The importance of using adverbs when writing a CV or cover letter is sometimes absent from our CV education. The language you use can make a big difference to the tone of your CV and adverbs – words that change the meaning of verbs, nouns and adjectives- can help you create the image you want to perceive. Here is a brief look at how adverbs can help (or hinder) your chances of getting an interview.
Just remember overuse of adverbs can hinder your application more than not using enough. “Generic hyperbole belongs on cereal boxes, not on résumés,” says Duncan Mathison, a career consultant and co-author of “Unlock the Hidden Job Market: 6 Steps to a Successful Job Search When Times Are Tough.” “If it does not pass the ‘So what, anybody can make that claim’ test, leave it off.”
Analytically gives an employer the impression you are thoughtful and act with care instead of making decisions off the cuff. Rash decisions can lead to poor output which a lot of people hiring want to avoid. Put words such as ‘searched’ and ‘considered’ next to analytically when writing your CV.
This is a good adverb to be used when you’re going for a target-oriented role. It shows you like to stay on top of your game and constantly starving to do better. On a sales CV using competitively gives you an edge because that’s what some employers are looking for.
Consistence is good in every walk of life. If an employer knows someone is going to complete 85% of their tasks all the time and someone fluctuates between 60 and 100%, they’re going to choose the person with consistence. When writing your CV pair words like ‘reached’ and ‘achieved’ with consistently to widen the impact.
Working with others is a given in any role, whether you’re a freelancer at home, or in a busy restaurant. By using cooperatively on your CV along with ‘aided’ or ‘lead’ shows you have good communication skills and you’re easy to work with.
Related: 25 Words That Can Hurt Your CV
Being able to get things done quickly in the work place is paramount, especially when there are deadlines. Efficiently is a good adverb to use on your CV when applying for jobs that require a lot of organisation. It shows you are logical and do things right the first time.
When looking for work that requires a lot of working on your own, perhaps operating from home, independently is a good adverb to use when writing your CV. It shows you are able to make quick decisions and have confidence to handle clients alone.
Innovatively is a really good buzzword for those looking to get into the newer job market. By using the word you show you are always thinking outside the box and you keep up to date with the latest trends. Use innovatively with words similar to ‘lead’ and ‘created’.
Every one wants reliability in the work place and employers like staff they can rely on. Whatever position you are going for, reliably is an adverb that should be on every CV. Place reliably with verbs like ‘managed’ and ‘delivered’.
Together with ‘attained’ and ‘implemented’ the use of resourcefully can speak measures of your skills and qualities. Used correctly, resourcefully can convey problem solving, prioritisation skills and you can work with what you have.
Related: How to Write a Winning CV
No matter where you are on the career ladder, successfully is one of those non negotiable must haves when writing your CV. Put next to almost any buzz word, successfully shows you are experienced and knowledgeable in your area, just remember to back it up with examples.
Now we have seen how certain adverbs can help enhance your CV or cover letter, let’s look at cliché adverbs that may make employers cringe.
Surprisingly, the CV cliché is not a good word to put on your CV. When people say they are natural at something, they usually mean they have worked incredibly hard to be good, and it can sound pompous. Try using words like ‘proficient’.
When people mention they imaginatively or creatively did something, it can mean they threw all their eggs in one basket and hoped it worked out okay- not a particularly desirable quality. Imaginatively is one to avoid if you are going for a role that involves careful thinking and planning.
If someone describes themselves as meticulous on their CV, they usually mean they know how they work best and will continue to do so, regardless of how it affects colleagues. This can make them difficult to work with. To avoid being seen this way use words like ‘carefully’ or ‘thoughtfully’.
Intelligently is not a bad adverb to use as such but treat it like marmite. It is not too dissimilar from meticulously. The difference however is employers may feel you think you know everything and would not be willing to try new things, flexibility is key in the modern work place. Try using ‘resourcefully’ or ‘logically’ to convey your meaning instead.
Usually if someone sees themselves as patient, more likely than not, they are impatient. Patience can be a substitute for tolerance, which is not necessarily a good quality. Like the old saying goes, patience is a virtue and employers want someone who has it, and not work for it through gritted teeth. Try replacing it ‘helpfully’ or ‘calmly’ instead.
Adverbs are great little things to make our CV stand out and give the employer an insight into how we work and subtly show off our qualities if used correctly. Although we have described the adverbs above as faux pas, if they are in job description then use them and meet the employers needs. Go through your next CV and see if your message can be conveyed differently and always question if it’s just taking up precious CV space.
It can be difficult to implement adverbs in a CV and if you’re unsure how to go about it, let the CV writing experts at PurpleCV.co.uk give you a hand.