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The top 10 buzzwords that employers use when recruiting

A recent study of 500 000 job ads reveals the most common “buzzwords” that employers say they are looking for when recruiting – and organisation, communication, and motivation top the list of desired characteristics.
The UK-based Guardian newspaper asked Adzuna, a search engine for classified ads, to find the 10 words and phrases most commonly used by UK employers to describe the type of employee they are looking for. By far the most frequently used term – found in almost 100 000 ads – was “organised”.
“A CV emphasising that you’re used to working hard – and showing enthusiasm for it if you’re called for interview – is probably a good plan here,” the newspaper advises. Often your local EURES Adviser will be able to help with job applications, sometimes even by checking your CV for the type of qualities/skills which are important to highlight.
One of these is “communication skills” – the second most commonly used term according to the study. Indeed employers often seek someone who can confidently make a presentation, but perhaps also a candidate with good social skills. While candidates may use this term in their CVs, employers will also expect them to be able to name practical examples illustrating communication skills in their job interviews.
“Motivated” is the third most popular buzzword – perhaps because companies only want to attract the most eager applicants. “Initiative” and “self-starter” are comparable alternative words that candidates can use in their applications. They may also be expected to work independently and come up with their own ideas for work projects.
Other terms that feature in the top 10 include “qualified” and “degree”, while “flexible” has become more common in the economic downturn as struggling businesses try to cope with fewer staff. Basically, workers will be expected to take on extra work here and there – while not being grumpy about it.
Employers also want people who show “commitment”, are “passionate” and have a “track record”. The latter term is associated with positions that pay higher salaries and, as a result, successful candidates will be expected to perform to a high level once the job starts.
The final term in the top 10, “innovation” is one that candidates will be very familiar with but maybe unsure of what it actually means. In other situations, the word suggests creativity and “thinking outside the box”, but most employers really mean that they want someone who is a problem solver and has shown they can overcome difficult challenges.
So, the next time you are writing a job application, consider how well you are demonstrating your skills in the following sought-after areas:
Top 10 in demand buzzwords/terms:
  1. Organised
  2. Communication skills
  3. Motivated
  4. Qualified
  5. Flexible
  6. Degree
  7. Commitment
  8. Passionate
  9. Track record
  10. Innovative
Read more:
Read the Guardian’s ‘Top 10 things employers are looking for’ here
Search for a job in the EURES Job Database
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