5 Phrases To Avoid On Your CV

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This can be tackled very simply by …..Avoiding clichéd wording and phrasing at ALL costs. You will run the risk of coming across as boring, unimaginative and fall in to the “meaningless waffle” category.

What we know is you only have a finite amount of space in which to best describe yourself and your professional capabilities, therefore you need to create a document which is concise but imaginative and will grip the reader and greatly increase your chances of landing a job interview.

So what do we include?

Yes you have a sizable amount of information you would like include.

Yes it is important you mention your personal details, experience, skills, and education.

However…… there are also several words and phrases you should never include within your CV.

What bits do I leave out?

  • “Curriculum Vitae” – Having this at the top of your CV is probably the most common CV cliché of all time. It should be fairly obvious that what you are reading is a cv Instead it is fine to have your name as the title after all you are the owner of the documents 
  • Photos. It would be advisable not to include photos on your CV unless you’re applying for a job in which your face and body is an important part of the application process for example, TV, acting, modelling. It won’t help secure a position, and in some cases, employers may ignore your because it contains information that may be considered discriminatory.
  • Similar situation with Contact info. Keep it simple when including your contact info. Provide one phone number, one email address, and one street address. No more than this is necessary.
  • Common over used words - How common is it to come across a CVs starting along the lines of “I am a hard-working / honest / reliable individual…” or something along those lines? We are all guilty of having used these general pointless words in our CV at some point, and while technically, these words aren’t necessarily” bad” they are unnecessary. Employers would assume you possess these attributes as what is the alternative … you are Lazy / untrustworthy / unreliable? Think outside the box when including descriptive words.

    Other examples:

  • Problem solver - Leaves you open for the question: “tell us about a problem that occurred and describe how you dealt with it.?” Tricky situation to be in at an interview, especially if you can only think of a problem you caused.
  • Motivated - It’s vague. Why is it important to say specifically that you are a motivated person? Motivated to do what exactly?
  • Communication Skills - Why do you want to say you are excellent at communicating? So, you can speak? You can type an         email? You can do both of these things very well? Is being exceptionally articulate that important for the job.
  • Hobbies/interests. This is a controversial one. General advice would be, leave them off! A cv is a professional document, to allow an employer to learn about your professional accomplishments. It doesn’t need to include your love of hiking, scuba diving, or playing chess and these sections may simply be viewed as a means to fill space. If a hobby is exceptionally appropriate then in some instances it may be appropriate to include for example if you are a member of a club or association that links well with the job role. Or you may be a chef who mentions you enjoy fine dining to get ideas or compare standards of similar professionals.
  • References available upon request. This phrase takes up valuable space that can be used to add more details about your actual accomplishments and experience. You can leave it off, as in most instances an employer would assume you have suitable references. If a company is interested in making you an offer, they will ask you for references and at that point you can provide them.

Some useful Statistics

Linkedin has over 187 million profiles members have worldwide and annually they produce the top over used buzzwords and which countries use the most:

Analytical  - Switzerland

Creative -  Australia, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Sweden, U.S.

Effective - India

Experimental -  Brazil

Motivated - Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom

Multinational - Egypt, Indonesia

Responsible - France, Italy

Specialized - Spain

Career Development Toolkit for Higher Education Professionals

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