The Most Important Words to Include On Your CV

The Most Important Words to Include On Your CV

Understanding the job market is the most crucial element to a successful job search. Why?

Because in today’s digital age the most common way to apply for jobs is online. Recruiters are now overwhelmed with applicants in the thousands as opposed to a handful of applications they used to receive prior to the digital era.

Due to this large quantity of applications they simply do not have the time to go through each individual application, they have a personal assistant called ATS; Applicant Tracking Systems.

An Applicant Tracking System is essentially a computer software that helps recruiters, headhunters and HR professionals filter all of the unqualified, under skilled and not relevant applications they receive nowadays.

It helps them find the most relevant applications to the job posting but also helps them discover other relevant CVs that have been stored within their database from previous applications.

But how does an ATS render a CV relevant or not?

Similar to a LinkedIn search, a recruiter/headhunter will type certain keywords and duties the successful applicant should be capable of doing. Commonly they will also add operating systems they should have experience in.

The ATS (or LinkedIn Search) will then bring up a list of candidates they believe to be relevant – now here is the catch – solely on the number of keyword matches your CV has with the words the headhunter/recruiter has included. It is then up to the headhunter/recruiter to filter through the results and overview the CVs.

You could be the most relevant applicant in terms of experience, but if you don’t have what they are looking for on your CV then you may be missed.

So how can one guarantee they have the right keywords on their CV?

One way is to try and avoid the ATS all together and call the person responsible for the job posting. You may not think it is worth the time, but I bet if you asked most recruiters and headhunters, they will tell you otherwise.

Another is to check job applications for similar positions you are looking for. Chances are you will begin to see a trend of particular skills required and experiences needed and chances are they are the keywords included in their searches. So make sure you include these on your CV!

But this is also where we come in. We have access to the latest market intelligence available, ensuring your CV matches the requirements and specifications relevant to the particular positions you desire.

Do your research.

And here is the latest skills in demand each industry is looking for:

Finance & Accounting

  • Corporate Governance/SOX
  • Systems Savvy Advanced Excel Skills
    • Oracle
    • SAP
  • Commercial & Analytical
  • Strong Communication skills (including Arabic proficiency in ME)

Financial Services

  • Compliance and regulatory experience
  • Local experience twinned with developed market exposure
  • Senior Level Director Experience
  • Strong IT Skills
  • Experience with:
    • Accounting software
    • Oracle
    • SAP
    • CFA Qualification
  • ACII (Insurance) Qualification


  • Project Management
  • Commercial/Business Acumen
  • Strong Communication Skills
  • ERP Systems ExperienceDeveloped Market Exposure
    • SAP
    • Oracle
  • Degree Educated Paired with Relevant Qualification
    • PMP, ITIL, LEAN, CCIE, CCNP etc.


  • Performance Management
  • Organisational Design
  • Talent Management
  • SAP and Oracle knowledge
  • International/Multinational Exposure
  • CIPD, SHRM and MA HR management-qualified

Body language is important.Legal

  • Corporate/Commercial Skills
  • Western Qualified (Particularly in the Middle East)
  • Regional Exposure, Arabic Speaking
  • Any Specialist Industry Experience


Remember, this is just the initial step in helping you be considered for desired positions.

You could try and cheat the system and ensure you have every word under the sun on your CV, but that’s too obvious. Your CV will end up straight in the bin.

The next step has a human element to it. Your CV has to be formatted in a way that is eye catching, sells yourself and gives the headhunter and recruiter confidence you are a suitable candidate.


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