Worst CV sins revealed

Worst CV sins revealed

With the average recruiter seeing dozens of CVs a day, it’s no wonder certain phrases grow tiresome.

These CV clichés may seem simply annoying, but in truth they are failing to highlight potential candidate’s best traits and instead lumping them with the rest of the buzz-word using majority –Founder of CV-Library, Lee Biggins told Recruitment Grapevine.  

“When it comes to CV writing, there’s a fine line between key words that candidates think sound good, and overused phrases that recruiters loathe. After all, recruiters see hundreds of CVs a day, which can all begin to look the same, so candidates should try to avoid using clichéd lines that have been recycled many times as much as they can,” he said.

“In general, adding a certain amount of creativity to a CV is important and helps to inject a bit of personality. After all, it’s a personal marketing tool which candidates use to sell themselves to potential employers: they should be doing what they can to stand-out.”

Biggins and Darain Faraz from LinkedIn compiled the following list of buzz words to avoid, for The Daily Mail:

Perfectionist - This can be interpreted in two ways, says Biggins. “Firstly, no one can be perfect all the time so this statement is an exaggeration of your abilities.

“Secondly, it could actually be detrimental to your chances as some recruiters see a "perfectionist" as someone who is picky or focuses too much on the little things.”

Multi-tasking - Whilst multi-tasking is a desirable skill, employers could misinterpret this statement to mean that a candidate is easily distracted or often have too many things going on at one time. If you’re looking to hire someone, you want to hear about their results.

Hard-working - The phrase ‘hard worker’ can be misread in two ways, says Biggins. Firstly, the employer has no way of telling whether this is true or not, so it’s a relatively empty statement. Secondly, no one is going to send in a CV admitting to being lazy or work-shy.

Team player who works well individually - Not only is this phrase boring and overused, but most people work well in a team or alone so it’s unlikely to make a person stand out.

Enthusiastic and passionate - Instead of saying that a candidate is ‘passionate’ and ‘enthusiastic’ show that they are by listing any voluntary experience or causes.

Creative - Try, ‘I see the world differently’. Or, actively showcase  ‘creativity’ by uploading examples of work so that people can see this for themselves.

Track record – Instead, use ‘performance’ or ‘reliable’.

Extensive experience - Demonstrate ‘experience' by offering opinion and insight on relevant topics through groups. Being active in these groups makes a LinkedIn profile 15 times more likely to be viewed.

References available upon request: Everybody needs a referee and a potential employer will seek one out when necessary - usually far down the interview process - so don't waste words on this seemingly useless statement.

Salary negotiable: 'Whose salary isn’t negotiable?', asks Simon Conington, MD of BPS World. Avoid putting any salary details on a CV.


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