12 Phrases to avoid using on your CV and/or résumé

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By now, everyone knows that social media is the bane of my existence. But a friend of mine told me the other day that she loves all the CV tips I give on my social media platforms. However, she’d like to have them all in one place. Hence the reason for this post.


1.     Job duties

This sounds unprofessional. Use ‘Responsibilities’.


2.     Objective statement

Such a statement is wasting space. An employer wants to know what you can do for him/her. And if your objective wasn’t to secure the position, you wouldn’t have applied.


3.     Transferrable skills

Transferrable used to be a so-called buzz word some time ago. But this statement tells the employer nothing about the skills that you are able to ‘transfer’.


4.     References

The phrase ‘References are available upon request’ is old-fashioned and unnecessary. The availability of references is assumed and employers know that they will be presented readily if requested.


5.     Microsoft Office

Again, it’s implicit that candidates can use Microsoft. You only need to state industry-specific and modern computer packages.


6.     Results-oriented

Well, if you’re not, your application will most likely not succeed. The better option is to demonstrate the results that you’ve achieved.


7.     Hobbies and interests

Unless your hobbies are applicable to your industry or career, please don’t mention them.


8.     Hard worker

Hopefully that is implied? Your interviewer might ask you for proof or examples of where ‘you've worked hard’.


Numbers 9 to 12 are all phrases that are meaningless unless they are specifically elaborated upon.


9.     I work well under pressure


10.   I am a people-person


11.    Communication skills


12.    Strategic thinker


I’m sure that you understand exactly what I mean by claiming that phrases like these are obsolete. They add nothing to an employer’s perception of who you are, what you’ve achieved, and how you can contribute to the success of the company.

These are catchphrases that you should avoid. I will write another post where I’ll discuss words that shouldn’t appear on your CV.

And if you know of similar phrases, please, let me know!

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