Flow control for performance enhancement over airfoils has become an increasingly important topic. This work details the characteristics of flow control using synthetic jets over a NACA0015 airfoil at a Reynolds number of 896,000 based on the chord length and free stream velocity, and at 20° angle of attack wherein the flow is separated. Numerical simulations were performed to help understand the behaviour of the controlled flow for a range of synthetic jet parameters. Analysis of key flow parameters such as phase averaged pressure and streamline profiles indicate that the synthetic jet is efficient in increasing the lift coefficient; more so for larger jet amplitudes and at smaller angles of jet injection. Behaviour of the flow characteristics for controlled cases has been analysed from the flow structures obtained from the same. This work serves as a platform to qualitatively and quantitatively understand the effects of the jet parameters on the separated flow over the airfoil. © Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.