The five clichéd phrases you should never use on your CV

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Harriet Hall
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Making yourself stand out as a dream employee in the world of LinkedIn and social media, in which everyone seems to have multiple strings to their bow, can be a real minefield.

Once you start delving into the plethora of careers advice available – lie in a job interview (but not too much), the questions you should be asking your interviewers – it can be difficult to know what to focus on. Perhaps that’s why 40% of the workforce are set to be freelance by 2020.

But there's an easy way in, according to employment experts Darian Faraz at LinkedIn and Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, who reveal some basic, clear-cut rules about what not to say on your CV.

Speaking to the MailOnline, the duo said that many of the buzzwords we are told at school or university to include in our CV are, in fact, big no-nos – and they could be hampering our chances of securing that dream role.

Why? Because they’re hackneyed and, as a result, actually end up turning potential employers off.

So, take note job seekers, and don’t fall into the cliché trap when you fire off your next application. According to the experts, these are five of the worst phrases to include in your CV (see the full list here).

Multi-tasking: Although many of us consider an ability to multi-task as a positive, when you include this in a job application it could be seen as unfocused. Instead of being able to achieve all tasks to a high standard, employers might interpret this statement as a suggestion that you’re “easily distracted or often have too many things going on at one time,” says Biggins.

Creative: Making a statement like this without providing examples of how creative you are sounds like an empty promise. Instead, the pair suggest, include examples of your work within your application so they potential employers can decide for themselves whether or not you are creative.

Perfectionist: Although you might think perfectionism is a desirable character trait, employers often see it as a point of concern – suggesting that you’re “too picky or focus too much on the little things,” says Biggins. Additionally, nobody is perfect – saying you’re a perfectionist can imply you might think you are.

References available upon request: Most of us are guilty of this one – but when you think about it, it’s a bit of a wasted line, because you will have to provide references when you apply for a role.

Salary negotiable: Again, this is a wasted line, Simon Conington, MD of BPS World tells the paper, because all salaries are negotiable – that goes without saying. Best to avoid salary mentions in your application unless you’ve been explicitly asked to – in which case include this in your cover letter with an explanation as to why you believe this is an accurate figure.

Images: iStock


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Harriet Hall

Harriet Hall is a former Stylist contributor.