90 of the best CV buzzwords to make your CV stand out
Updated 21 July 2023
Potential employers and recruitment agents usually receive countless job applications for job postings, making it more difficult for a candidate's application to stand out. One way to differentiate a CV is by using buzzwords. By learning a list of professional buzzwords, you can highlight your CV and increase your possibilities to get the job opening. In this article, we explore what CV buzzwords are, provide 90 buzzwords you can use to highlight your CV and review 13 buzzwords you may want to avoid including in your CV.
What are CV buzzwords?
CV buzzwords are keywords that differentiate your CV, making your application more relevant to potential employers. You can achieve this by using key terms to attract the attention of recruiters and hiring managers. You may have all or more of the skills and traits required for a job, but potential employers and recruitment agents typically receive large amounts of applications for jobs. It's important that you differentiate your CV from other applicants if you have the same qualifications and experience. One thing that can set you apart is a well-worded CV with the right buzzwords.
While there is no correct answer to the number of buzzwords to include in your CV, you want to make sure that you include those that can highlight your capabilities. The best buzzwords to use for your CV are the ones that describe your abilities and experience. This may include those that can answer these two questions:
What can you do for the organisation?
What can you do better than other job applicants?
90 CV buzzwords to improve your CV
Here is a list of the 90 best CV buzzwords that you might want to include in your CV. These keywords may help you improve your next job application:
Communication is an important skill in most jobs. By highlighting your ability to communicate in your CV, you may attract the attention of the hiring manager. Here are is a list of 10 communication buzzwords:
Related: How long should a CV be?
Leadership and team management buzzwords
If you have any leadership and team management experience that you might like to highlight, then these buzzwords may help you:
Related: What to include in your CV
Project management buzzwords
These buzzwords may help you emphasise your project management skills and experience:
The below buzzwords can be perfect for helping you underline your creativity skills:
These buzzwords can be excellent to use when communicating how you performed in your previous roles:
Showing potential employers how you can be a valuable contribution to their company is essential. These buzzwords may help you achieve this goal:
If any of your work experience involves research, then these buzzwords may help you emphasise this feature:
Company improvement buzzwords
By underlining how you can improve the company's performance, you can enhance your chances of getting a position. You can follow these buzzwords to explain how you can improve the company:
Consider these buzzwords to emphasise your professional and educational achievements:
Related: CV objectives: tips and examples
Buzzwords to avoid in your CV and suggested replacements
Some buzzwords may not have quite the impact you thought they might have on your CV. Here are some of these buzzwords with explanations provided and suggested replacements:
Typically, a hard worker refers to an engaged employee who is diligent in labouring. Instead of using this word, you can provide examples of previous experiences of how you worked beyond your duties to help a former employer achieve a goal. You can include a better buzzword, such as 'motivated' or 'achieved'.
Outside the box
This phrase is a cliche and can produce disinterest in potential employers. It means to think differently and from a new perspective. As a substitute, you can include buzzwords, such as 'created', 'pioneered' or 'devised'.
You can be good at a particular skill, but that doesn't mean you can label yourself as an expert. Experts can show their abilities without labelling themselves as experts. You can opt to mention you have exceptional skills at something or total dominance over certain soft or technical abilities. You can include buzzwords such as 'delivered' or 'advanced'.
When using the term 'team player', this does not provide any insight to the potential employer or recruitment agent about the type of person you actually are. You can be an excellent team leader, but you may also be someone who excels in following tasks. It can be beneficial to illustrate your teamwork capabilities with buzzwords such as 'managed' or 'facilitated'.
Stating you are results-driven without showing results may not provide much affirmation to the potential employer or recruitment agent. If you truly are results-driven, you can be able to show this with previous experience. An employee with this characteristic can build strength and sympathy within colleagues based on their ability to complete tasks and achieve goals. You can illustrate your ability by using buzzwords such as 'resolved', 'outperformed' or 'exceeded'.
If you require telling the hiring manager how communicative you can be, maybe this can produce the opposite result. To highlight your communication abilities, you may prefer to demonstrate them by using examples, experiences and accomplishments. You can provide previous examples of how your communication skills led to specific positive outcomes using buzzwords, such as 'illustrated' or 'conveyed'.
It's best to be straightforward instead of vague in your CV. That's why it can be beneficial to avoid using the term 'responsible'. This word provides your potential employer or recruitment agent with very little information regarding exactly what role you played. Responsibility means completing your tasks and duties at your workplace. You can be specific about the level of responsibility you had by using buzzwords such as 'directed', 'managed' or 'coordinated'.
If you are an experienced job applicant, then there might be no need for you to say that you are. Instead, your CV can explain by itself your level of experience and expertise. To do this, you can highlight your experiences at previous workplaces and the accomplishments you reached there. Experience means knowledge on a particular subject gained by having done a job consistently for years. Rather than 'experienced', you can elaborate on practical examples of your experience and use the buzzwords 'completed' or 'attained'.
The entitlement of self-motivation is your own evaluation. It's unlikely to convince your potential employer or recruitment agent of how motivated you are. Rather, you can use examples of previous experience and achievements and use buzzwords such as 'demonstrated' or 'outperformed'.
This is a vague term that doesn't provide much information to your potential employer or recruitment agent about your management capabilities. Synergy refers to the collaboration and interaction of two or more groups within a company or organisation to accomplish a greater goal that you cannot achieve individually. You can describe your management experience using buzzwords such as 'coordinated'.
Worked with or on
Mentioning that you worked on a project does not provide much information to your potential employer or recruitment agent about what your role was. It can be beneficial to explain your role in any accomplishment you want to include in your CV. You can elaborate on what your role was and make use of keywords such as 'designed' or 'established'.
Using 'oversaw' does not specifically say what you did in a role and what your involvement was. This actually may hint to the reader that you weren't actively taking part in the project. Rather, you can describe your leadership or management using buzzwords such as 'managed', 'guided' or 'organised'.
Attention to detail
Saying that you have good attention to detail is not specific and does not provide much information to the reader. Attention to detail refers to your capability to pay attention and be accurate when accomplishing a task. To highlight this skill, you can illustrate that you are detail-orientated by providing examples and using buzzwords such as 'analysed', 'investigated' or quantified.
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