CV Buzzwords for 2019


cartoon magnifying glass with papersIt’s always good idea to keep your CV as fresh and relevant as possible, and with Christmas and New Year festivities now well behind us, now is a great time to dust off last years’ CV and make sure it is up to date for the 2019 job market. A positive way to keep your CV relevant and marketable is to use some of the current on-trend recruitment buzzwords.

Including words that hiring managers will be looking out for using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), will ensure your CV doesn’t get left behind as the use of computerised selection increases. Using the right words to best effect in your CV is a skill that you need to master if you want to get the job of your dreams in this digital age.

Here is some insight into what recruiters think the CV buzzwords for 2019 will be:

1. Adaptability

According to Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand, “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.”

During times of digital transformation adaptability will be a ‘soft’ skillset that employers will be looking out for first of all. Use your CV to explain how you have been able to adapt to change or manage conflicting priorities simultaneously.

2. Analytical thinking

Mike Dickson, Director at Six Degrees Executive, declares that “analytical thinking has become a highly sought-after skill. As every function seeks to operate more efficiently and to drive return on investment, the ability to analyse enables informed decision making.”

However, it’s not enough to just write on your CV that you are analytical, you have to show it too. Make sure you make specific reference to your analysis skills, from conducting analysis or identifying and evaluating risk, to reflect your problem solving ability.

3. Being proactive

According to, Proactivity is “… behaviour that is “anticipatory, change-oriented, and self-initiated behaviour in situations, rather than just reacting.”

Make sure your CV demonstrates times where you’ve come up with solutions to problems without being prompted, how you implemented those solutions and explain the positive outcomes. You can demonstrate proactivity by highlighting times you have been flexible, have effectively communicated with your colleagues and have been able to use your initiative.

4. Empathy

As many of the most important interactions are human, Natalie Firth, Co-Founder of Think Talent, explains “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.”

Empathy is simply recognising emotions in others, and being able to "put yourself in another person's shoes" – understanding the other person's perspective and reality. In your CV, highlight in your CV your ability to empathise, perhaps by demonstrating understanding during a time of conflict or where you have been able to build rapport and relations with others.

5. Resilience

Resilience is defined by most as the ability to recover from setbacks, adapt well to change, and keep going in the face of adversity.

In a work environment, resilient individuals tend to cope better with pressure, hardship and uncertainty whether that be created by organisational change, shifting priorities or heavy workloads. Use your CV to explain the times when you’ve had to cope with challenges and difficult problems, demonstrating the strategies you used to keep yourself, and your team engaged and motivated. If you have been contracting or working on projects, you may want to demonstrate how you have had to integrate into a new role/project quickly and efficiently.

While it’s always a good idea to keep your CV updated and fresh, make sure to only use buzzwords if they make sense, are industry appropriate and are relevant to where you use them in your CV. Make sure you continue to look out for words on the role description and use them where possible, and don’t forget to update your cover letter to reflect new changes in your CV!

Renovo is one of the UK’s leading providers of outplacement and career transition support. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you please call 0800 612 2011 or email

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