Blog

11 July 2017
Don’t be a cliché – CV phrases to avoid

Are you a highly-motivated, dynamic problem solver with excellent team-working skills and a motivational leadership style who can work efficiently on their own too?

One thing that annoys hirers the most is a cliché CV with common phrases that don’t make you stand out from the pile of CV’s they have received. It’s easy to see why this tendency has taken hold: management speak, reality shows, self-help guides – everyone and everything is telling us to be bigger, better, faster people that stand on mountains and take on any challenges that come their way.

A recent report from Colonial Life highlighted seven of the worst candidate clichés being made to date, alongside the reasons interviewers hate them so much. Are you guilty of the following:

  1. Synergy

“Often candidates throw this word into sound knowledgeable, however, it can come across as useless jargon. Recruiters see it popping up far too regularly and sometimes not even in the right context.”

  1. Creative

“Using this word can undermine the candidate’s case, and tends to make the recruiter think that what they actually mean is ‘I have some good ideas’.”

  1. Problem Solver

“This isn’t necessarily a ‘skill’ to be boasted about as many recruiters or employers will take it as a given that you’d be able to solve problems in your area of expertise.”

  1. People Person

“Recruiters might see this as a code for ‘I’m chatty and sociable’, which whilst good qualities, might not come across as very professional.”

  1. Unflappable

It can be difficult for recruiters to determine whether what this is actually saying is ‘I’m not bothered by much’, which is not the impression any candidate wants to give.”

  1. Interfaced

“This can come across as a pretentious, rather than sophisticated, way of saying you spoke or interacted with someone.”

  1. Results Driven

“This tends to be seen as meaningless filler, as it goes without saying that most of us are driven by the outcome of our actions.”

And not forgetting passionate, reliable, honest, works well by self, highly motivated who enjoys reading and socialising!

Lee Biggins, Founder of CV-Library, commented on the issue of jargon-filled CVs: “While some employers now place more importance on broader experience and niche skills, it’s important that job hunters really shout about their soft skills, and highlight transferable qualities that they can apply to the role in question.

“Only the best CVs make the cut, so it’s important that they contain only the most relevant, enticing information for employers.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. If you are in need of advice, then get in touch with us today.

Candidate Hints & Tips