Best 193 CV Power Words
Have you heard of CV Power Words?
Coached… Designed… Developed…
It seems to be the ‘next hot item’ in recruitment land…
But do you know HOW to use them and WHY you should use them?
When used cleverly, power words can make your CV so much stronger.
Highlighting your abilities… cutting the fluff… avoiding a passive voice…
But you know what…
Nobody talks about the stuff that really matters…
How you can use CV Power Words to provide PROOF of the most desired qualities among recruiters.
Think about ‘leadership’, being a ‘team player’ or being a ‘hard worker’.
Nowadays, everyone is ‘hard-working’ and ‘motivated’ in their CV…
Those are meaningless statements unless backed up with proof.
CV Power Words enables you to highlight specific actions that relate to these ’hard-working’ or ‘leadership’ abilities, giving EVIDENCE of those qualities without sound so.
Why you should use CV Power Words…
Imagine a recruiter scanning his 150th CV of the day… and every job description is like ’was responsible for…’, ‘duties included…’, ‘led…’.
Boring boring boring.
These words lost their meaning as recruiters have seen them hundreds of times. Almost every CV bullet point starts like that.
Making it even worse, people tend to list over 10 different responsibilities the recruiter doesn’t even care about. But that’s for another article… (Here’s how to write effective job descriptions).
Now take a CV power word.
As recruiters scan your CV for only 20 seconds, these are the words that will stand out, demonstrating specific actions that are (or should be) aligned with what the company seeks.
On average 60% of the words on a CV doesn’t add value.
Power words eliminate those empty words and forces you to focus on specific actions that demonstrate WHY you are the appropriate hire, making your CV compact and powerful.
Instead of empty statements like ‘good communicator’, ‘great team player’ or ‘amazing leadership skills’, you state SPECIFIC actions, giving EVIDENCE of those abilities.
Using power words in your CV is the ideal way of demonstrating highly desirable qualities without sounding that obvious.
Instead of ‘being hard-working’, a red flag that recruiters spot from a mile away, ‘Achieved’, ‘Created’, ‘Executed’, ‘Launched’ or one of the other 20+ ‘high achiever’ power words contain this message while being more precise and trustworthy.
Thoughtful placed power words will set you apart from your competition and enable you to impress immediately with desirable qualities. Convinced?
Learn how to write your CV for MAXIMUM IMPACT!
Use CV power words to…
Align yourself with the company’s values
Every company has its own, unique culture.
➔ Maybe teamwork is extremely important to them or to your function.
➔ Maybe the company is innovation-oriented, being aggressive in the market and taking high risks.
➔ Perhaps the company is more focusing on long-term results, giving special attention to continuously improving processes.
➔ The company could be extremely competitive and focuses solely on getting the results no matter what.
➔ Perhaps the company is bureaucratic and prefers stability/predictability.
Get the idea?
Investigate the company and estimate where they focus on with each of these aspects.
Select power words that are aligned with these values and you’ll have a ‘secret weapon’ that shows your fit immediately.
➔ Is being a team player important?
Use ‘Collaborated’, ‘Engaged in’, ‘Participated’ or ‘Coached’ as main power words.
➔ Is the company innovative?
Focus on ‘Discovered’, ‘Innovated’, ’Invented’ or ’Pioneered’ power words.
Demonstrate overused CV skills
As stated before, there are some highly desirable skills that recruiters love to see in every candidate… But they are meaningless statements without being backed up with PROOF.
Think about being a ‘great communicator’, ‘team player’ or being a ’natural leader’.
You need examples to convince the recruiter on these qualities.
Carefully selected power words can demonstrate these specific skills cleverly, stating specific actions that demonstrate the desired skill precisely.
Use CV power words to demonstrate SPECIFIC actions, providing EVIDENCE of highly desirable abilities like 'being a team player', 'great communicator' or a 'natural leader'.
How should I use these power words in my CV?
It’s simple. Start every job description with a power word to make your intention clear to the recruiter. Direct the recruiter to the specific actions you want him to remember you for.
Everything on your CV should be in an active voice and add value. Power words will force you to keep your voice strong.
Instead of starting your job description with ’Responsibilities include…’, start with a power word and state your specific ’achievements/actions’ in a ‘powerful story format’.
In addition to job descriptions, implement power words in your CV summary to present yourself immediately in the right context to the recruiter.
Note: As everyone is in a unique situation, you need a personal, optimized approach to write your CV summary effectively.
Check out my ‘what is your best CV format’ article or take the free CV test to discover your personal CV blueprint.
Combine power words with specific numbers or percentages (quantifiable results) to state evidence of your ability. This makes your statements instantly perceived reliable and is thus far more powerful.
Finally, combining power words with targeted CV adverbs helps to emphasise the aspect you want the recruiter to focus on even more.
However, you have to be careful as it could also make your statements vague. I treat CV adverbs at the end of this article in-depth.
Learn how to write your CV for MAXIMUM IMPACT!
Why are all the power words written in the past tense?
You should always use the past tense in your CV as your it describes your (work) history. The only exception is when you are writing about your current (present) job position.
One thing… after writing your CV, go through all your descriptions and make sure that everything is written in the past tense.
Mixing up tenses in your CV is an absolute no go.
Are these all the CV power words there are?
Well… no. There are hundreds of words that could be useful in your specific situation. However, these are the most useful ones AND the ones I personally use to make CVs highly effective.
With every job position, it is a balance between ‘being specific’, ‘appropriateness’ and avoiding words that are over-used.
Go through the list and find your personal gems or search for other lists online. It is worth the hassle.
When selecting a power word, keep one thing in mind… It is essential that every word in your CV adds value and that the meaning is clear immediately.
There should not be a single doubt about the meaning of your statement.
How do CV Power Words relate to CV keywords?
To pass applicant tracking software (software that is designed to filter only the most relevant candidates), you need to highlight relevant skills and abilities in your CV.
Simply put, you have to copy the exact terminology used in the job requirements (stated in the vacancy).
Power words are not CV keywords. However, to emphasise your suitability, you should align some power words with the job requirements.
If the company is looking for someone with ’Good Networking skills’ and ‘Good Project Management skills’. The CV keywords you should use are ‘networking’ and ‘project manager’.
➔ Some clever power words to use for the networking requirement are ‘Presented’, ‘Promoted’, ‘Proposed’, ‘Persuaded’ or ‘Consulted’.
➔ Choose ‘Authorised’, ‘Directed’, ‘Executed’, ‘Coordinated’, ‘Facilitated’ or ‘Supervised’ power words for the managing requirement.
Make sure that the specific keywords (in the terminology of the employer) are present at least 2-3 times in your CV in order to pass the applicant tracking software.
The best CV power words for leadership
Every employer wants to hire leaders… Showing these qualities is a big pre on your profile. However, ‘great leadership skills’ is an empty statement if you don’t back it up with proof.
Use these action words to provide evidence of your specific leadership actions. Instead of being a great leader or manager, use…
The best CV power words for being a ‘good communicator’
Likewise, having ‘good communication skills’ is highly desired. Instead of telling that you are good with people, or a good communicator (again… an empty OPINION), use these power words…
The best CV power words for being a ‘team player’
You get the point… stating ‘being a team player’ directly, without context, could backfire on you as, without proof, it is your opinion. By showcasing that you ARE a team player, you will definitely get a check this box on your profile.
Write your CV around the aspects of being a team player, providing EVIDENCE of your team player capabilities.
Instead of being a team player or being supportive, use…
The best CV power words for being a ‘hard worker’
This could be the worst of all… being a ‘hard worker’ is waaaay overused nowadays. What does it even mean? Instead of being a ‘hard worker’ be specific and precise while focusing on relevant aspects that really matter.
Instead of being ‘hard-working’ or a ‘high achiever’, use…
|Outperformed||Produced||Raised||Received kudos for||Surpassed|
The best CV power words for ‘creativity’
Another vague but desired quality is ‘being creative’.
Yeah, if the job description states ‘looking for a creative person’, you should mention ‘creative’ once or twice. But back it up with specific actions!
Also if the description doesn’t state ‘creative person’, figure out if the job position could use a creative mindset, and if so, try to highlight one or two creative accomplishments.
Do you need to be creative? Give the ‘problem-solving power words’ section a look. In a different context, ’creativity’ could mean ‘being a problem-solver’.
As ‘creativity’ is vague, be specific and use…
The best CV power words for ‘problem-solving’ capabilities
Who doesn’t want to have a great ‘problem-solver’ in their team? Use these power words to showcase your problem-solving and research abilities!
Does the job description has a ‘problem-solving requirement’? Consider also using clever CV hobbies to emphasise this aspect even more.
These are the best problem-solving/researcher action words…
The best power words for ‘saving money/time’ capabilities
The ultimate goal of a business is to make as much money as possible.
Saving money by reducing costs, time, or other resources are important aspects that could be a decisive factor in your application.
Especially when interviewed by upper management.
Because you know what… if you are able to save the company more costs than they have to invest in you, it means free money for them.
Have you ever optimised processes or reduced waiting times? Use it in your favour! Who wouldn’t hire a ‘money-making’ candidate?
These are the best saving money, time, or other resources power words…
The best power words for ‘generating money’ capabilities
Likewise, increasing profits by creating new products, capitalising on new markets, improving customer satisfaction or any other money-making activities are most-interesting qualities to the hire manager.
Be specific and use numbers and percentages as much as possible, especially when they are impressive! (Read the ‘how to make hard achievements’ article to do this effectively).
The best ‘money-making’ power words to use are…
Using adverbs to empower your power words
What’s even better than using action words? Using action words in combination with adverbs!
Adding adverbs to your descriptions adds slightly more detail to the action, extending you control over the desired impression you want to make to the recruiter.
Do you want the recruiter to focus on your accuracy… on you being effective… or being consistent?
Once again, align your CV adverbs to the company’s culture is a big opportunity to make your CV appealing to the future employer, emphasising your perfect fit once again.
Implementing clever adverbs can be your secret weapon, targeting the recruiters’ thoughts to focus on the exact qualities you want him to focus on.
On the other hand, the big pitfall of CV adverbs is that it can make your descriptions vague.
For example… what do you mean exactly when stating ‘Reliably delivered results’?
Instead of ‘Efficiently made successful sales calls’, SHOW how efficient you are and state ‘Performed 40 sales a day, resulting in a 54% closing rate’. Being much more impressive.
Use adverbs to emphasise certain relevant aspects, but keep your CV relevant and precise. Avoid being vague at all times, and don’t over-use them!
Best CV adverbs to use
- Accurately - Highlights that you are precise and flawless.
- Actively - Shows your proactive effort. You are not afraid to speak up in meetings.
- Ambitiously - Desired characteristic in competitive companies. You dare to go outside your comfort zone.
- Carefully - You are able to perform tasks with great attention.
- Competitively - Is the company result-oriented or competitive? Use this adverb to show that you are on top of your game, always trying to perform better.
- Completely - You are thorough and exhaustive in your actions.
- Confidently - Employers like confidence. Use this adverb in combination with social activities like ‘presented’ or ‘managed’.
- Consistently - Every employer likes predictability. Producing high-quality work on a consistent basis is thus a desired quality that works in your favour. ‘Consistently reached …’ is a great way to show your reliability.
- Creatively - You are able to think outside the box and do things differently. You are a problem-solver.
- Effectively - You are able to optimise tasks and are productive, focusing only on tasks that produce results.
- Efficiently - One of the highly desirable ‘money making/saving’ activities. It shows that you get things done quickly, have everything under control and posses great planning skills.
- Extensively - You are thorough and make sure to cover all the aspects.
- Extremely - Emphasising how immensely/extraordinary the action was.
- Helpfully - Showing your ‘supporting’ and ‘team player’ abilities.
- Highly - Emphasising on how immensely/extraordinary the action was.
- Independently - Use this adverb when the job requires a lot of individual work. Show that you get the job done. They can trust you with each task as you have everything under control.
- Intelligently - Emphasising your ’independent thinking’ abilities. Consider using ‘logically’ or ‘resourcefully’ instead to avoid being perceived as ‘arrogant’. A smart way to tackle that; add a third-party quote stating ‘what an intelligent person’ to promote yourself through someone else.
- Logically - You are a logic and structured thinker and are able to solve problems easily.
- Precisely - You are accurate and strict.
- Progressively - Emphasise the immense impact something had. You are able to move forward quickly and adequately.
- Quickly - You are ‘lean and mean’, able to do your job efficiently.
- Rationally - You are a logical person and don’t let emotions control you. ‘You oversee things rationally’.
- Rapidly - Synonym for ‘quickly’; you are ‘lean and mean’, able to do your job efficiently.
- Reliably - Every employer should be reliable. Try to include this word at least once in your CV. ‘Reliably managed’ or ‘reliable delivered’ are great qualifications. However, make sure to provide EVIDENCE of ‘being reliable’.
- Resourcefully - You are a problem solver and a creative thinker. You’ll always find a way to get the job done. Be ready to have examples ready in the interview!
- Responsibly - This is a desirable ‘leadership’ adverb! You are able to deal with important tasks and are trustworthy. You do what you say you will do.
- Securely - You are responsible and able to perform in a stable manner.
- Significantly - Emphasising how big the action or the impact was.
- Successfully - Tells the recruiter that you get the job done and focuses on results. You are experienced and knowledgeable in your discipline.
- Tactfully - You are a strategic thinker, able to see the bigger picture and implement the best possible strategy in your favour.
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