Words and Phrases for CVs and Job Applications

One hundred and Twenty Five key words

One Hundred and Thirty key phrases

I have had many years of experience in recruitment, assessing, general management and training.  I have critiqued and helped compile hundreds of CVs, application forms and letters, and coached interview techniques.


There are thousands of very worthy CV Experts out there, and if you have no idea as to where to start or feel that your CV requires a total makeover, perhaps they can help you. .


However, so many people don’t need that service.  They are quite capable of composing their own CV, application form or letter, but struggle with finding the correct words or phrases to:

  • avoid constant repetition

  • to accurately describe their responsibilities or achievements

  • to provide interest to the reader

List of Words and Phrases

I have compiled a list of words and phrases (which is updated and added to on a regular basis) to assist.  


They are not categorised to specific industries or professions

Please use them with common sense – e.g. 

  •  If you don’t like the word – find another (use Thesaurus)

  •  Don’t put down things you can’t back up at interview

  •  Check spellings (don’t just rely on the the “spell check”)


Key Words examples
  • conscientious

  • confident

  • methodical

  • articulate

  • qualified

  • enthusiastic

  • multi-skilled

  • flexible

Key Phrases examples

  • pleasant telephone manner

  • excellent problem solving skills

  • reduced costs

  • willing to learn

  • ambitious and enthusiastic

  • budget management

  • Just don’t say.....I  have excellent IT skills" – Instead, expand -   list the packages you are fully experienced with and be ready at interview to talk about how and for what you use these packages in your current or previous jobs.

  •  Just don’t to produce in depth reports” – Instead, expand  – is it weekly, monthly and for presentation to whom and then be prepared at interview to discuss how you compile and present these reports

  • Just don’t say..... excellent presentation skills” – Instead, expand – is it to large audiences, small groups, customer sales presentations. Make sure you can practise what you preach at an interview.

  • Just don’t say.....responsible for setting budgets” – Instead, expand – to what value – is it for team, department or organisation and be prepared at the interview to answer how you go about compiling a budget and maybe for questions about what you do when budgets are exceeded or not met.

Think positively about your skills and achievements -


Example - Delivering Papers


Even for the person starting out in their career, thinking I have had no experience, you may have the qualities an employer is looking for: 

  • I did the round for months – it was cold and wet some mornings, but I stuck with it! 

  •  I turned up even on days I wasn’t feeling 100%
    (Both the above show that you were reliable)

  • I covered for other people when they didn’t turn up or were off sick
    (Shows that you are helpful and adaptable)

  • I was doing the paper round for money to save up for something special
    (Shows that you have intent and ambition)

  Click on Buy Now to Download the full Jobwords document and good luck in your job search. Amount 1.99
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