Once, Action verbs mattered on CVs, but not so much now.

In this article, I’ll show you a better way to write your CV.

Make Every Bullet Point Show:

Transferable Skills + Technical Experience + Quantifiable Results

Command a ‘wow factor’ by crafting your CV to highlight your difference; for example – show how you made the organisation money, or saved money, or operated more effectively.

Always use the job description to write your CV tailoring it each time to the specific job application. Ensure you know the keywords of a job description – you can use free word cloud apps such as ‘wordcrowds’ or ‘wordle.net’. Copy and paste the job description and the app will show you the most used or important words in the text. Then, use those words to write your winning CV!

What you want is to get your CV to pass the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that many recruiters use, moving it from HR to the hiring manager. Even better would be to get your CV directly to a person (the hiring manager) and avoid the machine altogether. Thus, the importance of working through a referral in the job-hunting process.

Some TRANSFERABLE SKILLS worth your shouting about:

  • Client-facing skills
  • Commercial acumen
  • Communication skills
  • Conflict resolution & problem solving
  • Current industry trends
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Entrepreneurial mindset
  • Information and time management
  • Legal and regulatory awareness
  • Organisational skills
  • People management
  • Product and market knowledge
  • Professional awareness
  • Project management
  • Relationship building and teamwork
  • Adaptability
  • Collaboration
  • Compliance
  • Communication
  • Conflict management
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Decisiveness
  • Delegation
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • External awareness
  • Flexibility
  • Independence
  • Influencing
  • Integrity
  • Leadership and management
  • Leveraging diversity
  • Negotiation
  • Organisational awareness
  • Persuasion
  • Problem-solving
  • Project management
  • Relationship Building
  • Resilience and tenacity
  • Risk-taking
  • Team work
  • Time management

Bonus Skills For PhDs:

  • Ability to conduct information and technological monitoring
  • Ability to convince, to argue, to negotiate
  • Capacity for self-assessment and questioning
  • Communication skills
  • Creativity, forward-looking work and innovative approach
  • Cross-functional, interdisciplinary and cross-cultural working habits
  • Flexibility, adaptability, mobility, speed
  • Great capacity for work and concentration
  • High level scientific and technical expertise
  • Internationally recognised profiles
  • Knowledge and practice of digital tools
  • Management of complex issues, uncertainty and change
  • Mastery of project management
  • Motivation, determination, perseverance, courage, passion
  • Multiple and important responsibilities
  • Proficiency in foreign languages
  • Relational ability
  • Strong capacity for analysis and synthesis


Next, each bullet point on your CV should show relevant technical knowledge, your core knowledge of a field or discipline such as Accounting, C++, JAVA, editorial, web & graphics design, digital marketing, mathematical skills, to mention a few.


Lastly, use result transitioning words such as “resulting in“, “as evident (shown or provedin“, “leading to” to show what outcomes you achieved in the situation described.

Let’s tie this together for some great CV bullet points examples:

  • Strong leadership skills, and experience managing research professionals on collaborative projects resulting in 11 publications and £120k in lab grant funding.
  •  Knowledgeable relationship builder with advanced skills in biological and chemical systems as demonstrated by the optimisation of 12 different nuclear magnetic methodologies, and the set-up of 3 cross-functional collaborations which led to £0.5 million in grant funding.
  • Knowledgeable innovator in bioinformatics and nanotechnology, as evident in 5 patents and the recent discovery of 4 new medical treatments involving composite micrometres.
  • Helped team recognise over £10K in grants, and skilfully led 18 engineers and technicians to complete all projects and studies on time resulting in grant renewal every single year.
  • Rounded industry awareness supporting the identification of areas needing enhancement in Postgraduate/Undergraduate students’ employability & entrepreneurship training, this led to the development of ‘designed programmes’ for universities & business schools.
  • Strong project management skills with sound oral & written communication skills, this evident in (also shown by/proven by/ annotated in/verified through) completing a Ph.D. with a written commendation from the Programme Head recommending the thesis to fellow students because of noted excellence in ‘clarity, contents and organisation’ of the work.
  • Passionate & experienced researcher and lecturer with strong numeracy skills, teaching undergraduate and postgraduate modules– economics, statistics, business mathematics, finance & entrepreneurship- leading to 2 awards by the university following student surveys.


Getting a good job takes more than a well-written CV. I’ve also explored what you should, and must, do while in school to help prepare you to land the prestigious and high-paid job you deserve upon graduation. Check out these articles ─ PART 1 & PART 2 & PART 3

Do you agree?