 database management system. The tool is used for creating and sharing apps without developer-level skills.

Team Building

Team building goes beyond working in a team and can be used to express how you have influenced, led, or motivated co-workers or subordinates.

Negotiation Skills

Negotiation skills can be demonstrated through occasions when you achieved a better outcome or resolved an issue using effective communication.

Words not to use in a CV

Now we have identified words that will help you secure a job interview; we must look at those to avoid, lest they ruin all your hard work:


Authoritative is too dominant a word and conjures aggressive or dictatorship images. Leadership is an excellent alternative.


Seasoned may make you sound like you are in the latter years of your career, and outdated phrases are sure to put off an employer.


If you use detail-orientated in your resume, you will need to be extremely careful of grammatical errors in your CV, or you will prove that you are not.


Passionate appears so frequently on CVs that its impact is lost and may not stand you apart from other candidates. An excellent alternative is fulfilling.


Results-driven can sound a bit cold, and individuals that feel they have a purpose and an interest in personal development will appear more attractive to recruiters.


Overused and contrived, team-player can be replaced with phrases such as enjoying working in a collaborative atmosphere.

Track Record

Your CV should speak to your track record, so using the phrase adds little value.


It would help if you replaced blanket statements such as hard-worker with a description that demonstrates the achievements of your hard work.

Best words to use in a CV

The best words to use in a CV are relevant to the job you are applying for. Relevancy will undoubtedly change from job-to-job and company-to-company, so tailor each CV and weave the key words into the personal statement, education, job history, hobbies, and skills section of your CV.

CV template examples

If you are still finding it hard to put together an effective CV, you can view our CV templates for your career:


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