Using CV power words

The need for CV power words

By now you probably get that screening CV’s is not something that employers necessarily enjoy. Quite often the process of searching for the right candidate is very frustrating, usually due to the common CV mistakes that are, well, all too common. So what if you had a way to increase your chances of making the employer sit (or even wake) up and take notice? Well, you do.

Lets face it, you and any meaningful competition you have amongst the pile of CV’s are most likely quite similar. You must be, if you are to be considered seriously for the role (leaving aside all those people who don’t know how to write a CV of course).

So how can you set yourself apart?

Since you will effectively be saying the same thing as your competition I believe the advantage is to be gained in the way you say it. It can make a big difference. Consider this; is there that much difference between the most popular washing up liquid and the number two? Probably not. the difference is one of them is better at selling themselves to you. How do you sell yourself effectively when it comes to writing your CV? By learning how to use CV power words.

CV power words are the words that make the reader take notice. As a recruitment consultant I remember literally skim reading CV after CV looking for words that would pique my interest. If I found them I would consider reading the whole document, if not, then it was simply on to the next one. That is the difference CV power words will make to your job search.

How to find the unique power words for each application

In order to use CV power words you must identify the words that actually matter in the first place. What does the employer want? This of course is easy to figure out, as it is written in front of you, within the job advertisement. They are telling you what they want to hear! You know that your task is to present yourself as closely as possible to what the job ad describes. You also know that the next step to achieving this is producing a targeted CV. As you do so think about the key words the employer has used in the advertisement. What words are used, and what are the qualities and attributes they are getting at?

Once you have identified the key words and phrases in the ad, its time to think about how you can communicate the same messages about yourself to the employer. As you write about the achievements in your CV, What are the ways you can use the employers own language to describe yourself? Give them what they want, finding a balance between using the exact words and synonyms. You want to be subtle, but not too subtle that they don’t recognise that you are what they are looking for!

Try out different words and read these versions back to yourself until you are comfortable with how it sounds. In my experience I’d say that if it feels just a little overdone, its about right. It seems people reading CV’s appreciate a little helping hand.

When you GET how to use power words you have a great tool in your job search arsenal. Though you will rarely hear them mentioned I can guarantee you its just because they are used by so few people………who just happen to be those people who seem to be picked out for interview more than everyone else. Try using CV power words for yourself………and welcome to the club.

Return to how to write a CV

Return from CV power words to interview tips home