Life & work tips 9 June 2017
These are the words you REALLY need to use on your resume

Applying for that dream job is all about making good impressions. Just before nailing the interview itself you need to get a foot in the door by a kick-ass resume. A good CV highlights your abilities clear as crystal. Keep it simple & snappy.

As a number of time recruiters spend looking at your resume is roughly six seconds, it’s pretty important your resume stands out and you try and differentiate yourself from other job candidates. So remember: you’re not telling your life story here. You want to get noticed within seconds. Cut down any meaningless crap, start getting real, clear and concise. Stick to the facts. And, most importantly: avoid CV clichés. We’re helping you out with some smart words that give your resume the push it needs.

(Need help designing your CV? We’ve got some great templates here and we can strongly recommend the free web tool Canva – great for designing and easy as pie).

Add these power words
– Proactive
– Dedicated
– Accurate
– Goal driven (that’s what they need!)
– Specific systems (try and find out what systems your future work requires)
– Achieved/progressed/improved/managed/launched/trained (you’re telling you’ve achieved something. That’s good. That’s real good.)
– Volunteered (always a winner)

> More top tips: 14 words that make your resume stand out from the crowd

Scrub these words right away
– Perfectionist (be honest to yourself: are you really?)
– Team player (*yawn*)
– Go-getter/best of breed/hard worker (great traits, but anyone can say this)
– Honest/ambitious (we’ve seen them on every resume. Try and be a bit more creative.)
– Hard worker (no need to say it out)
– Hobbies
– Proficiency in Microsoft Office (we ALL know Microsoft Word. And Excel. So don’t)
– Non-relevant work experience (good for you, you worked at a supermarket for ages! Also: not very relevant. Only include experience your reviewers will find important.)
– Scrub the word ‘phone’ in front of your actual number. Everyone knows it’s your phone number.
– References available upon request (aren’t we all guilty of this one? Remember: it’s outdated and if a future employer wants references, he of she will ask you.)

Let's talk


    Thank you for the tips! Is your suggestion to send the letters of recommendation along with the CV or only if the employer wants to see them?

    I have used Canva to make CV’s before! It really works if you’re CV isn’t so dull and black and white. I made one for my sister and after a year of not getting any internships she got one within a few weeks. She is a hairdresser and so I made her CV pink and added an icon of a pair of scissors (cheeky but it worked).

    Really appreciate the effort you put into the carrier related items as you (chapter friday team whoop whoop) help out lots of young people. I’ve gathered quite a list of good advice through your Youtube videos and website. I even got offered a job in Chicago!

    Anyway, wanted to put some effort in a comment as you guys do in the website. Credit to Emma and the rest as well! You don’t get as much recognition as you should in my opinion.

    Have a lovely day!!

    xoxo Sjerun


    Important topic! I can also recommend everybody to attend a resume workshop (my university had a really good one). I did that and I learnt a lot. There we actually discussed how some of the ‘power words’ mentioned in this article such as ‘proactive’ actually sound vague and vapid to many employers. Also, ‘dedicated’, ‘accurate’ and ‘goal driven’ are just as self-evident as ‘hard worker’. Hope this helps!


    I agree wholeheartedly with putting down the specific systems you know how to work. If a job is Excel based, you sure as heck need to state that you can handle it.

    Haha, “proficiency in Microsoft Office” – so true, we all know how to use it! Very helpful guide!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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