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What Are the Most Over-Used Cliches in CV Writing?

27 Feb, 2014


If you're going to catch a recruiter's eye when making a job application, then you need to ensure you've got something they haven't seen before. Stuffing your CV with clichés is a sure-fire way of being ignored. Avoid the following if at all possible.

Being a team player is a pointless statement. It's expected that you're going to be a team player, and nobody is ever going to say otherwise. This is redundant, and the space could be better used saying something interesting about yourself.

All businesses are results oriented. You might think that you're aligning yourself with the company's ethos, but really you're not saying anything. Every job is looking to get a result out of hiring you after all, and nearly every other candidate will be saying exactly the same thing. Tell the recruiter how and why you go about getting results.

Whoever is going to read your CV has heard the word passionate hundreds of times already. Even if you are passionate about accounting or risk assessment, you should try to think of a more interesting way of saying it. Demonstrate this rather than just using a thesaurus. There's a helpful article here that should give you some inspiration.

Every candidate should be highly motivated. If you weren't then you wouldn't be applying for the job. If you really want to show that you're motivated, then actually give evidence rather than using this cliché.

Having extensive experience is great, but showing it is better than saying it. If you're applying for an electrician job, then be specific; tell people that you got your PASS accreditation from, rather than just saying you have experience.

Saying you have excellent communication skills is like saying that you know how to talk to people and use emails. It's a given, and most CV readers will simply gloss over this bit. Say something better, and demonstrate how your communication skills actually set you apart from other candidates.

Avoid slipping these clichés into your CV, use the space for something more original, and you'll find that potential employers are far more inclined to listen to what you have to say and give you that all important interview. And as a final note, don't bother with the phrase 'curriculum vitae'; anyone reading the document knows what a CV is.


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