Jobhop Jobhop's blog : 7 Phrases You Should Never Include In Your CV

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Choose your words carefully, especially the words you include in your CV.

If recruiters had a pound for every expendable CV word they’ve seen, many of them would be very wealthy.

Your CV has one purpose, and one purpose only; to get you an interview.

On that note, here are 7 phrases you should never include in your CV.

Lose these phrases to boost your chances of landing a job.

“Curriculum Vitae”

The person reading your CV already knows what it is, you don't need to spell out for them.

Why state the obvious? Beside its redundancy, including “Curriculum Vitae” in your CV takes up space. 

“Excellent Communication Skills”

A trite phrase that has plagued millions and millions of CVs.

It contradicts the very meaning it conveys. It’s vague. It doesn’t communicate a concrete skill. Don’t tell, show your prospective employer you’re an excellent communicator. Do this with achievements or tasks in your current or previous roles that required “excellent communication skills”.

“Detail-Oriented, Self-Motivated, Problem Solver”

Overused buzzwords should never appear on your CV.

Stand out from your competition. Hiring managers and recruiters are sick and tired of the “Reliable, hardworking individual”. They’ve seen “Team player” and “Results-driven” hundreds of times. Are you detail-oriented? Communicate it through a perfect CV.

Are you a problem solver? Convey this attribute with an achievement where you managed to solve a problem.

“Responsible for.”

You never need to put this phrase on your CV.

Consider this:

“Responsible for managing day-to-day operations at…”

Doesn’t “Managed day-to-day operations at…” sound better?

What about “Responsible for increasing traffic to company’s website.”?

“Increased traffic to company’s website by 430% in 6 months, leading to a 25% increase in sales” sounds better, doesn’t it?


Your CV is a marketing tool that tells a story of success.  Why would anyone mention their blunders on their CV? It's superfluous to say you “Successfully reduced manufacturing costs”. Reducing costs is a success. Headhunters assume you were successful at anything you include in your CV. Therefore, there’s no need to reiterate the obvious. 

“Outside The Box”

This phrase attempts to point out that you’re a creative individual. Great idea, right? I agree. 

However, using “outside the box” means nothing in particular. Instead, show you’re creative with an accomplishment. A task or a situation where you used your imagination to overcome adversity. Employers love employees who can come up with solutions to challenging or unexpected problems.

“Reference Available Upon Request”

This one is similar to writing “Curriculum Vitae” on your CV.  Employers will ask for your references once they establish that you’re a good candidate for the job and this usually happens after an interview. With that in mind, references aren’t relevant in the application phase.

Do you see the logic in this?

On average, recruiters or hiring managers spend 6 seconds skimming your CV, so pick your words wisely. Tip the scales in your favour and ditch overused, redundant words and phrases that have no place on your CV.

JOIN Jobhop and spread the word. 

Talal Alabbadi   

  • Career
On: 2018-05-06 20:20:18.484