10 Must Have Key Words and Phrases to Include in Your CV & Cover Letter

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Using key words and phrases on your CV and cover letter gives your personality a voice that distinguishes you from other candidates.

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Photo credit: Karlyukav

Summary

  • Key words and phrases consist of doing words.

  • Key words and phrases should be strategically placed on your CV and cover letter.

  • Having key words and phrases sets you apart from other candidates.

 

When applying for jobs, there are a dozen of other candidates applying for the same position. The hiring company therefore has a cumbersome task of having to go through every candidate’s CV and cover letter to select who is suited for the job. Some do this manually while some employ the use of an Applicant Tracking System to deliberately screen for key words and phrases from the candidate’s CV and cover letter. 

It is highly recommended for candidates to tailor their CVs and cover letter with key words and phrases which are related to the job description, company’s profile and use words and phrases which speak of your personality, experiences and skills. 

Using key words and phrases on your CV and cover letter gives your personality a voice that distinguishes you from other candidates. One of the ways of tailoring your CV and cover letter with key words and phrases is by using action verbs. Action verbs are words which illustrate one’s responsibilities, achievement and skills. They not only spice your CV and cover letter but also boost your confidence. 

As highlighted below, the following are some key words and phrases that you may use on your CV and cover letter to describe different aspects.

1. Key words and phrases to portray accomplishments. Some of the key words and phrases to be used in these regards, include:

  • Achieved 

  • Attained

  • Established

  • Founded

  • Spearheaded

  • Supervised 

2. Key words and phrases to showcase responsibilities. The following are some of the key words and phrases that you can use to highlight your responsibilities:

  • Accomplished

  • Analysed

  • Delivered

  • Created

  • Developed

  • Organized

  • Initiated

  • Volunteered

3. Key words and phrases to highlight your communication skills:

  • Documented

  • Conveyed

  • Briefed

  • Instructed

  • Performed

  • Trained

  • Collaborated

4. Key words and phrases for creative experiences:

  • Authored

  • Edited

  • Designed

  • Drafted

  • Published

  • Wrote.

  • Visualized

5. Key words and phrases for management and leadership:

  • Directed

  • Championed

  • Implemented

  • Reconciled

6. Key words for experience in finance:

  • Audited

  • Evaluated

  • Calculated

7. Key words and phrases for technical experience:

  • Automated 

  • Diagnosed

  • Installed

  • Programmed

  • Updated

8. Key words and phrases depending on company values

When applying for a job listing, your CV and cover letter must match the company values and the culture. You should therefore use key words and phrases that speak to the organization’s profile. For example, if the company thinks of itself as innovative, then definitely you should put innovation as your skill in your CV and cover letter. Checking out the company’s website and the social media platforms would give you a better edge on the choice of key words and phrases to use. 

9. Key words and phrases commonly tracked 

In every history of job descriptions, there are often popular qualities that an employer may be looking for in a candidate. These popular skills should be strategically placed for the hiring manager to notice when scrutinizing your cover letter and CV. More often employers are looking for candidates who have leadership skills, passionate and responsible. 

10. Examine and review skills and experiences of higher level positions

Examining and reviewing skills and experiences of higher level positions enables you to pick on specific key words and phrases that you may also use in your CV and cover letter. In this regard, the skills and experiences that you have and are listed on the higher level job positions as a requirement, you should add them to your CV and cover letter. This should give you a comparative advantage over other candidates who may not possess the same skills.

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Comments

    Joseph | March 01, 2021 13:06

    Truly informative

    MARY | March 01, 2021 08:16

    Great advice there!!!

    MWAURA | March 01, 2021 06:57

    very educative

    Kevin | February 28, 2021 17:12

    Very informative truly

    Paul | February 28, 2021 07:34

    Very informative. Thanks

    AMOS | February 27, 2021 12:51

    Simple to understand

    ROBERT | February 26, 2021 09:40

    Simple and very helpful.

    Asher | February 25, 2021 10:08

    Great. Quit important for any job applicant

    Brent | February 23, 2021 05:14

    Simple,straight english for anyone to understand. Great article Kelvin. Thanks for the great work,writing a CV has been easier for me after reading this article.

    MARY | February 22, 2021 13:21

    Very helpful thank you

    Cosmas | February 20, 2021 01:35

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    Calvine edith | February 19, 2021 18:21

    Helpful

    Appolo | February 18, 2021 05:48

    Very informative,resourceful.Thanks much

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    Am in love with this article

    NAZZIWA | February 17, 2021 10:04

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    Alex | February 16, 2021 13:50

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    KODT | February 13, 2021 17:20

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    BONIFACE | February 13, 2021 16:21

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    Apollo | February 13, 2021 08:47

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    Kirungi | February 12, 2021 21:43

    Thanks Fuzu team

    Silvia | February 12, 2021 06:07

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    Evans | February 11, 2021 19:23

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    KIPTORUS | February 11, 2021 17:38

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    Phelix | February 11, 2021 17:20

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    LIVINGSTONE | February 11, 2021 17:14

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    JohnBosco | February 11, 2021 16:31

    This is an awesome insight! Thank you for sharing

    Enock | February 11, 2021 16:15

    Many thanks Fuzu. I think this is one of the missing links for my prev numerous applications with finger countable 'hits'

    Mawa | February 11, 2021 15:38

    Thanks a lot

    Anne | February 11, 2021 14:11

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    A. | February 11, 2021 14:03

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    ALPHINE | February 11, 2021 13:45

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    Nickson | February 11, 2021 12:34

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    Eunic Jane | February 11, 2021 12:19

    thanks

    LILY | February 11, 2021 12:14

    Thank you for the insights, will apply it.

    LILY | February 11, 2021 12:13

    Thank you for the insights

    Maureen | February 11, 2021 11:39

    Thanks

    kusubira Deborah | February 11, 2021 11:18

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    FRIDAH | February 11, 2021 10:24

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    OSCAR | February 11, 2021 10:05

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    Akora | February 11, 2021 09:38

    Thanks Fuzu. This very insightful.

    Ssegona | February 11, 2021 09:35

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    Eceru | February 11, 2021 09:04

    great thanks

    ANNETTE | February 11, 2021 09:01

    Thanks alot

    Verolyne | February 11, 2021 08:46

    Very Insightful

    Loolel | February 11, 2021 08:31

    Thanks I will update my CV.

    PETER | February 11, 2021 08:00

    Insightful

    LEVIAN | February 11, 2021 07:57

    WELL DONE

    Ssekajigo | February 11, 2021 07:13

    Noted

    Alex | February 11, 2021 06:51

    thank you

    Samuel | February 11, 2021 06:35

    Many thanks!!! You deserve a big reward fuze.

    OLIVE | February 11, 2021 06:32

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    Mercy | February 11, 2021 06:27

    Insightful.

    JUDITH | February 11, 2021 06:27

    Thanks. This is noted and will be practiced.

    THOMAS | February 11, 2021 06:20

    Much appreciated 🤝

    Phoebe | February 11, 2021 06:09

    A great article!

    RICHARD | February 11, 2021 05:45

    Very informative

    LEILA | February 11, 2021 05:09

    Thks.

    Awor FlorenceMary | February 11, 2021 05:09

    I'm grateful, I'll apply it straightaway

    CATHERINE | February 11, 2021 04:41

    Thank you, this is great insight

    GILBERT | February 11, 2021 04:33

    Perfect

    Faith | February 11, 2021 04:19

    Thanks alot

    Joyce | February 11, 2021 04:17

    Thanks

    Peter | February 11, 2021 04:04

    Thank you, my question,...is ATS standardized? When you talk of strategically I get lost.

    Marion | February 11, 2021 04:04

    Thanks a lot for information.

    Awoloi | February 11, 2021 04:01

    Thank you and will put.it to practice

    Millicent | February 11, 2021 03:50

    Noted with thanks

    Allan | February 11, 2021 03:43

    Thanks, noted

    Mercy | February 11, 2021 03:25

    Thank you

    PURITY | February 11, 2021 03:19

    Thanks alot

    Hoseah | February 11, 2021 03:07

    Thanks so much

    Daniel | February 11, 2021 03:06

    Thanks

    Hilary | February 11, 2021 03:03

    This was such an insightful article, I learned a lot from the author.

    JUMA | February 11, 2021 01:58

    Thanks alot

    Lucy | February 11, 2021 01:45

    Great idea, let me review my CV for the upcoming posts.

    Mark | February 03, 2021 10:48

    good work indeed.... very much grateful

    chepkoech | January 28, 2021 19:25

    Thanks,I have noted .I will put in practice.

    getrude | January 28, 2021 13:03

    thanks

    Chukwunonso | January 28, 2021 08:46

    Thanks 😊

    Amiin | January 28, 2021 08:46

    Hello

    Nalwende | January 27, 2021 19:01

    Am greatful,thanks alot

    Nakizito | January 27, 2021 14:30

    Great thanks

    Benson | January 26, 2021 15:40

    Thanks alot.Have put them down for reference.

    Crescent | January 26, 2021 15:29

    Very brilliant

    Eric | January 23, 2021 19:34

    Your comments.


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