Bearing in mind that recruiters sift through hundreds of CV’s on a daily basis, you want your CV to be the one that catches their eye.
You might think that using buzzwords like a hard-working/hard worker, punctual or on time isn’t a big deal, well it really is because any employer or HR manager would expect that from you so it’s not an attribute that you should be bragging about on your CV.
“We hope you are a hardworking individual who shows up to work on time and is self-motivated, but you don’t need to call it out,” says Glassdoor senior talent acquisition partner, Jamie Hichens.
Similarly, because a CV is a concise document that highlights your education, work experience and skills, that is all the information that recruiters want and need to see in your CV.
So it would also be advisable to take out useless information like your hobbies and personal information like you’re your date of birth, marital status and personal interests because these details don’t relate to what is required of you to perform the job.
“The language or content of a resume can definitely tank a job seeker’s chances of landing their dream job. You have a limited amount of time to catch a recruiter or hiring manager’s eye, use it wisely,” Hichens says.
Here’s a list of words that Glassdoor, a global recruitment firm, says job seekers should eliminate from their CV’s if they don’t want them to be disregarded.
- Microsoft Office
Again, employers would expect a job seeker to have a basic demand of Microsoft Office, so you’re not actually highlighting a strategic skill.
“From Java to Final Cut Pro, speaking Arabic to spearheading 150% growth, be sure to include not only the relevant skills that make you a perfect fit for the role, but also the skills that make you stand out,” advises recruitment specialist Eileen Meyer.
The word dabble suggests that it’s something you’re not an expert or authority in, but something that you may have attempted a few times.
It doesn’t inspire any confidence in your abilities, so ditch it.
- On time or punctual
Being punctual is a given expectation, so Jennifer Bensusen says job seekers should rather hone in on crafting a well-thought-out CV that shines the spotlight on your efficiencies “with interesting content on accomplishments, KPI success or significant highlights with bullets on what you did”.
“Did you create efficiencies that saved the company big bucks? Did you hire a stellar team that accomplished world peace?” she says.
Be clear about your talent. Don’t just say that you’re good at something, but rather show what you’re capable of doing, says Nicole Cox, Decision Toolbox chief recruitment officer.
“Substantiate your accomplishments with numbers,” she says.
If you had a hand in sales growing by a certain percentage over time or you were able to cut operational costs by a number you need to state it.
Again this is another area you should rather show than tell.
Lead with the achievement and then describe, in detail, how you got it.
“Accomplishments are currency when it comes to resumes. The more you have and the more applicable they are to the job you want, the greater your perceived worth. This can have a big impact not just on whether you receive an interview, but how much you’re ultimately offered,” advises ResumeOrbit.com CEO, Anish Majumdar.
This is one of the most overused words used in CV’s and it’s one that you should stay very far away from.
“While many other words are misused or diluted by overuse, these are the weakest and most abused. If your resume language or content is weak, unfocused and /or rambling, you can obliterate your chances of landing that dream job,” Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, a master resume writer says.
- Stay-at-home mother
Cox says mothers shouldn’t feel under pressure to explain possible employment gaps in their CV, but if you really feel the need to explain yourself, try to be quirky and creative about it like jotting down Domestic CEO where I “successfully managed procurement, budgets and scheduling”.
“Personal information about age, relationships or children can expose you to discrimination. Employers aren’t allowed to ask for that kind of information and you shouldn’t offer,” she says.
- Reference available on request
The ‘references available upon request’ line is tired and is one of the phrases HR experts say you should drop from your CV immediately.
Express Potential founder, Paul Hellman, suggest that you rather bring a list of references with you to the interview as well as a single page list of testimonials from your references that you can title ‘As seen by others’.
- Responsible for…
While there’s nothing technically wrong with using this phrase, there are stronger ways to portray your leadership skills and your achievements.
Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter says you should lead a sentence with “strength and energy”
So instead of writing something like seasoned sales manager, she suggests you go with something like “regional sales manager for the largest revenue generating area, exceeding competitors by 22% to 55% in revenue growth year-on-year.”
“In other words, strengthen the story through muscular verbiage and results,” she advises.