What to include in a CV? Which CV sections to keep off? This complete guide outlines exactly which things to put on your CV to make it shine.
CV power words are action-packed verbs you can use throughout your CV and cover letter. They let you present your skills in meaningful contexts and help you demonstrate the real-life impact of your achievements.
Here’s the best part—
This article is more than just a list of top 50 CV power words. Each item on the list is illustrated with an example that shows you how to use the word in context.
Plus, you’ll find a bunch of expert hints and actionable tips to help you write a job-winning CV.
In this guide you’ll find:
CV power words for
1. Customer Support
The way businesses treat their customers and clients has far-reaching implications. That’s why finding top-class customer representatives is so vital.
Thanks to the CV power words below, your customer service experience will turn into a captivating story of success:
Power Words for CV in Action—Examples
- Advised customers on 30+ personal finance products and effectively boosted NPS scores for new customers by up to 20% in a single quarter.
- Educated customers about the pros and cons of 20+ models of digital cameras that increased cross-selling rates by 15%.
- Expertly guided clients through the website’s booking system, which improved user satisfaction scores by 10%.
- Informed the store’s clientele about seasonal fashion trends and boosted cross-selling rates by 30% in Q4 2018.
- Resolved 300+ tickets in Q1 2019 in a record time that helped the company slash First Response Time metrics by 20%.
Expert Hint: Studies show that recruiters are likely to reject CVs that display signs of the so-called keyword stuffing. So, while it’s crucial for your CV to have the right CV power words, you can’t simply put them on a list. They must appear in meaningful contexts, for example in your CV work experience section.
2. Achieving Something
Your achievements matter. So much so that they can become a make or break factor when trying to land an interview.
Use the power words below to reflect your achievements’ true impact:
CV Power Words in Action—Examples
- Attained a score of 99% in a quarterly quality check for three consecutive quarters.
- Awarded Nurse of the Year in 2017 and 2018.
- Completed three extracurricular courses on project management and leadership.
- Regularly exceeded all sales goals by 10% at the minimum.
- Succeeded in implementing Agile methodology across the teams that boosted output by 300% YOY.
Expert Hint: One way of attracting the recruiter’s attention is to pepper your CV with your achievements rather than responsibilities. How to tell them apart? Learn this formula by heart: Achievements = Responsibilities + Numbers. If you need more help, we have a dedicated guide on how to pick the best achievements for your CV.
3. Changing Something
Change can have many faces.
You can use the power words below in your CV to specify what kind of change you managed to bring about:
- Simplified + Standardised
Power CV Words in Action—Examples
- Modified existing procedures thereby decreased first response time by 30%.
- Streamlined document flow and saved up to £30K in overheads yearly.
- Refocused team efforts on feature refinement that boosted conversion rates by 2%.
- Simplified and standardised UX design workflow that saved the team up to 10 man-hours from sprint to sprint.
- Updated modem software and upgraded cabling that sped up Internet connectivity by 300%.
Expert Hint: Don’t pick CV power words at random. Studies show that over 98% of Fortune 500 companies use Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software. Therefore, the wording of your CV should be informed by the job offer itself. If you don’t know how to do it, read our guide on how to tailor your CV to a job offer.
4. Managing a Team or Leading a Project
Managing teams effectively requires you to do quite a number of things.
The CV power word list below will help you be more specific about what you can do:
- Recruited / Hired
Power Words on a CV in Action—Examples
- Coordinated the efforts of three consulting agencies to minimise the risk at new product launch.
- Executed the company’s marketing strategy and achieved a 200% boost in all sales metrics.
- Recruited and hired a team of five experts and fully onboarded them in under a month.
- Organised the work of a 7-member product design team and conducted a workshop on cross-functional communication together with the IT team leader.
- Regularly trained 10+ team members on the latest trends and developments in the industry during weekly workshops.
Expert Hint: CV power words can’t only appear in one section of your CV. In fact, you should distribute them throughout the entire document. The very first section in which they should start appearing is the CV profile section that tops your document.
5. Communicating With Others
Communication, both oral and written, is crucial to your workplace success.
Use the CV power words below to pinpoint what kind of communication you excel at:
CV Power Words and Phrases in Action—Examples
- Authored 200+ search engine optimised articles that brought in 1M+ new organic users in Q2 2019.
- Regularly corresponded with 10+ vendors to maintain good business relations, high quality of service, and competitive prices.
- Reviewed and documented 50+ procedures to reduce the bus factor.
- Edited over 200 pieces of content (both long- and short-form) for various media outlets, incl. blog posts, print magazine articles, press releases, and others.
- Negotiated terms of service with the Internet Service Provider, which lowered the costs by 30% while improving connexion speeds up to 5x.
Expert Hint: Writing a CV is much easier if you have a good example you can base your own CV upon. Explore our library of over 50 CV examples for various professions and write yours in no time.
6. Coming Up With an Idea
There’s quite a number of words to say you created something. For example, built, designed, developed, devised, or engineered. They’re all good words and you can use them in a CV.
The CV power words below will let you introduce a bit of variety:
Power Words for a CV in Action—Examples
- Formalised 30+ HR procedures and created a wiki to share them and keep them up-to-date.
- Implemented a company-wide zero-waste policy that saved £30K on office supplies a year.
- Introduced the team to three new marketing automation tools that were adopted by two other teams in the following quarter.
- Launched a successful SaaS website that brought in 3,000+ monthly unique users after 6 months from launch.
- Pioneered Agile management in the company that boosted productivity by up to 200% after the first year of adoption.
Expert Hint: Recent studies show that up to 38% of the applicants send their CVs directly to the hiring managers. If you happen to be one of such applicants, throw in a couple of CV power words into your CV email as well.
7. Making Something Better
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, employees who are able to improve the way a company functions are in high demand.
Thanks to the CV power words below you’ll show the recruiter exactly what kind of improvement you’re able to offer:
- Accelerated / Advanced
Power Words for Your CV in Action—Examples
- Accelerated the adoption of new safety procedures by organising five workshops for a total of 150+ employees.
- Boosted sales figures 250% by establishing a solid network of professional contacts.
- Expanded the company's portfolio by navigating through, and closing a successful M&A transaction worth £20M.
- Generated over £300K in revenue in Q1 2019 by bringing in a new client.
- Improved Trustpilot rating from 4.5 to 4.9 over the span of two quarters by offering top-class customer support.
Expert Hint: Your CV isn’t the only good place for using power words. Don’t forget to use them in your cover letter as well. In fact, studies reveal that about 50% of job seekers send a cover letter along with their CV.
8. Researching Something
According to research, problem-solving skills are in high demand among employers. Remember: finding the best solution always starts with a thorough understanding of the problem in question.
The CV power words below will help you demonstrate your proficiency in researching various issues as well as reaching conclusions:
- Discovered / Identified
- Examined / Evaluated
Power Words for CV Skills in Action—Examples
- Analysed and mapped complex business processes to discover five weak points that, once amended, allowed the company to save upwards of £200K quarterly.
- Identified and proposed solutions to a major production bottleneck that reduced the company’s capacity by ca. 5% on a monthly basis.
- Examined and evaluated risks involved in three multimillion-dollar acquisitions as part of deal teams.
- Investigated and recognised the most valuable customer segments and proposed 3 new marketing strategies based on the findings.
- Surveyed 5,000+ respondents and after interpreting the results wrote up an article that attracted 100+ back-links in a single quarter.
Expert Hint: Putting your skills on display is just as important as highlighting your achievements on a CV. However, it’s not enough to simply list your top skills to impress the recruiter. What you need to do is pick the best skills for your CV and show them in meaningful professional contexts that demonstrate your real-life impact.
9. Organising Money or Other Resources
Every company values employees who know how to obtain the resources necessary to foster growth.
Use the CV power words below to show off your ability to get just what the company needs. And then some more:
- Acquired / Obtained
Power Words for CV Writing in Action—Examples
- Acquired £500K in funding from a variety of donors by organising media and PR campaigns.
- Attracted an angel investor that offered £100,000 in seed capital.
- Forged strong business relationships with 20+ experts as part of product endorsement efforts. 70% became ambassadors within six first months following product launch.
- Secured two new contracts that brought in over £300,000 in revenue in Q4 2018.
- Tightened cooperation with two marketing agencies and negotiated 6% lower rates for the new fiscal year.
10. Other CV Power Words
Here’s the thing:
The lists of CV power words could go on indefinitely but it’s not the point because in CV writing quality comes before quantity.
That being said—
Here’s a couple of extra CV power words you may want to consider putting on your CV:
- Assembled (e.g. a team of top specialists, etc.)
- Counselled (e.g. the management on doing something, etc.)
- Explored (e.g. opportunities for growth, etc.)
- Forecasted (e.g. risk, different scenarios, etc.)
- Inspired (e.g. the team to do something, etc.)
- Measured (e.g. the risk of doing something by means of…, etc.)
- Oversaw (e.g. the completion of something, the execution of something, etc.)
- Promoted (e.g. healthy lifestyle among coworkers, etc.)
- Reviewed (e.g. the company’s internal procedures, articles, etc.)
- Stimulated (e.g. growth, development, etc.)
And one more thing—
Use this proven formula to make the most of the CV power words on your document:
- Choose the CV power word that best expresses what you did, e.g. Assembled...
- Specify what exactly and throw in some numbers if applicable, e.g. …a team of three SEO experts…
- Explain the whys and wherefores, e.g. …to boost organic traffic…
- Show off the result and make sure to quantify it if you can, e.g. …and effectively brought in 500K new users in Q2 2019.
- Here’s the result: Assembled a team of three SEO experts to boost organic traffic, and effectively brought in 500K new users in Q2 2019.
Expert Hint: If you don’t know how to use a CV power word in context and the dictionary definition doesn’t help you much, you may want to use a language corpus. Simply type in the word you want to check in the search box, and click on the context tab. What you’ll find there are real-life usage examples from a variety of sources, including written and spoken American English.
Do you have any questions about using CV power words? Maybe there are some other powerful CV words you’d like to share? We’re always happy to hear from you. Give us a shout out in the comments below!