How to include strengths on your CV

Your strengths are a crucial part of what makes your CV interesting. Here’s some tips for featuring your best qualities on your CV.

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Table of Contents

  1. CV strengths
  2. Top 25 strengths to feature in your CV
  3. How can I decide which strengths to list on my CV?
  4. FAQ: CV strengths

CV strengths

Your unique strengths help your CV stand out from the crowd and get a job interview in this competitive market. Your strengths can be your best traits, skills, abilities or even experiences that ensure you are suited to the role you are applying for. Knowing which CV strengths to list is as important as your CV design and structure.

The key to presenting your strengths in your CV is to make sure they address the needs of the job role for which you are applying.

Top 25 strengths to feature in your CV

Just as there are certain qualifications and skills that are highly desirable, there are some key strengths that will stand out to a hiring manager. Here’s a list of strengths that are commonly considered desirable in job seekers because they are versatile and transferable:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Computer skills
  • Conflict resolution
  • Critical thinking and analysis
  • Time management
  • Marketing
  • First Aid skills
  • Digital literacy
  • Presentation and public speaking skills
  • Project management experience
  • Strong work ethic
  • Negotiation skills
  • Leadership skills and experience
  • Multitasking abilities
  • Active listening
  • Technical writing skills
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Coaching or teaching skills and experience
  • Delegation and priority management
  • Report writing skills
  • Research skills
  • Motivational skills

Though many of these skills are soft skills that are often considered to be standard skills in any role, they are by no means guaranteed in any candidate. This is why it pays to list these strengths in your CV alongside hard skills, especially if they apply to the role. You should also take care to quantify your strengths and accomplishments properly – this will boost your CV.


How can I decide which strengths to list on my CV?

To get the best possible result from your job application, it is important to list only the best, most relevant strengths, skills and qualifications on your CV. If you are having trouble deciding what CV strengths to include to catch the eye of the hiring manager, here are a few things to consider.

Strengths for which you have been recognised.

If you have awards, achievements or certifications to back up certain strengths, you should include them in your CV (assuming they apply to the job you are applying for). While anyone can claim to have a certain trait or skill, providing further evidence is a major point in your favour.

Strengths for which previous employers have praised you.

If your previous employers have praised you for certain competencies, skills and traits, you should consider them among your best skills and include them on your CV. This is advisable because the hiring manager may call your previous employer, and if they do, that employer will be able to support the claims you make.

Strengths for which you’ve been trained.

If you have official training for any of the things you consider your greatest strengths, these strengths should be prioritised for inclusion in your CV. Candidates who have recognised qualifications or certifications for specific skills appeal to employers because it shows a willingness to put time and effort into self-improvement.

Strengths that match the job requirements.

While some strengths are widely beneficial, like First Aid training, for example, others are specialised. This is why it is crucial to tailor your CV to each job you apply for. Cheque the job description and make a list of bullet points for your greatest strengths and greatest weaknesses. Don’t include the weaknesses in your CV, of course, but make sure you’re aware of them so you can improve in the future.

Once you have this list, narrow it down to the three or four main things you are good at that also meet the job requirements. These are the points you should include in your CV. Try to keep the strengths you mention in mind if you are called for a job interview because the hiring manager is likely to ask you to give examples of strengths that you have cited in practice.

It can be beneficial to have a personal list of strengths and examples of how you have displayed them as a refresher to reference before interviews. There are other steps you can take to prepare for a job interview – CVHelp has an interview preparation section which will be very helpful.


FAQ: CV strengths

Q: How can I make sure I’m listing the right strengths in my CV?

Consider your past achievements and what they say about your strengths and capabilities. Then compare them to strengths often listed in your industry. Furthermore, consider the job listing and think about the strengths that recruiters will be looking for in relation to that description.

Q: Do I need to individualise strengths to each job posting?

Ideally, you should tailor your CV to suit each job you apply for, even if you are simply changing the wording to reflect the language used in the job description. Mirroring the language of the posting in your CV and cover letter will increase your chances of standing out when the hiring manager reviews applications.

Q: Will CV strengths really make a big difference in my results?

Yes, if you take the time to do your research and highlight certifications, soft skills and personal strengths that are relevant to the role you apply for, you will find that your job search is more fruitful. These small actions will show you to be detail-oriented and conscientious.

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