CV Clichés Employers Are Tired Of Reading

Your CV. A mysterious document that is somehow supposed to sell you as the most ideal candidate possible whilst also avoiding clichés and making sure you don’t appear too arrogant. Simple right? We’re kidding… Writing your CV can sometimes feel like a minefield full of dangerous obstacles to trip you up. Think of ‘clichés’ as the landmines themselves, once an employer has stepped on that ‘I’m a hard worker’ bomb it’s all over. Well, we’re here to help you avoid those explosive clichés and seriously improve your CV.


1. ‘I’m a hard worker.’

Yep, here it is! Perhaps the most clichéd of all the CV clichés. Instead of telling the employer that you’re a hard worker- show them! List your accomplishments and career triumphs and provide a list of your skills. Why tell someone that you’re really good looking when you can show them a photo instead? Obviously we’re not actually encouraging you to show your potential employers a photograph, please don’t do that…


2. ‘My interests are socialising and music.’

Your CV is not an online dating profile. Including an ‘interests’ section can add value to your CV if, for example, your interests are relevant to the position you’re applying for. Writing that you enjoy ‘socialising and music’ is like saying that you enjoy ‘walking and breathing.’ We all like socialising and music. These are not your interests. These are just part of being a human in the 21st Century. Be more original!


3. ‘Dynamic and enthusiastic.’

That’s fantastic! Now prove it… These sorts of terms are great for an interview or meeting someone in person. Of course you’ll want your interviewer to come away from meeting you thinking ‘wow what a truly dynamic and enthusiastic individual that really was!’ But that’s for them to decide. Writing these phrases wont prove anything and just seems like you’re trying to ‘fluff out’ your CV, so be careful!


4. ‘I work well individually but am also an excellent team player.’

This sort of hollow claim comes across as just that: empty. You need to include evidence of your collaborations and independent brilliance to really show your employer what you mean. Remember that time you led a work project? Include that. Remember that time you collaborated with you colleagues on an important campaign? There we go. Many clichés can be avoided simply by showing your employer your attributes rather than just telling them.


5. ‘Eager to gain experience.’

On paper, this seems like a good thing. On your CV, it’s definitely not. When writing ‘eager to gain experience’ it’s likely that you’re trying to communicate your passion and willing. In reality, this reads simply as ‘I have no experience,’ which is never reassuring to an employer. Instead of drawing attention to your lack of it, try to highlight any experience that you do have that might be relevant to the role.


6. ‘Keen attention to detail.’

This cliché isn’t so bad alone but couple ‘keen attention to detail,’ with a CV full of spelling, grammar and typo mistakes and you’ve got a bit of an embarrassment on your hands. As we’ve said before, your CV is all about proving your claims rather than leaving them hollow. You can’t claim to have ‘keen attention to detail,’ if your CV doesn’t reflect that. Think carefully about the claims you’ve made but most importantly always remember to thoroughly proof-read your CV!



Annabel Usher, Editor