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5 Over-Used Phrases on CVs and what to use instead

When sending in a CV, you want to show that you not only have the skill-set and knowledge required, but also personal qualities that will help you excel at the job. Often when job-seekers try to highlight personal qualities and soft-skills, they choose phrases that are overused and vague. Here are 5 overused phrases on CVs and what to write instead so that you don’t get overlooked:

1. Creative

Creative is a very common word on a CV and it has been so overused to effectively describe your personal attributes! Try phrases that are more unique such as “I can create original content through my imagination and experience that I have learnt from previous positions and life experience”.

2. Leadership

It can be hard to convince employers you can be a good leader or have good leadership skills without a proven track record. Talk about what kind of leadership achievements you have made such as “Successfully grew my team from 10 to 20 people with an effective career progression program that saw three people promoted during my tenure”.

3. Passionate & Enthusiastic

It is easy for anyone to say that they are “Passionate & Enthusiastic”. It would be better if you talk about real life examples of this that can be further discussed during an interview. Try “I approach tasks with passion & enthusiasm as can be seen from my many positive peer and management reviews.”

4. Works well in a team or individually

All recruiters expect candidates to be capable of working well in a team or individually, they are not considered as a major accolade. Talk specifically about how you perform under a team environment “I am often offered the Lead role on projects as I can inspire others with my approach and am able to deliver project deliverables on time.”

5. Communication skills

A well-written CV shows that a candidate has good communication skills, so it should be shown without saying. Avoid phrases like “interpersonal skills” as these terms are not eye-catching enough or unique. Give interesting details that will give the recruiter confidence such as; Awareness of others, Ability to receive constructive feedback, active listening skills, non-verbal cues, able to show empathy.


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