Should you use Cliche’s on your CV?

“Team Player”, “Results driven”, “Self Starter”, “Flexible”… CVs are often riddled with such vocabulary. Some say that including the obligatory range of jargon is a necessary evil: they are key skills that employers are looking for and are essential to know about in order to assess your fit.

One thing is certain. You should not just list an ample supply of these buzzwords without backing them up. Every word needs to be teamed with a clear example of how you have demonstrated the skill, but can you get away with using the examples and forgoing the obvious words to begin with?

Nick Deligiannis, the managing director of Hays in Australia, believes that you can. He maintains that the overused jargon runs risk of putting the hiring manager off you.

However there is something to be said for including the words. They can act as markers to the employer. Adding this vocabulary allows there to be a degree of uniformity between your CV and other people’s. Sometimes uniformity is useful if an employer has received a huge amount of applications and wants to know what to focus on in each. It means that they can easily hone in on the same skill in several CVs and efficiently compare who has qualified their skill with the most convincing examples.

Ultimately it will depend on the nature of your employer, making such uniform comparisons will not be every hiring managers style, but it could be for some. If you are applying to work for a creative role, which involves using sophisticated English, it is best to avoid the run of the mill language that Deligiannis warns against. However if you are looking to work with a more “straight laced” company, where efficiency is key, conformity isn’t always a bad thing.

The best thing to do is make a considered decision on the matter, based on who you are and where your priorities lie. At the end of the day, you want to find the employer who sees your personality as the best culture fit.


-Bondbury Recruitment Team

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