Clichés to Avoid With Your CV

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Published: 13 Feb 2016      

Your CV is meant to be a professional reflection of who and what you are as an individual, which means it must be as free of clichéd phrases as possible if you want a potential employer to take notice of what you have to say.

This means you need to take a bit of time to redraft the document once it has been completed. Keep an eye out for uses of any of the following words of phrases and consider alternative ways that you could make the same point so that you CV manages to stand out from the crowd.

“Although I Don’t Have Much Experience…”

You should be aiming to accentuate all of your positives in your CV, so a negative line like this is going to be a disservice. It will make the reader pay more attention to the things that you can’t do, rather than being enamoured with the things that you can do.

It also makes you seem like you are apologising to your potential employer before you have even met them, which demonstrates a lack of confidence that may be a turn off when considering a CV.

“I Work Well On My Own Or In a Team”

Could there be a more generic phrase to add into your CV? This one basically makes it look like you are trying to cover all bases, without actually providing any evidence of either to the employer.

Instead of using such a clichéd phrase, use the areas where you talk about what you have done in previous job roles to highlight specific projects or tasks where you have worked independently and as part of a group. Employers are smart and will be able to pick up on these examples without you having to beat them over the head with such an overused phrase.

“I’m A Perfectionist”

The temptation to use this phrase is understandable, as you will intend it to show that you pay attention to detail and won’t stop until you have gotten the job done right, but when read it can make you seem arrogant and unable to comprehend your actual weaknesses.

Worse yet, it can also make an employer think that you focus too much on the little thigs that don’t matter, instead of sticking to the big picture. Even if you are a perfectionist, try to avoid this phrase as it carries too many negative connotations.

“I Like Movies and Reading”

This line can be changed to any other hobby or interest that practically everybody has. Why include it in your CV if it is something that everybody does or an activity that you can’t relate to your professional life?

If you have an interests section of the CV, try to pick out things that make you stand out from the crowd and add value to the rest of the document. Can your interest be related to anything you do professionally, or does it play an important role in a personal aspect of your life? If so, it belongs in this section.

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