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Words to avoid when writing a CV

CV Checklist

Flowery, overused and negative words when writing a CV are not going to represent you in the best way possible. Consider keeping your CV concise, to the point and professional with your word choices.

Your recruitment consultant will always be on hand to help you with writing a CV and discuss any re-writes where applicable based on their knowledge of what their client wants to see. However, before it even reaches their desks it is worth doing a few edits yourself.

Consider re-wording your CV if it contains any of the following words.

1.) Honest

No one is going to admit being a liar so is this word necessary? Using honest can also automatically make people think the opposite as it brings into question why you felt the need to include this. Employers will think this should go without saying.

2.) Unemployed

Any instances of unemployment on your CV need to be highlighted. Simply stating “unemployed” can give the impression of laziness so be creative with this gap in employment and state what you did with this “time off”. “Stay at home mum”, volunteering, travelling to broaden horizons etc are all acceptable reasons. Even training (formal and informal) can be used.

3.) Salary

Salary expectations do not need to be included when writing a CV. Save this information for the cover letter or even better for after the interview or offer stage.

4.) Unfortunately

The word “unfortunately” speaks for itself as a negative word. No matter what follows this word, you have already casted doubt in the employer’s mind even if it has been spun into a positive. Find another way of saying this.

5.) Loyal

No one is questioning your loyalty. But the very fact that you are applying for a job outside of your current organisation does show your loyalty is in question by default. Best to omit this one in fear of being contradictive.

6.) Mistake

The word mistake can be very negative. Generally it wouldn’t be advised to admit mistakes on your CV at all. However, if it’s relevant to providing evidence it is better to say “If something didn’t go to plan” or “didn’t deliver as expected”.

Other words to avoid are Excellent (overused) and perfectionist (can be negative). Also write words in full rather than using acronyms.

Once your CV is at the top of its game it is time to start making those all-important applications.

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