Chapter 2: The use of keywords in your responses

I strongly believe that if you use positive keywords and phrases when completing your application form your chances of success will increase. The reason for this is simple. As human beings we naturally respond in a positive manner to certain words and phrases and we also react negatively to others.

I will now list a number of keywords that you may choose to use when completing the responses to your application form. Underneath the keyword I have also provide a sample sentence of how I would personally include this in my response.

  • Enthusiastic “I am driven, hard working and enthusiastic team player.”
  • Dedicated “I am totally committed to my work and have a track record for being dedicated, professional and conscientious.”
  • Committed “I am totally committed to my work and have a track record for being dedicated, professional and conscientious.”
  • Punctual “I fully understand how important it is to be punctual for all work commitments and meetings.”
  • Hardworking “I am driven, hard working and enthusiastic team player.”
  • Conscientious “My peers would describe me as someone who is highly conscientious in the workplace and who can be relied upon to deliver.”
  • Caring “At times I believe it is important to show compassion and, as such, I can be extremely caring when the need arises.”
  • Teamwork “Teamwork is the foundation of any successful business and as an employee of your company I would always do my utmost to work effectively as a team player.”
  • Experienced “I am highly experienced in the role that I am applying for and have numerous qualifications to my name.”
  • Proactive “I am a highly proactive person who is always looking for ways to improve both myself and the company that I am working for.”
  • Focused “I am a naturally focused person who always decides at the beginning of the day exactly what it is I aim to achieve by the end of the working day. I then go all out to achieve it.”
  • Capable “I have a track record for achieving and all of my appraisals state that I am a very capable person.”
  • Meticulous “I am a meticulous person who likes to check over my work once complete to verify its professionalism.”
  • Organised “I always ensure that I am organised and plan for the next working day’s activities.”
  • Persist “If ever I am unsure how to carry out a task I will persist until I am fully competent in that particular area.”
  • Understanding “Having a thorough understanding of a role or a brief is crucial to its success.”
  • Adaptable “Although I am skilled in one particular area I am extremely adaptable and can be relied upon to assist or change roles at a moments notice.”
  • Flexible “I am a flexible person who can be called upon to work unsociable hours if required.”
  • Driven “I am driven, hard working and enthusiastic team player.”
  • Determined “I am always determined to achieve any goal that is set.”
  • Balanced “My balanced view on things allows be to remain calm in a crisis and always perform to the best of my ability.”
  • Achiever “I have always been an achiever and I am not satisfied unless I have a goal to work towards at work.”
  • Practical “In addition to be an excellent administrative worker I am also a practical person who can adapt to any given situation.”
  • Knowledgeable “I always ensure that I keep myself up-to-date with work related knowledge and information that allows me to perform to the best of my abilities.”
  • Consistent “I am consistent in all work related activities which ensures that the work I produce is to an exceptional standard.”
  • Analytical “Having an analytical nature means that I am capable of helping the team solve any problems that may arise.”
  • Compassionate “I am always compassionate towards people whom I work with.”
  • Independent “Although I am an excellent team worker I am also sufficiently independent and can be relied upon to work unsupervised when required.”
  • Cooperative “I fully appreciate how important teamwork is in any given work related situation and I can be relied upon to be cooperative and professional at all times.”
  • Industrious “I have a reputation for being highly skilful and industrious.”

The above list is certainly not exhaustive, however, when completing an application form I will always make good use of ‘positive’ keywords like these. Please feel free to use any combination of the above sentences but make sure that, if you do use them, they relate to your own skills, qualities and attributes.

It is also important to point out at this stage that you should always try wherever possible to back up your claims with ‘evidence’.

Here’s an example of how I would use evidence to demonstrate the quality of teamwork.

“Teamwork is the foundation of any successful business and as an employee of your company I would always do my utmost to work effectively as a team player. I already have a large amount of experience as working as part of a team. For example, in a previous role we were regularly required to work effectively as a team during stocktaking sessions. I always made sure that I communicated with each member of the team to keep them updated on my progress. I also supported the newer members of the team and provided feedback to the manager on our progress as and when required.”

So, as you can see, the use of positive keywords can have a dramatic effect on your application form. They can turn it from a ‘run of the mill’ application form to an outstanding one.

Here’s an example of how I might use positive keywords to describe my character.

“I am an experienced person who is capable of performing to a high standard in any given situation. I fully understand the importance of teamwork when in a work situation and I always ensure that I communicate effectively with other people in the team. I am cooperative, industrious and knowledgeable and I have a track record for performing well above the expected standard. Although I am a hardworking and driven person, I also know when to adapt to certain situations. For example, recently a work colleague was having a difficult time at home. I comforted her and offered to assist her in her role at work in order to take some of the pressure off her during her difficult time. I can be very compassionate and flexible when required. Finally, I believe I would make an excellent member of your team. I am enthusiastic, committed and adaptable and would perform very well in this role if the opportunity arose.”

The above sample response is very positive. It is full of quality attributes that any employer would want in their team. Keep a note of the keywords that I have provided you and try to utilise them in your responses to the questions on your application form.

Now I will provide you with a number of sample application form questions and responses. Remember; take the time to create your own responses using the template provided. You can refer back to the positive keywords and phrases at anytime.