Phrases to avoid on your CV can be tackled very simply by omitting clichéd and generic wording and phrasing at ALL costs. You will run the risk of coming across as boring, unimaginative and fall into 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 should you include?
Yes, you have a sizable amount of information you would like included.
Yes, it is important you mention your personal details, experience, skills, and education.
However, there are also several words and phrases to avoid within your CV.
What bits should you 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 document.
- Photos – It would be advisable not to include photos on your UK 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 you because it contains information that may be considered discriminatory.
- Contact info – Keep it simple when including your contact info. Provide a contact number that the employer can reach on you at directly and a permanent email address. Including your address is optional. It is common to add your LinkedIn URL and a link to an online portfolio (depending on the job).
- Commonly overused 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.
- 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 is a phrase to avoid as it 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 575 million users worldwide and annually they produce the top overused buzzwords and which countries use the most. Below is the list of top 10 global buzzwords from 2017: