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CV Writing Tips: Cliches to Avoid

Estimated reading time: 3 mins

Writing your CV can be considered to be a challenge. After all, you are no CV writing expert yet you want it to stand out above the others. You are experienced, well-qualified and have a great set of skills that employers will love so don’t go and ruin it by creating a CV that will fall flat on its face. If you’re really not sure of the best way to frame all your skills and experience, there are professional CV writers who can help, but if you’re up to the challenge and you avoid these clichés then you will give yourself the best chance of success.

You are Results-Driven

This is up there as one of the most widely used clichés. There is no doubt that you are a results kind of person but what are those results? Just simply stating that results motivate you is not enough to convince, so delve into it more. Explain your achievements and the results that you got. Did you hit a sales target one month and better it the next month? Did you reduce costs and increase revenue? Whatever it might be, share those results instead of skirting around them.

You are Hard Working

Naturally, you are going to want to prove that you are committed and not afraid of hard work but don’t just talk about it. Give examples where you have gone above and beyond for an employer and how you have earned a promotion through your efforts being recognised. By giving clear examples, it shows that you are not afraid of stepping up and doing more than what is expected of you.

You are a Thought Leader

If you include this on your CV, it will make you look as though you believe in yourself too much. Thought leaders are considered to be those who are at the peak of their industry. So, the aim here is to ease off on things and instead, make yourself more favourable by explaining how you are experienced in your specific line of work as a result of your qualifications and achievements.

A Team Player

So many CVs contain this little phrase but it does not give recruiters any insight into how you are a team player. Instead of just skirting around this why not explain what roles you played within a team and how your role fed into its success. Include those colleagues that you work closely with and use job titles while you can also mention customers and external contacts. Show potential employers why you are a team player.

Good Communication Skills

Almost every role out there requires someone who is a good communicator and so, it is not something that is worth highlighting. What’s more, your CV is a great way to demonstrate just how good you are at communication, after all, you are trying to communicate to a potential employer just why you are right for them. If you get it right through solid grammar, spelling and a great structure, then you will showcase the fact that you are a stellar written communicator.

You Love Socialising with Friends

Potential employers are not particularly interested in finding out what you do in your spare time as most people enjoy socialising with friends. This is often found in the interests and hobbies section but instead of stating that socialising is an interest, why not highlight skills and interests such as any volunteering work, extracurricular skills, sports or work-related interests that you might have. 

There are no doubt many more phrases that could have made this list, but you get the idea. Your CV is your chance to sell you the individual, and the unique set of skills and experience you will bring to a potential employer, so don’t go and ruin your chances by using the same tired cliches as all the other applicants – keep your CV a cliche-free zone.

 

About the author /


Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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