Recruiter buzzwords, what they mean and why putting them on your CV can benefit you financially

Sometimes, reading a job advertisement can be like trying to understand a foreign language. Even simple terms such as passionate, motivated and innovative can be confusing when you’re trying to decode what a recruiter is actually looking for.

Classified ads website, Adzuna recently did a study of more than 500,000 job adverts and subsequently revealed the top buzzwords recruiters are using, what they actually mean and what the average salary is for jobs requiring these skills.

Term: Organised

Number of adverts it appeared in (out of 500,000 and according to Adzuna): 99,862

Average salary for jobs requiring the skill: £34,479

If a job requires you to be organised, chances are that you are going to have a heavy workload and you need to be able to prioritise. A CV emphasising that you are used to working hard and are happy to do so is a good way of catching a recruiter’s attention in this incidence.


Term: Communication Skills

Number of adverts it appeared in: 68,064

Average Salary: £31,923

In some jobs, possessing good communication skills might mean that you will be expected to give confident presentations to lots of people. It may also be a way of saying that the right candidate must have good social skills – something that recruiters are reluctant to specify. Although this is hard to demonstrate on a CV, a useful tip is to demonstrate the different audiences you are used to communicating with – the more breadth you have, the more convincing it will be.

Term: Motivated

Number of adverts it appeared in: 65,011

Average Salary: £30,905

A recruiter may use this term to put off people who aren’t 100% serious about the job. It can also mean that you will be working independently so should therefore demonstrate that you have initiative and can be a self-starter.

Term: Qualified

Number of adverts it appeared in: 58,955

Average Salary: £34,837

Although it’s easy to define what ‘qualified’ means if you are an accountant, doctor or pilot, if there is no recognised certificate in your field, assume that the employer wants you to showcase your experience. It’s worth bearing in mind however that certificate or not, a recruiter is looking for candidates who can demonstrate how they have applied what they have learnt to their previous roles.

Term: Flexible

Number of adverts it appeared in: 56,551

Average Salary: £29,007

As the economy remains stagnant, this term is being used more and more frequently because workplaces are understaffed. This means that candidates are expected to not only do their jobs, but be flexible enough to take on additional tasks every now and then. Pretty much anyone can be flexible when they have to be but the key to what a recruiter is looking for here is your willingness to do so.

Although these terms are great to incorporate in your CV, don’t fall into the trap of cramming them all in there or exaggerating your skills. If you don’t have the right qualifications for example, there is no point lying about it because you will get found out eventually. Similarly, if presentations aren’t your thing don’t pretend they are because if your new employer thinks you’re confident to do this, they are likely to throw you in at the deep end.

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