Top Ten CV Clichés

Top Ten CV Clichés

If there is one thing guaranteed to irritate an employer, it’s the CV cliché. It may sound good to you, but it comes across as meaningless waffle which is not going to do you any favours. Here are the worst CV clichés and why you should avoid them at all costs.

  1. ‘Multi-tasking’: Being able to multi-task is definitely a strength, but when it comes to your CV, it can often be interpreted as being unfocused or having too many things going on at once. Thus, an employer may think your quality of work could be affected.


  1. ‘Perfectionist’: When it comes to certain areas of your life, being a perfectionist might work well. However, when it comes to your CV, it might suggest that you are too picky or that you focus too much on the little things.


  1. ‘Creative’: Creativity is essential for some jobs, but by merely inserting the word into your CV just seems like an empty promise. If you are going to use it, make sure you include examples throughout the CV of where you have shown creativity to back up what you are saying.


  1. ‘Enthusiastic’: Being enthusiastic is great. It shows passion and excitement. However, overstating your enthusiasm can make you sound desperate. Additionally, enthusiasm alone doesn’t quality you for much. What precisely are you enthusiastic about?


  1. ‘Team Player’: This is probably one of the most annoying clichés out there, it’s just drivel. Employers do want to see that you can work collaboratively and autonomously of course, but they need evidence of this and won’t be convinced by a hollow cliché.


  1. ‘Solution-focused’: Most people are solution focused – no one intentionally strives for failure. Adding this to your CV could be construed as arrogant, saying that you see yourself as someone who finds solutions where others see problems.


  1. ‘Highly motivated’: Being motivated is something an employer will expect, so adding it to your CV is quite meaningless. A better approach is to show your level of motivation in your cover letter.


  1. ‘People Person’: This is a pointless addition to your CV as your people skills will be identified through the interview anyway. Therefore, you don’t have to tell them in your CV.


  1. ‘References Available upon Request’: This is one of the most overused additions to a CV and is completely unnecessary. Recruiters and Hiring Managers will know that you have references available, otherwise why would you even apply for the job?


When prospective employers are looking over a mountain of CVs filled with clichés and lacking substance, it can be hard to see which candidates really stand out. So, don’t bore the reader. Avoid clichés, back up your promises and make the reader sit up, pay attention and call you to interview.

If you’re not sure about the content of your CV, why not submit for a free review, or give us a call in the office on: 01744 832 589.

Karen Dunbar is a CV Consultant, Professional Writer and mum of one with a passion for helping people secure their dream jobs and a talent for transforming seemingly boring words into compelling content. She talks a lot, loves blueberry muffins and has an obsession with owls!