Employers share the five buzzwords they want to see on your CV

With the new year on the horizon, many will be thinking about new opportunities, which means an updated CV is a must. 

According to there are some words you need to include on your resume to show you’ve employers you’ve got the sorts of skills most in demand come 2019.

These include adaptability, analytical thinking, proactiveness, empathy and resilience. 

Here, FEMAIL reveals how these terms relate to your abilities as well as the five catchphrases that you need to lose in a bid to help ensure your resume is as fresh as it can be.

If you're in the market for a new job when 2019 rolls around, a standout covering letter and polished CV are a must (stock image)
If you’re in the market for a new job when 2019 rolls around, a standout covering letter and polished CV are a must (stock image) 

1. Adaptability

As technology continues to infiltrate the workplace, the ability to adapt, adjust or up-skill on the fly shows flexibility – a trait that’s become increasingly more attractive.

Adaptability also gives you the edge in that it shows you’re open to alternative solutions as well as being comfortable in a changing environment.

‘Employers want their people to be able to pivot to a new role or area of responsibility as things change and to upskill to remain on top of new trends relevant to their job function or industry,’ says Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand, told .

Mr Deligiannis advises using examples from recent roles – such as undertaking a course to broaden your skill set – to show that you’re adaptable.

2. Analytical thinking

Analytical thinking shows a potential employer you are able to solve problems in a manner that’s not only quick but is also practical.

It’s a way of finding solutions by breaking down a problem into its smaller, component parts. And it’s a quality that’s especially desirable if you’re in a workplace where you need to interpret and understand data to support your business’ goals.

‘Analytical thinking has become a highly sought-after skill,’ Mike Dickson, Director NSW at Six Degrees Executive, explained.

‘As every function seeks to operate more efficiently and to drive return on investment, the ability to analyse enables informed decision making.’

If you want your CV to standout in 2019, you need to include words that show you understand a changing and evolving workplace (stock image)
If you want your CV to standout in 2019, you need to include words that show you understand a changing and evolving workplace (stock image) 

3. A proactive approach

Proactiveness is an umbrella term which means you’re able to think on your feet and not wait to be told what to do.

It’s a skill employers regards as valuable because it means you don’t wait for direction, in essence it demonstrates the ability to use initiative. 

According to Qamran Somjee, Practice Leader of Digital, Projects and Technology, Davidson Technology ‘agile’ environments are looking for staff who are proactive enough to contribute ideas and resilient enough to accept team feedback.

To demonstrate proactiveness on your resume, Mr Somjee said you may want to highlight situations where you’ve come up with ideas and solutions.

‘During an interview, I also advise people to answer questions by first describing the environment they have come from, succinctly describing challenges and letting the interviewer understand how they strived to achieve their goals.’

4. Empathy

Given business, is often built on cut-throat competitiveness, it seems somewhat at odds to include empathy as a sought-after trait.

However, according to Natalie Firth, co-founder and co-CEO of Think Talent, this quality is becoming more valued in the workplace, and employers are seeking are seeking candidates who are empathetic to customer needs.

‘Candidates should stress that they always consider the customer’s perspective. They should also list “empathy” as a skill in their resume and explain how it has helped them in their career,’ she said.

5. Resilience

The term resilience is a catch-all term that demonstrates your ability to cope with any challenges thrown your way.

‘The requirements of today’s workplace are more intense than ever before,’ said Andrea McDonald, Director of u&u Recruitment Partners. 

‘Due to the rise in technology, employees are rarely “off”, so the ability to manage that pressure and work effectively is essential.’

Ms McDonald said this trait is best demonstrated by showing how you overcame a difficult situation or found a way to move forward despite failure.

‘In an environment where you’re constantly experimenting, you have to be comfortable with failure and able to get back up again. This is why resilience is so important.’

Words to avoid using in your resume: 

 Replace these words:






Team player 

 With action verbs

 Developed (e.g. ‘I developed a new training manual’)

Achieved (e.g. ‘I achieved all my sales targets’)

Managed (e.g. ‘I managed a team of three’)

Initiated (e.g. ‘I initiated a health and safety program’) 


As well as creating a CV that demonstrates your skillset is in line with 2019’s job market, there is also a list of buzzwords  that you should think about ditching.

‘Candidates often include the words thinking they are enough to make them sound competent,’ Simon Bennett, a career coach from Glide Outplacement and Career Coaching, told . ‘But employers want to see how you embody these traits.’

Mr Bennett’s advice is to replace words such as a loyal, energetic, punctual, motivated, hardworking and team player with keywords or action verbs that highlight how your abilities are relevant to the job you’re applying for.

‘These types of action verbs capture attention and excite the reader,’ said Mr Bennett.

‘These words help to highlight your skills and abilities and demonstrate the success you have achieved in previous jobs.’

All Rights reserved for Emmilia Maza

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