Choose your words carefully

Employers don’t want to see the words “never” or “mistake” in job applications but are keen on “achievement” and “transferable skills”, according to academic research.

And your choice of words could affect the success of your application for a job.

Admissions advisers and psychologists at the University of Hertfordshire have drawn up a list of the 10 top words to make a good impression in applications, based on their research. They have also listed the 10 worst words, including “hate” and “nothing”.

This advice tells applicants not to say “mistakes” but to mention their “valuable lessons”. It also recommends avoiding other less than positive words, such as “panic”, “problems” and “awful”.

The choice of language generates a positive or negative impression, which can prove vital because employers and universities will see many similar application letters, they said.

Over-emphatic words such as “never” and “always” could give a negative impression that “the applicant is making an exaggeration which is seldom true”, and should be avoided.

Application form words

10 Best: Achievement, active, developed, evidence, experience, impact, individual, involved, planning, transferable skills

10 Worst: Always, awful, bad, fault, hate, mistake, never, nothing, panic, problems 

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