Building a perfectly tailored CV for each role you apply for may sound like a daunting proposition, and it is, but in today’s overly competitive job market it’s what needs to be done to help you stand out to hiring managers, and recruiters. You may think that using certain words to describe yourself will make you more attractive to companies, or possibly act as keywords that will be highlighted by an Applicant Tacking System (ATS), but in truth, they are simply overused buzzwords. Here are 4 cliché words that you should avoid using on your CV, as they may cost you the job.

Creative

If you are applying for a position that requires imagination, or the ability to formulate ideas, you may think that ‘creative’ would be a good way to describe yourself on your CV. Trust me, it isn’t, and using it may have the entirely opposite effect than the one you intended. Hiring managers will have seen the word ‘creative’ so many times in the 1000s of CVs they have looked at, that using it will more likely show a lack of creativity than anything else.

Enthusiastic

show your enthusiasm, don't mention it

Let’s face it, nobody is likely to identify themselves as anything other than enthusiastic when trying to impress a potential employer. The word ‘enthusiastic’ is, as such, an overtly useless buzzword that will simply take up important space on your CV that could be used for more relevant information. Avoid it.

Expert

You may think that calling yourself an ‘expert’ in a field you have experience in will make you seem more knowledgeable, this isn’t the case however. No matter how much experience you have, whether it be 2 years or 20, self-proclaiming yourself an expert in anything is not only incorrect, but can also come across as pompous. There will always be someone who knows more than you, and there will always be more to learn, as a result, nobody is ever truly an expert. Rather than this, why not show what you learned through your experience, which is a much better way to show your level of knowledge.

Innovative

be innovative in thinking of a better way to show you're innovative

Much like the aforementioned word ‘creative’, using the word ‘innovative’ on your CV is a trap you should probably avoid, as this word is so overused that doings makes you anything but. If you are indeed an ‘innovative’ individual it should be easy for you to demonstrate that on your CV without resorting to simply saying so.

When it comes down to impressing hiring managers & recruiters with your CV, you should employ a ‘show don’t tell’ approach. Meaning, rather than wasting the limited space on your CV with pointless buzzwords that are likely to get your application tossed out, explain how you embody these ideals through pas experience, and what you have accomplished. By doing so, you will be much more likely to grab an employer’s attention, and land an interview for the role in question!

Posted by Alexander Goodenough

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