Words and Phrases to Avoid on Your CV

Certain words and phrases are so clichéd and overused on CV’s that at this stage they have the tendency to turn the reader off and make them skeptical about everything else they read on your CV. There is little point in listing a number of verbs that you claim to have if you are not re-iterating this with any actual facts and figures.

Examples of phrases to avoid include:

I work well in a term

I problem solve consistently

I work best under pressure

As a matter of course today it is assumed that an employee will be able to carry out the above if they are a likeable, competent, capable person so the use of these statements is just telling the potential employer that you might just be able to do the job like the other couple of hundred applicants but it certainly doesn’t give you any competitive edge.

Here are some examples of words that have potential employers running for cover:





A People Person

So then how do you convince an employer of your worth without listing your attributes?

1. Incorporate words into your CV effectively

Basically, from the on-set weave these words into your CV by combining them with concrete facts, figures and statistics about your career to date e.g. ‘Results driven, people person whose sales team increased the sales of core products by 25% this quarter.’

Enhance your attributes further by taking keywords from the job advert or industry news items and combining them with your own personal work experience history.

2.  Use specific examples from your personal work history

Always use examples from your own work history to impress upon a potential employer that you have already achieved results similar to the ones he is seeking. E.g. instead of putting, ‘I have organized many great events over the past few years,’ for an Events Manager you should try, ‘I increased the volume of people present at The Palmer flower show by 30% in 2009 and I introduced three new stands which accounted for a 20% increase in revenue sales.’

3. Make sure your words are effective and relevant 

Many attributes that you possess would be important pointers to any employer in many different sectors so always incorporate as many of these as possible into your CV details.

So if you have been responsible for increasing sales, efficiency or overall profit levels then this is always something you should mention.  Consequently you may have helped to improve or enhance cost reduction, overhead reduction or an improvement in the quality of products, whatever your achievements are always try and incorporate them in your CV as much as possible.

Try not to be repetitive in your CV e.g. try not to over use ‘I’ instead try to bullet point your achievements and use verbs such as spearhead, restructure, design, supervise, expand, co-ordinate, achieve, restructure and create. Also try to use some descriptive adjectives such as key, strategic, pivotal or crucial. Overall be creative, organized and prepared to be innovative.