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How to describe attention to detail in a resume

A resume is more usually known as a curriculum vitae, or CV, in Britain. According to the BBC, a CV should contain a personal profile. This is the section where you indicate your personal qualities. “Attention to detail” is something that most employers value in their employees.

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Attention to detail

“Attention to detail” is a perfectly acceptable phrase to use in a resume. Depending on the context, it could imply you can read and process information accurately. It might indicate your ability to work to very exacting demand briefs. It could convey the impression that you have considerable powers of observation and are able to see things that other people miss. You can refer to the quality by saying: “I demonstrated attention to detail by…” and then say what you did.


“Thoroughness” is a word you can use instead of the phrase “attention to detail” in some contexts. Both mean essentially the same, but “thoroughness” could imply that having noticed something had gone awry, you went to the trouble of doing something about it. Thoroughness is a useful quality to be able to offer, as even small oversights in an organisation’s operations can lead to costly blunders.


“Meticulousness” is another synonym for “thoroughness.” This is a pentasyllabic word, a word with five syllables. This might make it a slightly awkward choice for a curriculum vitae, which is a business communication. In business communications, you should avoid words that are not short and crisp, according to Lynn Gaertner-Johnston, the founder of Syntax Training. However, if a former teacher or employer has referred to your meticulousness, you would have good reason to use the word in your CV.


“Diligence,” and “perfectionism,” are two more words you could use instead of “attention to detail.” Diligence might be seen as a slightly old fashioned quality by some employers, but that need not be a bad thing. Presenting yourself as a perfectionist is a little risky, as attaining perfection is extremely difficult, but it might help make your CV stand out. That is, assuming the person reading your CV has enough attention to detail to notice the word.

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About the Author

Frank Luger had his first educational resources published in the early 1990s. He worked on a major reading system for Cambridge University Press, became an information-technology adviser and authored interactive whiteboard resources for "The Guardian." Luger studied English literature and holds a Bachelor of Education honors degree from Leeds University.

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