When producing a CV, every word counts. But verbs are arguably the most significant. A verb is a doing word, demonstrating to a potential employer exactly what you can do and how you match their criteria. Space is a commodity in your CV, so using words that are impactful and engage an employer is essential. Here are the top 10 verbs you should be adding to your CV, if you want to stand out and land job interviews.
You may think that if you’re not applying for senior positions, management skills aren’t a requirement. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Management expands way beyond managing other employees.
Provide examples of how you have managed projects, stakeholders, workloads or even your own time during school or university. Using the word “managed” to demonstrate your ability to take ownership of your responsibilities.
All employers are looking for candidates who can add value to their business. Showcase how you have delivered and achieved results. This could be targets such as sales or cost reductions or alternatively the completion of projects. It could also be the delivery of coursework or high exam results.
To improve means “to make or become better” so it’s clear to see why employers like to see this verb on CVs. This could be shown in two ways, how you improved your personal performance or how you brought about a positive change within a previous employer. Include metrics to verify your highlighted contributions, for example: “Improved call waiting times resulting in a 40% increase in customer satisfaction."
Reduction doesn’t always have to be a negative term, especially when linked to an organisation's limited resources. Reference any input you’ve had in terms of costs or time saved that benefitted a previous employer.
This isn’t a word just for salespeople; negotiation can actually be used across a broad range of jobs and industries. When you write your CV, reflect on occasions where you negotiated a better deal with a supplier or a better service from a contractor – or even negotiated a bigger budget for a university project.
Planning is a critical skill in any role. Whether planning individual tasks or on a larger scale such as planning employee schedules. Add examples that portray how you prepared and planned for a variety of eventualities in school and extracurricular work.
Although your CV should represent your individual accomplishments, it’s vital to reflect on how you can support teams to achieve group results. Teamwork is an indispensable skill, demonstrate how you’ve supported classmates, teachers or employers to overcome problems or achieve specific outcomes.
Employers are always looking for candidates that can share their knowledge to develop the wider team. Showcasing your ability to train others in your CV will not only portray your expertise in a field but also show your willingness to support others.
Problem-solving is an asset in any business, and your education should hold many examples of solutions you have provided when issues have arisen. Whether you have previously resolved complex problems, complaints or issues with company processes at work, bring these to the recruiter’s attention in your CV.
Engage a recruiter by documenting your ability to present information effectively through public speaking, customer interaction in the workplace or presenting findings within a classroom. Communication and presentation skills are hugely beneficial to employers across a wide range of roles.
Andrew Fennell is a former recruiter and founder of StandOut CV – a leading resource centre for CV writing, job search and interview advice.
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