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Choosing your words

Choosing your words

Equally as important as the layout and visual presentation of a CV are the words you use within it. Use appropriate and positive words throughout.

A lot of the information provided on a CV is factual and needs to be displayed aesthetically. However, there are a number of sections where you need to choose your words carefully, particularly your personal statement and key job responsibilities. 

If your CV has not been binned on sight, you need to make sure the words you use are positive and appropriate for your CV.

The Rules:

  • Your CV should be up-to-date. Continually update and edit it throughout your job search.
  • Your CV should be tailored to a specific job or sector as much as possible. For example, if you are applying for a job in sales, highlight your sales experience in both your personal statement and employment history.
  • Sell yourself by using positive key words and phrases.
  • But... do not oversell yourself.  You can refer to yourself as committed and enthusiastic but wording like ‘My unrelenting loyalty never fails to impress’ should be avoided.
  • Ensure you have evidence to back up all your noted skills and achievements. If you cannot evidence something, it should not appear on your CV.
  • Do not lie about anything (work experience, employment history, interest etc) in your CV. You may be asked about any aspect of it during an interview.
  • Use appropriate language throughout. Avoid Americanisations, humour, slang, jargon, abbreviations etc.
  • Read and re-read your CV. Spelling mistakes or typos will result in your CV being binned immediately.
  • Get someone else to check your CV before you send it. The Employability and Enterprise Team (EET) run a CV checking service - use it! Call or e-mail to book an appointment.