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Killer Words For Your CV

Updated on January 10, 2011

Use the right words to deliver a knock out punch with your CV

Before reading this page you should already have the outline of your ideal CV. You have the structure correct and you have excellent content. Now review the content to weed out the weak words and replace them with the words in the lists below.

Using these words will raise the impact of your CV. They add dynamism and action and bring your sentences to life.

The sets of words have been carefully chosen. Your CV should be full of examples of where you've communicated your ideas and plans, where you've sorted out problems for your boss and your customers, where you've set things up from scratch or made an existing product or situation better, and where you have produced an output and successfully managed your tasks from start to finish.

Now re-read your CV and replace the stock phrases using words that have impact!

Don't forget to bookmark this page and use it as a reference in future.

High Impact Words Add Focus To Your CV

Update your CV and apply relevant words to make it more appealing


addressed, advised, arbitrated, corresponded, drafted, demonstrated, edited, interviewed, motivated, mediated, represented, negotiated, persuaded, proposed, presented, publicised, organised, illustrated, instructed, led, controlled, liaised, co-ordinated, marketed, recommended, counselled, recruited, reconciled, won over

Sorted Out:

analysed, collated, co-ordinated, eliminated, investigated, arranged, transformed, assessed, evaluated, scheduled, budgeted, identified, verified, classified, controlled, edited, solved, converted

Set Up:

assembled, fabricated, composed, devised, engineered, initiated, led, prepared, instituted, produced, introduced, originated, designed, pioneered, developed, planned.

Made Better:

broadened, decreased, eliminated, minimised, refined, strengthened, combined, developed, expanded, modernised, reorganised, repaired, remodelled, overhauled, serviced, transformed, consolidated, devised, improved, recommended, solved, edited, reduced, revised, streamlined.

Gave Out:

delivered, launched, provided, despatched, presented, served, distributed, processed, expanded, produced, generated.


collected, critiqued, defined, diagnosed, evaluated, extracted, identified, inspected, investigated, summarised, surveyed


administered, assigned, attained, allocated, analysed, appraised, chaired, balanced, budgeted, delegated, represented, approved, directed, executed, organised, audited, forecasated, oversaw, supervised, conducted, controlled, led, co-ordinated


conceived, created, designed, developed, fashioned, formed, invented, originated, shaped


advised, coached, enabled, encouraged, facilitated, guided, infomed, instructed, persuiaded, motivated, stimulated, trained


ability, accelerated, considerable, completed, achieved, authored, active, consistently, capacity, ensured, effective, proficient, responsible, technical, versatile, qualified, key, spearheaded, comprehensive, resourceful, successfully

Popular CV And Interview Books - Invest a little time and money here to reap greater benefits later.

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Pitch Yourself: The most effective CV you¿ll ever write. Stand out and sell yourself (2nd Edition)

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Use The Active Voice To Add Impact

The active voice indicates what YOU did, not what was done to something else by you.

For example: "I implemented a $5M business change programme" (active), sounds so much better than "A $5M business change programme was implemented by me" (passive).

Another example: "I increased sales by $40M" (active), compared with "Sales were increased by $40M by me" (passive)

The key here is to review your sentences and if you see the danger words "was" or "were" then you need to look at changing those sentences to be active.

Take a look at this A to Z of verbs that you can use in the active voice. Review your CV draft and look to see where you can change every passive sentence to an active one, and where you can use more precise words like these:

A: abstracted, achieved, acquired, acted, adapted, addressed, administered, advertised, advised, advocated, aided, allocated, analysed, answered, anticipated, applied, appraised, approved, arranged, ascertained, assembled, assessed, assisted, attained, audited, augmented, authored

B: bolstered, briefed, brought, budgeted, built

C: calculated, cared, charged, chartered, checked, clarified, classified, coached, collaborated, collected, comforted, communicated, compared, completed, complied, composed, computed, conceived, conducted, conserved, consulted, contracted, conributed, converted, cooperated, coordinated, copied, correlated, counselled, created, critiqued, cultivated

D: dealt, debated, decided, defined, dlegated, delivered, designed, detected, determined, developed, devised, diagnosed, directed, discovered, discriminated, dispatched, displayed, dissected, documented, drafted, drove

E: edited, eliminated, empathised, emabled, enforced, enlightened, enlisted, ensured, established, estimated, evaluated, examined, exceeded, excelled, expanded, expedited, experimented, explained, explored, expressed, extracted

F: facilitated, fashioned, financed, fixed, followed, formulated, fostered, founded

G: gained, gathered, gave, generated, goverened, guided

H: handled, headed, helped

I: identified, illustrated, imagined, implemented, improved, improvised, inaugurated, increased, indexed, indicated, influenced, initiated, inspected, instituted, integrated, interpreted, interviewed, introduced, invented, inventoried, investigated

J: judged

K: kept

L: launched, learned, lectured, led, lifted, listened, located, logged

M: made, maintained, managed, manipulated, mapped, mastered, maximised, mediated, memorised, mentored, met, minimised, modelled, modified, monitored

N: narrated, negotiated

O: observed, obtained, offered, operated, ordered, organised, originated, overcame, oversaw

P: participated, perceived, perfected, performed, persuaded, planned, practiced, predicted, prepared, presented, prioritised, produced, programmed, projected, promoted, proposed, protected, proved, provided, publicised, published, purchased

Q: queried, questioned

R: raised, ran, ranked, rationalised, read, reasoned, recorded, received, reduced, referred, related, relied, reported, researched, responded, restored, revamped, reviewed

S: scanned, scheduled, schemed, screened, set goals, shaped, skilled, solicated, solved, specialised, spoke, stimulated, strategised, streamlined, strengthened, stressed, studied, substantiated, succeeded, summarised, synthesised, supervised, supported, surveyed, sustained, symbolised

T: tabulated, talked, taught, theorised, trained, translated

U: upgraded, utilised

V: validated, verified, visualised

W: won, wrote

Your thoughts, comments and suggestions are appreciated...

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    • artdivision1 lm profile image

      artdivision1 lm 

      5 years ago

      I'm going to utilise this lens that you've perfected

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great list here of powerful words. Thank you for sharing

    • chrisqw profile image


      6 years ago

      Good advice here. Thank you!

    • jenangeldigital profile image


      6 years ago

      This is a great lens :) Just finished one on how to write a CV and I'm going to add this to my list of featured lenses on there. Thanks! :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens and nice experience to see the lens.It was a great effort with nice sound of vocabulary used in the lens.Resume skills is the main theme of your resume and it should be implemented in a nice way.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great job doing this lens. Congratulations. These are some pretty solid information. Good to know and a "must use" in a CV.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      cv is one of the best resources for CV information I have found.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      [in reply to Liam_Tohms] Hi Liam

      Thanks for joining the Job Winning Help group.

    • Liam Tohms profile imageAUTHOR

      Liam Tohms 

      9 years ago

      [in reply to Peter_Fisher] Thanks. That's a great group for job resources. I'll keep my eye on it.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Hi Lensmaster, I like your lens and think it would be a good fit with our Job Winning Help Group. I hope you will join us and help us bring even more help to job seekers everywhere.


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