CV Language

The language you use in your CV is very important and an area that a lot of people overlook or do not give enough consideration to. You must remember that this is a professional document that you are using to highlight you professional skills and experience within a working environment. This is an area that many people trying to secure their first job struggle with as it is not something they are used to, but it can be picked up very quickly and it is recommended that everyone, regardless of their experience, ask a friend or family member to proof read their CV before they start sending it out to potential employers and recruitment agencies.

As part of the service Robertson Sumner offers their candidates is the skills and experience of professional CV writing which some companies who specialise in can charge up to £400 for! It is still surprising the number of CV’s that require work before they can be sent to a client, this can range from something as simple to spelling and grammar right up to redesigning the look and layout. Thankfully we have a number of people who are wizards with Microsoft Word but it is still surprising nonetheless that this occurs.

The language of a CV is key and can been the difference between the hiring manager inviting you in for an interview or ignoring you in the thirty seconds that most spend looking at a CV. Many people try to write their CV as though they are talking to a friend, forgetting that the person who will be reading it has never met them before! Great terms to fit into your CV include:

  • Increased – I increased sales by…
  • Reduced – running costs were reduced…
  • Improved – improved service turnaround by…
  • Developed – developed new operating procedures…
  • Researched – researched and generated numerous new clients…
  • Accomplished – accomplished record sales of…
  • Won – Won new business…
  • On time – Project was delivered on time…
  • Under Budget – Project was delivered under budget…

These words will instantly attract the reader’s attention and will promise your CV a read that lasts longer than 30 seconds. There are also some words, whilst sounding good should be avoided as they tend to be overused in every CV and can seem quite empty as they are very difficult to back up.

  • Outstanding
  • Effective
  • Strong
  • Exceptional
  • Good
  • Excellent
  • Driven
  • Motivated
  • Seasoned
  • Energetic

Whilst these words might seem great and help boost you CV selling power then be very difficult to back up unlike the first list of words. Calling yourself an excellent, highly motivated manager sounds very good but how can you back this up? You cannot provide any facts and figures to prove this statement. Talking about yourself in the third person in a CV can also be very off-putting as it can come across as slightly surreal or even slightly snobbish

In conclusion use professional language in your CV with an emphasis on experience that can be backed up and explained. Avoid writing you CV as though you are sending it to a friend and get it proof read by someone else. You don’t need to spend lots of money getting a company to write it for you, just be sensible and try putting yourself in the hiring managers / recruiters shoes. Try this and think how will my CV come across…?

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