Fri, May 27, 2022

Here are lists of key words you can use to describe your professional skills, talent and interests. Use these specialist terms in your job applications and online profiles.

Lists of keywords for specific industries

I found this on the New York State Department of Labour website as I couldn’t find useful lists specifically for South Africans. When you use these terms, be sure to be able to prove that you have the applied skills. Even the most average recruiter can tell fairly quickly establish when someone is simply stringing words together and when they actually mean something relevant.

High Impact Phrases:

  • Accelerated career track
  • Best in class
  • Business process redesign
  • Capturing cost reductions
  • Catalyst for change
  • Change agent
  • Competitive market positioning
  • Core competencies
  • Cross-functional team leadership
  • Deliver strong and sustainable gains
  • Distinguished performance
  • Driving customer loyalty initiatives
  • Driving performance improvement
  • Emerging business ventures
  • Entrepreneurial drive / vision
  • Market dominance
  • High impact / performance / quality
  • Organizational driver
  • Outperforming market competition
  • Peak performer
  • Top flight leadership competencies
  • Visionary leadership


specific names of software, back office operations, records management, workflow prioritization, confidential correspondence, executive support, meeting planning, vender and customer communications, productivity and performance management, project planning, staff training and development

Association and not for profit management:

Corporate giving, endowment funds, grassroots campaign, board relations, budget oversight, community outreach, member development / retention / services, not-for-profit, organizational leadership / mission / vision, policy development,  public relations, research foundation, volunteer recruitment, strategic planning, policy development, humanitarian relief, donor negations


Asset based lending, asset management, branch operations, commercial banking, consumer credit, credit analysis, depository services, global banking, foreign exchange, investment management, letters of credit, loan processing, return-on-investment, risk management, secured lending, credit administration,

Customer service:

Relationship management, customer communications, customer needs assessment, customer retention, customer satisfaction, order processing, key account management, process simplification, records management, sales administration, service benchmarks, service delivery, service measures, multi-site call center management, procedure standardization, strategic business planning, vendor sourcing, contract compliance


Capital project, computer aided engineering, cross-functional team, engineering charge order, experimental design, facilities engineering, field performance, methods design, Process development, product design, product development cycle, product innovation, product manufacturability, productivity improvement, project costing, project planning, prototype, quality assurance, regulatory compliance, research and development, scale-up, turnkey, work methods analysis, environmental testing, product cost and production scheduling

 Finance, accounting and auditing

Accounts payable, accounts receivable, asset disposition, asset management, audit controls, capital budgets, corporate tax, cost accounting, cost/benefit analysis, credit and collections, debt financing, E-Trade, financial analysis, financial planning, foreign exchange, international financing, investment management, investor relations, job costing, letters of credit, leveraged buy-out, operating budgets, P&L analysis, return on equity, revenue gain, risk management, shareholder relations, stock purchase, treasury, trust accounting

 General, Executive Management and Consulting

Accelerated growth, benchmarking, business development, business reengineering, capital projects, consensus building, process improvement, corporate development, corporate image, cost avoidance, cost reduction, customer driven management, efficiency improvement, emerging business venture, entrepreneurial leadership, financial management, financial restructuring, high-growth organization, long-range planning, margin improvement, market development, new business development, organizational culture, performance improvement, policy development, relationship management, process reengineering, productivity improvement, P&L Management, revenue growth, signatory authority, start-up venture, strategic development, tactical planning, team building, turnaround management


Acute care facility, ambulatory care, assisted living, capital giving campaign, case management, certificate of need, chronic care facility, clinical services, continuity of care, electronic claims processing, fee billing, grant administration, managed care, multi-hospital network, outpatient care, patient relations, peer review, physician credentialing, preventative medicine, provider relations, public health administration, rehabilitation services, risk management, service delivery, third party administrator, wellness programs, integrated health care delivery


Amenities, back-of-the-house operations, catering operations, club management, Food and beverage operations, guest retention, hospitality management, inventory planning and control, member development, menu pricing, occupancy, portion control, property development, purchasing, resort management, signature property, vendor sourcing, VIP relations.

Human resources

Americans with disabilities act, benefits administration, career pathing, change management, claims administration, compensation, competency-based performance, electronic applicant screening, employee empowerment, employee relations, equal employment opportunity, grievance proceedings, incentive planning, labor arbitration, labor contract negotiations, merit promotion, organizational needs assessment, performance incentives, position classification, professional recruitment, succession planning, train-the-trainer, union relations, workforce reengineering

Human services

Advocacy, behavior management, behavior modification, casework, community outreach, counseling, discharge planning, integrated service delivery, mainstreaming, psychological counseling, social services, substance abuse, testing, treatment planning, vocational placement

Information systems and Telecommunications technology

Advanced technology, application development, benchmarking, capacity planning, cellular communications, data communications, data recovery, database design, database server, desktop technology, disaster recovery, document imaging, e-learning, electronic data interchange, emerging technologies, end user support, firewall, hardware engineering, imaging technology, Local Area Network, management information systems, multiuser interface, network administration, operating system, pilot implementation, project lifecycle, real time data, remote systems access, systems acquisition, systems configuration,

International business

Acquisition, competitive intelligence, cross-border transactions, diplomatic protocol, e-commerce, emerging markets, feasibility analysis, foreign government affairs, foreign investment, global expansion, global market position, intellectual property, international financing, international subsidiary, joint venture, market entry, merger, technology  licensing, strategic alliance

Law and corporate legal affairs

Acquisition, adjudicate, administrative law, antitrust, briefs, case law, copyright law, depositions, due diligence, intellectual property, joint venture, judicial affairs, juris doctor, landmark decision, legal advocacy, legal research, legislative review, licensing, limited partnership, mediation, memoranda, mergers, motions, negotiations, patent law, probate law, settlement negotiations, trial law, unfair compensation,

Manufacturing and operations management

Cell manufacturing, computer integrated manufacturing, clean, cost avoidance, cycle time reduction, distribution management, efficiency improvement, environmental health and safety, equipment management, facilities consolidation, inventory control, inventory planning, just-in-time, labor efficiency, logistics management, manufacturing integration, master schedule, materials planning, multi-site operations, Occupational health and safety, operations start up, order fulfillment, order processing performance improvement, pilot manufacturing, process automation, product development, production lead time, production output, productivity improvement, quality circles, regulatory compliance, value-added processes, warehouse operations, workflow optimization, world class manufacturing, yield improvement.

Public relations and corporate communication

Advertising communications, brand management, broadcast media, community affairs, community outreach, competitive market lead, cooperative advertising, corporate identity, corporate sponsorship, creative services, crisis communications, direct mail campaign, electronic advertising, event management, fundraising, logistics, market research, media buys, media scheduling, press releases, print media, promotions, public affairs, publications, sales incentives, special events, strategic positioning, trade shows

Purchasing and logistics

Acquisition management, barter trade, bid review, capital equipment acquisition, commodities purchasing, competitive bidding, contract administration, fixed price contracts, international trade, inventory planning and forecasting, just-in-time purchasing, materials replenishment ordering purchasing, offshore purchasing, outsourced, procurement, proposal review, request for proposal, subcontractor negotiations, supplier management, vendor quality certification, vendor sourcing.

Real estate, construction and property management

Asset management, asset workout/recovery, building code compliance, capital improvement, commercial development, competitive bidding, contract administration, contract award, environmental compliance, estimating, fair market value pricing, infrastructure development, leasing management, preventative maintenance, project concept, project development, property management, real estate appraisal, real estate investment trust, renovation, return on assets, site development, turnkey construction


Buyer awareness, credit operations, customer loyalty, distribution management, in-store promotions, inventory control, loss prevention, mass merchants, merchandising, preferred customer management, pricing, retail sales, security operations, softgoods

Sales and marketing

Account development, brand management, campaign management, competitive analysis, competitive contract award, consultative sales, customer loyalty, customer needs assessment, customer retention, direct mail marketing, direct response marketing, direct sales, distributor management, incentive planning, key account management, margin improvement, market launch, market positioning, market share ratings, new market development, product launch, P&L management, profit growth, promotions, revenue stream, sales forecasting, solutions selling,

Security and law enforcement

Asset protection, corporate security, crisis communications, electronic surveillance, emergency preparedness, interrogation, safety training, surveillance

Teaching and education

Classroom management, course design, curriculum development, education administration, field instruction, grant administration, holistic learning, instructional programming, lifelong learning, peer counseling, program development, recruitment, scholastic standards, student services, training and development

Transportation, warehouse and distribution

Cargo handling, carrier management, container transportation, contract transportation services, dedicated logistics operations, dispatch operations, distribution management, driver leasing, equipment control, export operations, fleet management, freight consolidation, inbound transportation, load analysis, logistics management, over-the-road, port operations, regulatory compliance, route management, route planning and analysis, safety management, terminal operation, traffic planning, warehouse management, workflow optimization

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Maria Mar 13, 2016 at 6:28 am

so useful! thanks

Thando Mar 16, 2016 at 11:21 am

excelent post, very informative.

tristan Jun 30, 2016 at 4:35 am

excellent publish, very informative. I wonder
why the opposite specialists of this sector don’t understand this.
You must proceed your writing. I’m sure, you have a great
readers’ base already!

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