40 Best Key Words to Use on Your CV (Examples + 2024 Guide)

40 Best Key Words to Use on Your CV (Examples + 2024 Guide)

author Sobhan Mohmand, Career Expert         date 6 July 2023

CV Key words

Finding the right words to express your skills, achievements and past experience is one of the hardest parts of writing a CV. You know what you want to say but you can’t quite find the right word to express it on paper.
Or you may find yourself using the same word over and over again.

Fortunately, here is where CV key words come to the rescue!

These key words, also known as buzzwords or action words, are a powerful collection of positive words, action verbs and phrases that you can use to describe your daily work, duties, responsibilities and achievements.

You can use key words to reinforce the message that you are a positive, upbeat and professional candidate – the kind that every employer wants.

Why key words matter

A 2005 study by the psychology department of the University of Hertfordshire showed that using powerful words and phrases in CVs and application forms determined which candidates were shortlisted. The best words to add to a CV, according to the study, include ‘achievement’, ‘transferable skills’ and ‘developed.’ (Source: You’re hired, how to write a brilliant CV, Corinne Mills, Pg.91).

This guide lists 40 examples of the best positive words and phrases to use on your CV to add extra flavour to it and secure more job interviews.

Let’s get started!

Table of contents

40 key words to supercharge your CV

1. Analysed

The term “analysed” refers to examining something in detail, breaking it down into its components, and studying or interpreting its various elements or aspects.

Employees with analysing experience are highly valued by employers for their critical thinking, data-driven decision-making and attention to detail. These skills contribute to organisational success and enable employees to add value in various roles and industries.

  • Analysed market trends and competitor activities to develop effective marketing strategies and optimise business performance.”
  • Analysed data and generated comprehensive reports to identify trends and provide insights for strategic decision-making.”

2. Assessed

The term “assessed” refers to the process of evaluating or estimating something to determine its quality, value or significance. It involves analysing data, gathering information and making evaluations to make an informed decision.

A candidate’s ability to assess is crucial in various roles and industries, such as project management, quality control, risk management and business.

  • Assessed customer satisfaction through surveys, interviews, and feedback analysis to identify areas for improvement.”
  • Assessed cybersecurity systems and vulnerabilities, implementing measures to protect sensitive data.”

3. Audited

The term “audited” refers to the examination and verification of financial records, processes, or systems to ensure accuracy, compliance and reliability.

Employers appreciate candidates who can conduct thorough audits, identify control weaknesses and recommend improvements. The ability to audit effectively is crucial in roles related to accounting, finance, business, engineering, compliance and risk management.

  • “Performed financial audits, examining records, transactions, and controls to ensure accuracy and compliance.”

4. Budgeted

Budgeting is the process of planning and allocating financial resources. It involves estimating income, forecasting expenses and making decisions on how funds will be allocated and managed in a project or within an organisation.

Using budgeting as a key word on a CV demonstrates a candidate’s ability to effectively manage financial resources, make informed decisions and contribute to the financial stability and efficiency of the organisation.

  • “Implemented cost-saving initiatives and monitored budget performance to achieve financial targets.”
  • “Prepared budget forecasts and financial projections to support decision-making and resource allocation.”

5. Completed

The term “completed” refers to finishing or accomplishing a task, activity or project. It indicates that something has been successfully done or achieved in its entirety.

  • Completed various projects within strict deadlines, showcasing strong time management and organisational skills.”
  • Completed a challenging research project, demonstrating strong analytical and critical thinking skills in the field of psychology.”

6. Communicated

Communicating refers to the act of conveying information and ideas effectively to others through various mediums such as speaking, writing, listening and non-verbal cues.

Employers value strong communication skills on candidates’ CVs because it’s essential for collaboration, teamwork, customer interactions and conveying ideas clearly and persuasively.

  • “Provided excellent customer service by effectively communicating product features and resolving customer inquiries.”
  • “Negotiated contracts with suppliers, effectively communicating terms, pricing, and requirements.”

7. Constructed

Constructing refers to the process of building or creating something by assembling various components or materials. It involves planning, organising and implementing tasks to create a finished product or structure.

Including this skill on a CV demonstrates the candidate’s ability to execute projects, work with their hands and bring ideas into reality.

  • Constructed and installed electrical wiring systems for residential and commercial properties.”

8. Coordinated

Coordinating refers to the act of organising and synchronising activities, tasks or people to achieve a common goal. It involves managing resources, timelines, teamwork and collaboration with other people.

  • Coordinated and scheduled meetings, ensuring effective communication and collaboration among team members.”
  • Coordinated the recruitment process, including job postings, candidate screenings, and interview scheduling.”

9. Created

Creating refers to the act of bringing something new into existence or generating original ideas, concepts, or products.

  • Created product prototypes to test feasibility and market potential.”
  • Created compelling content for the organisation’s website and social media pages.”

10. Delegated

Delegating refers to the act of assigning tasks or responsibilities to others while retaining overall accountability and authority.

Delegating skills indicate effective leadership, trust in team members and the capacity to prioritise and allocate resources efficiently.

This action verb should be on the CV of all experienced professionals, managers and executives.

  • Delegated budget management responsibilities to finance team members, ensuring accurate financial tracking and reporting.”

11. Delivered

Delivering refers to the act of completing or providing something according to expectations.

Employers value this skill on candidates’ CVs because it signifies their ability to meet deadlines, achieve results and fulfil commitments.

  • Delivered client projects within specified timelines, meeting quality standards and exceeding customer expectations.”

12. Demonstrated

Demonstrating refers to the act of showing or illustrating a skill, ability or concept to others. It involves effectively communicating and showcasing expertise, often through practical examples or presentations.

  • Demonstrated leadership abilities by effectively guiding and motivating a team to achieve project goals.”
  • Demonstrated problem-solving skills by identifying and resolving complex issues in a fast-paced environment.”

13. Designed

Designing refers to the process of creating or developing something according to a specific plan or intention.

  • Designed and developed a responsive website, incorporating user-entered design principles and best practices.”

14. Diagnosed

Diagnosing refers to the process of identifying and analysing problems, issues or conditions through careful examination, investigation and evaluation.

Employers value the skill of diagnosing on candidates’ CVs because it demonstrates their analytical skills, problem-solving abilities and attention to detail.

  • “Performed diagnostic tests on patients, accurately assessing symptoms and providing medical recommendations.”
  • Diagnosed and resolved technical issues for customers, providing efficient and effective solutions.”

15. Evaluated

Evaluating refers to the process of assessing, analysing, and making judgments about the value, effectiveness or quality of something.

Evaluation skills demonstrate a candidate’s ability to critically assess situations, make informed judgments and provide valuable insights – a great verb to use on your CV!

  • Evaluated the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.”
  • Evaluated project outcomes against predefined success criteria, identifying areas for improvement and lessons learned.”

16. Examined

Examining refers to the act of closely observing, inspecting or scrutinising something in detail to gain a deeper understanding or uncovering specific information.

  • Examined legal contracts and documents to ensure accuracy, completeness, and compliance.”

17. Exceeded (expectations or target)

Exceeding refers to surpassing expectations, goals or standards by achieving or performing at a level that is higher or better than anticipated.

Using this key word on a CV indicates a candidate’s motivation, drive and capacity to go above and beyond to achieve success.

  • Exceeded sales targets by 20% through proactive client prospecting and exceptional negotiation skills.”

18. Identified

Identifying refers to the process of recognising, discovering or determining something.

Identifying skills indicate a candidate’s capacity to recognise opportunities, assess situations and contribute valuable insights to the organisation.

  • Identified cost-saving opportunities and implemented measures that resulted in a 15% reduction in expenses.”
  • Identified and resolved technical issues by providing troubleshooting support to clients.

19. Implemented

Implementing means putting a plan, idea, strategy or system into action.
Implementing skills on a CV indicate a candidate’s capacity for project management, problem-solving and completing tasks to a high standard.

  • Implemented cost-saving measures that resulted in a 20% reduction in operational expenses.”
  • Implemented new marketing strategies to penetrate untapped markets and expand the customer base.”

20. Improved (enhanced)

Improving means making something better.

Employers value this skill on a CV because it signifies a candidate’s ability to identify areas for enhancement, implement changes and achieve positive results.

  • Improved customer satisfaction ratings by implementing a proactive feedback system and addressing customer concerns promptly.”

21. Increased

Increasing refers to the act of making something larger or greater in quantity, size or value.

Adding this key word to your CV demonstrates to the employer that you can add value to their organisation and achieve growth targets.

  • Increased sales revenue by 18% in 6 months.”
  • Increased website traffic by 50% by optimising search engine optimization (SEO) techniques and content marketing strategies.”

22. Initiated

Initiating refers to the act of starting or launching a project, idea or process.

Employers value the skill of initiating on candidates’ CVs because it demonstrates their ability to take initiative, show leadership and drive innovation.

  • Initiated a mentorship program to support the professional growth and development of junior team members.”
  • Initiated the creation of a company-wide sustainability program, leading to a reduction in carbon emissions by 30%.”

23. Introduced

Introducing means bringing something new into a system, environment or setting.

Introducing skills indicates a candidate’s creativity, adaptability and willingness to explore new possibilities.

  • Introduced a new product line that expanded the company’s market reach and generated a 25% increase in revenue.”
  • Introduced a customer feedback mechanism that enhanced customer satisfaction and increased customer retention rates.”

24. Led

Leading refers to the act of guiding, directing or influencing others toward a common goal or objective.

Mentioning this skill on a CV indicates a candidate’s leadership capabilities, interpersonal skills and ability to motivate and inspire others. This key word should be included on the CVs of all managers, leaders and senior professionals.

  • Led a cross-functional team to successfully execute a large-scale project, resulting in a 20% increase in productivity.”
  • Led the development and implementation of a sales strategy that achieved a 30% revenue growth in the first year.”

25. Learned

Learning refers to the process of acquiring knowledge or skills through study, experience, or training.

Employers value the skill of learning on candidates’ CVs because it demonstrates their ability to continuously develop, grow and stay relevant in a rapidly changing work environment.

  • Learned and applied best practices in project management, resulting in improved project delivery and client satisfaction.”

26. Managed

Managing means overseeing, directing and controlling resources, activities or people.

If you have experience managing a team or project, you should definitely include this key word on your CV as it’s an essential requirement for leadership and managerial roles.

  • Managed a team of 15 employees, providing guidance, support, and feedback as required.”
  • Managed project timelines, budgets, and resources, ensuring successful project delivery within specified constraints.”

27. Marketed

Marketing refers to the activities and strategies undertaken to promote, advertise and sell products or services.

Marketing skills on a CV indicate a candidate’s creativity, strategic thinking and ability to effectively communicate and persuade.

  • Marketed products/services to build brand awareness and drive customer engagement.”

28. Motivated

Motivating refers to the act of inspiring or encouraging others.
You should use this key word on your CV if you’re applying for jobs in which leadership and team management skills are required.

  • Motivated team members to embrace change and adapt to new technologies, enhancing productivity and efficiency.”
  • Motivated sales representatives to achieve and exceed targets through regular coaching, feedback, and performance recognition.”

29. Negotiated (persuaded)

Negotiating refers to the process of discussing and reaching a mutually beneficial agreement between parties involved in a conflict or business transaction.

Employers like to see negotiation skills on candidates’ CVs because it demonstrates their ability to advocate for their interests, collaborate with others and achieve win-win solutions.

  • Negotiated contracts and agreements with vendors.”
  • Negotiated with customers on pricing, terms, and contract renewals, maximizing revenue and customer satisfaction.”

30. Planned

Planning refers to the process of setting goals, determining actions and organising resources to achieve desired outcomes.

Planning is a great key word to add to your CV if you’re applying for a job in project management, event planning, operations, marketing, finance or logistics.

  • Planned and organised major corporate events.”
  • Planned and implemented quality control measures to maintain high product standards and customer satisfaction.”

31. Presented

Presenting refers to the act of delivering information, ideas or proposals to an audience.

Presentation skills on a CV indicate a candidate’s confidence, professionalism and capacity to engage and inspire an audience.


  • Presented financial reports and analysis to senior management, highlighting key performance indicators and recommendations.”

32. Recruited

Recruiting refers to the process of sourcing, identifying and attracting qualified individuals to fill job vacancies.

Recruiting skills on a CV indicate a candidate’s understanding of the hiring process, their ability to evaluate candidates effectively and their capacity to contribute to building a strong and capable workforce.

This key word should be prominently featured in human resources-related CVs.

  • “Screened CVs, conducted phone interviews, and recruited candidates for various job openings in the organisation.”

33. Represented

Representing refers to the act of acting as a spokesperson, advocate or ambassador on behalf of an individual, organisation or cause.

Having experience in representing someone demonstrates the candidate’s ability to communicate persuasively, build relationships and represent the organisation’s best interests.

  • Represented the company at industry conferences, networking events and trade shows to promote brand awareness and establish strategic partnerships.”

34. Raised

Raising refers to the act of collecting or generating funds, resources, or support for a particular cause, project, or initiative.

This is a great key word to add to your CV as it demonstrates your ability to generate financial resources and secure investments, especially if you’re applying for a job in the public sector or a charity organisation.

  • Raised funds through donor outreach, grant applications, and fundraising events.”

35. Reduced

Reducing refers to the act of decreasing or minimising something, such as costs, expenses, waste or inefficiencies.

Employers like to see this key word on candidates’ CVs because it demonstrates their ability to optimise resources, improve operational efficiency and contribute to cost savings or process improvements.

  • “Implemented cost-saving initiatives that reduced expenses by 20% without compromising quality or service levels.”
  • Reduced customer complaints by 30% through the implementation of improved service protocols and staff training.”

36. Solved

Solving refers to the act of finding solutions to problems or challenges.

Problem-solving skills indicate a candidate’s critical thinking abilities, adaptability and capacity to overcome obstacles.

  • “Developed and executed a marketing campaign that solved declining sales, leading to a significant increase in revenue.”

37. Supervised

Supervising refers to the act of overseeing, managing and directing the work of others to ensure tasks are performed effectively and according to established guidelines.

Adding this key word to your CV will demonstrate your ability to lead teams, drive performance and ensure the successful completion of projects or tasks.

  • Supervised a team of 15 employees, providing guidance, support, and coaching to drive their performance.”
  • Monitored and supervised the progress of projects, ensuring they were completed on time and within budget.”

38. Supported

In short, supporting refers to providing assistance, guidance or resources to individuals, teams or projects to help them achieve their goals or objectives.

Supporting others demonstrates your ability to collaborate, contribute to a positive work environment and provide valuable assistance to your colleagues or teams.

  • Supported the implementation of new processes or systems.”

39. Taught

Teaching refers to the act of imparting knowledge, skills or information to others through instruction, guidance and mentorship.

Teaching skills are valued in various industries where education, training and professional development play a significant role in achieving organisational success.

  • Taught courses on professional development topics, such as leadership skills or communication strategies.”
  • Taught workshops on industry best practices, sharing expertise and insights with professionals in the field.””

40. Wrote

Writing refers to the act of expressing ideas, information or thoughts through written language.

Industries such as marketing, communications, journalism, content creation, public relations, and publishing particularly value individuals who can write clear, engaging and impactful content.

  • Wrote and edited content for marketing materials, including brochures, website copy and social media posts.”
  • Wrote instructional materials and training manuals to support learning and development initiatives.”

List of best key words to use on your CV

Examples of actions verbs to use on a CV

Not all action verbs or phrases are created equal.

Below is a list of the best words you could use in your personal profile or when describing your achievements and previous work experience:

  • Managed – overseeing and handling a team or project.
  • Supervised – monitoring, or directing the work of others to ensure tasks or activities are performed correctly.
  • Completed – finishing a project or task on time and within budget.
  • Led – guiding or directing a team or project.
  • Designed – producing or creating a system, product or procedure.
  • Demonstrated – showing skill or ability.
  • Represented – acting as a representative of a group or organisation.
  • Achieved – successfully accomplishing or attaining a desired outcome, goal, or result.
  • Planned – planning an event or project.
  • Increased – increasing something in quality or quantity (e.g. sales, performance).

List of personal attributes for your CV

Examples of personal qualities and attributes to use on a CV

In addition to action verbs, you should also make use of powerful words and phrases that describe your personal qualities and attributes to the employer. You could use them to write your personal profile statement.

Best personal attributes key words for a CV include:

  • Creative
  • Diplomatic
  • Skilled
  • Business-minded
  • Confident
  • Energetic
  • Versatile
  • Professional
  • Flexible
  • Accurate
  • Analytical
  • Adaptable
  • Experienced
  • Organised
  • Methodical
  • People-oriented
  • Independent
  • Resourceful
  • Pro-active

Tips for using key words on a CV

  • Match the exact key words, language and terminology the employer used in the job description or personal specification.
  • Incorporate your chosen action words into meaningful sentences instead of presenting them as standalone bullet points.
  • Use facts and figures to back up your claims. For example, “Led a team of 7 IT professionals in a major app development project” or “Reduced the marketing budget by 23%.”
  • Use the active voice rather than the passive voice as it is more concise and impactful. For example; passive voice: “I am considered to be an excellent communicator.’ Active voice: “I am an excellent communicator.”
  • Avoid negative words such as awful, bad, fault, mistake, nothing, never and hate.
  • Eliminate feeble and weak words such as quite, rather, about, nearly, almost, slightly and somewhat. You need to use powerful language that conveys competence.
  • Avoid repetition. Try to avoid repetition of action verbs on your CV, especially if they are the starting words of bullet points because they will stand out more. Start each bullet point with a different word. Use a thesaurus to give you more possibilities.


Research has shown that an effective way of making your CV stand out and have a greater impact is to use action-oriented CV key words such as “managed”, “developed”, “designed”, “completed” and “achieved.”

CVs that incorporate these powerful action verbs are usually punchier, crisper and easier to read. They also have a greater chance of passing through the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) screening process, designed to automatically review and filter incoming CVs.

To maximise the benefits of using key words, carefully review the job description, identify relevant key words that match your experiences, achievements or skills and incorporate them naturally throughout your CV.

Good luck with your job search!

Written by Sobhan Mohmand
Sobhan is a qualified Careers Advisor and Professional CV Writer with over 10 years of experience in helping job seekers get a job. He is a Member of the Careers Development Institute (CDI) and is listed on the official UK Register of Career Development Professionals. He holds a Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development (QCF).