It is important that the language you use isn’t too clichéd. If it is, you may run the risk of diluting or downplaying your unique skills and experience. Certain phrases will naturally spring to mind when you are trying to portray your skills and experience on paper. For instance, if you are a team leader, you may automatically feel the need to include “Excellent leadership skills” on your CV, however if you want to create a strong CV, you need to provide evidence of your achievements, and avoid the below phrases where possible:
“Attention to detail”
Attention to detail is important in most roles, but remember that the first impression the reader will get of your level of competence in this area will be upon reading your CV. So make sure you proofread thoroughly and that there are no spelling or grammatical errors.
Don’t run the risk of a recruiter or hiring manager being put off by your CV simply because of the language you have used. Replace any overused phrases with real life examples of your skills to create a more impressive CV and increase your chances of getting through to interviews.
“Good communication skills”
This is a very overused phrase which is vague and has no real context. Be more specific by giving examples of situations in which your communication skills have really shone through. For instance, a presentation or training session where you were able to get everyone on board with a specific subject.
“A great team player”
Team spirit is a very important trait to have, but when every candidate claims to be “a great team player”, this phrase can become a little meaningless. Stand out from the competition by providing evidence that you can work well with colleagues to reach a common goal. Strong examples demonstrate that you’re a great team player, without actually having to use this phrase.
“A fast learner”
If you want to really demonstrate your aptitude and ability to learn new things, you need to put your money where your mouth is. Describe a time you grasped a new concept quickly, for instance when starting a new role or teaching yourself a new skill to prove that you would learn quickly on the job.
“A hard worker”
Whilst a strong work ethic is important, a hard worker isn’t necessarily a productive one. When reading your CV, the hiring manager or recruiter will be looking for signs that you can effectively and productively manage your time. Therefore, emphasise your productivity and time management skills, and give an example of these instead.
“Works well independently”
Any strong candidate will be expected to be able work well independently; therefore, this doesn’t really add any value to your application.
Instead, if working independently is a genuine strength of yours and is of prime importance to the job you are applying for, then give an example of a time you showcased this strength and the results. For instance, rather than simply stating, “I work well independently”, try “I independently designed and implemented a new strategy that increased customer engagement by X percent”
One of the most important points to include on your CV is the impact you have made to your current employer. Which is why, instead of simply stating you are results driven, you should support this claim with facts. Ensure that you give quantifiable evidence of your results, such as “I increased sales by 25 percent”. Including this information will demonstrate that you focus on and track the results of your work, which in itself implies that you are results driven.