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Top 10 words to avoid in your CV

Do you consider yourself a ‘team player’, ‘proactive’ or ‘dynamic’ when it comes to work? Even if you do, refrain from mentioning it in your CV, says a recent survey.

According to a list compiled by LinkedIn, phrases or words such as above, and others like ‘problem solver’ or ‘motivated’ are the most over-used cliches seen in CVs.

“These phrases can appear empty to a potential employer and may do more harm than good when you include them in your profile or resume,” the Daily Mail quoted a spokesperson for LinkedIn as saying. “If you’re using any of these ten terms, wipe them out,” he added.

The top 10 words you should steer clear of are:

  • Motivated
  • Extensive experience
  • Innovative
  • Proven track record
  • Dynamic
  • Team player
  • Proactive
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Skill set
  • Problem solver

Many candidates just pick up such words that appear in the job advertisement and put them on their CVs to impress a potential employee — even though they cannot back them up with an example.

Now, let us see this through two examples:

Example 1

“A self motivated marketing professional with extensive experience and proven track record in the field of online marketing.”

The sentence here suggests that the candidate has stuffed all the words that appeared in the notification to show that he is a potential candidate.

Can this be presented in a better way?

Example 2

“Marketing professional with a rich work experience of 10 years in the field of online marketing.”


“Increased the conversion rate of site from 1.6 percent in January 2010 to 5 percent in May 2010.

“Set up a strong navigation system on the site to increase the page views from 50,000 in January 2010 to 110,000 in May 2010

Now, if you compare the two examples, you will realise that Example 2 says everything that Example 1 was trying to say in a more convincing way. It is also supported with proper facts and figures to justify the ‘proven track record’.

What makes a good CV?

Rather than parroting back the terms from the job notification in your CV, it makes more sense to focus on answering the question: “Why do you think, the employer should hire you for this position?”

You will find the answer to this question in:

  • Your strengths
  • Your achievements in positions you have held earlier
  • What did you learn in your last job
  • Your personality traits and attitude

Once you have a list of all these things, prioritize them as per the requirements of the position and write your CV around them.

Make sure that you provide some facts and figures to back up your statements.

You will find that your CV is original, far away from clichés. And the potential employer will find it attractive.

Doing some hard work on your CV can help you make it stand out from the crowd and prevent it from landing in the garbage bin.

So make sure you do that extra work which others refrain from doing while writing their CVs. This will be your first step to success.

Kshipra Singh is a co-founder of, a website that provides answers to the technical and personal questions asked during an interview.

Source :  ANI / Rediff


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