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Explore these 5 power words to get your CV noticed. Your CV is what the recruiter sees before they see you. Let it speak to them noticeably in your absence. CVs that stand out are the ones that will lead to a job interview.

5 Power Words to Get Your CV Noticed

By Catherine Adenle

Use these 5 power words to get your CV noticed. If you want to boost your chance of being called in for an interview, your CV needs to stand out. You’ve probably read or heard it before, but it’s worth saying again, your CV must grab the hiring manager’s attention within the first 10 seconds, or it will likely get tossed in the bin. Choosing action verbs that generate powerful images in the mind’s eye is a key ingredient in a truly impressive CV that will grab the reader’s attention. Use them to help make your accomplishments stand out.

Your CV is the tool that gives you the opportunity to highlight your Prime Selling Point (PSP) in your absence. For this reason, you should enumerate your best qualities.

Remember, job recruiters receive and read hundreds of CVs. So, the CVs may all start to look the same after a while. What should an applicant do differently? Well, replacing more commonplace CV words with a few of these more robust “power words” is a sure way to help give your CV an edge.

Get your CV noticed by using action words that carry more impact than their milder alternatives. Action words are specific, clarify your contributions, and bring a confident tone to your CV and list of accomplishments.

Here’s an example for you:

Lacks strength and clarity: I held weekly team meetings to share client updates.

Powerful and detailed: Initiated weekly status update team meetings to communicate agency revenue growth.

Can you see how the second option is stronger and more detailed than the first? The action verb at the beginning of the sentence makes your contribution clearer and more impactful.

To demonstrate your strong work ethic or introduce your accomplishments, try these words:

  • Capitalised
  • Championed
  • Deciphered
  • Enacted
  • Established
  • Exceeded
  • Sharpened
  • Sparked
  • Spearheaded
  • Surpassed

Use strong action verbs as listed above to describe your accomplishments from current and previous roles.

Here are five such powerful words that may intrigue hiring managers. The 5 words should be especially appealing to companies that strive for efficiency and teamwork, two widely sought hallmarks for much of today’s workforce.

Here are 5 examples of resume power words that outshine their blander cousins.

5 power words to get your CV noticed

1. Motivated

Meaning and Context: Someone who motivates, compels, or inspires others to do something. For instance, a manager can motivate an employee to take on a thankless or mundane task, if just to win the manager’s admiration or recognition. In a financial context, that’s what bonus pay is for. If you’ve managed or led anything from a project to a corporation, you can probably identify with this. Many employers looking for managers or leaders will likely notice this word on your resume.

Example: Motivated a team of six IT support professionals to increase face time with end-users, helping increase user satisfaction 25% within one year.

See 200 Action Words to Make Your CV Pop!

2. Achieved

Meaning and Context: Successfully bring about or reach a desired objective or result by effort, skill, or courage. Employers love achievements; both from a business and personal perspective – so try to show what you’ve achieved in your CV.

Example: Achieved a 95% pass rate for all quality tests under my remit or Achieved the result desired by my organization for online sales and revenue by 200% in one year.

Alternatives to Avoid: Did, Gained, Passed. These are weak keywords on a CV.

See Buzz Words and Impressive Language To Use On Your CV

3. Coordinated

Meaning and Context: To coordinate is to combine in harmonious relation or action. Employers like people who have team-building skills since much work is conducted that way. Use “coordinated” if the accomplishment you’re describing was more as a facilitator or manager than of a leader who drove a project and assigned roles to team members.

Example: Coordinated efforts of a team of colleagues from five business units to produce critically needed corporate operations policies.

Alternatives to Avoid: Brought together, combined, linked. Employers would rather be looking for someone who can coordinate than someone who can link, combine, or bring together. “Coordinated” speaks directly to that need.

See Tips for Using Resume Keywords

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4. Eliminated

Meaning and Context: Removed or got rid of, such as high costs, inefficient labour, or non-essential steps in a process. All organizations share this one goal when it comes to how they operate: How can we do things faster, better, and cheaper? If you removed some barrier to help an employer reach that goal, “eliminated” is a strong word to describe it.

Example: Eliminated three unnecessary steps in a project approval process, helping to accelerate deployment schedules for three new applications for 10,000 end-users.

Alternatives to Avoid: Cut, omitted, got rid of, killed, disposed of.  Like coordinated, “eliminated” resonates better with just about any employer since it can cover nearly everything in the workplace that carries a cost, from process steps to positions.

See 20 CV Tips That Lands Job Interviews

5. Targetted

Meaning and Context: Targeted could mean “took aim at” negatives such as costs or redundant processes, or positives such as new sources of revenue.

Example: Targeted a new demographic group to boost sales of our product leading to 10% jump in revenue of £2 million to £3.4million within one year.

An alternative to Avoid: Designated. It’s a nice word but it just doesn’t make an impact.

Now that you have explored the 5 power words to get your CV noticed, what do you want to add? Let’s hear from you. Leave your comments below.


Catherine Adenle
Founder, Catherine's Career Corner. The career site empowering and inspiring ambitious candidates of all ages and professions to thrive and work smarter on their careers. Gladly helping all career-minded people worldwide to explore their career, manage change and understand how new technologies are changing and enhancing the future of work.
Catherine Adenle
Catherine Adenle

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