Want to Stand Out From the Crowd? Avoid Using These Phrases in Your CV!

1 year ago

Applying for jobs is a daunting task, and not receiving any response can be very demoralising.

So many candidates that we speak to come to life when we interview them and at that point so does their CV and experience. It’s the passion they demonstrate which computer-typemakes them stand out from the crowd.

So the question is, how do you make yourself stand on out on paper in order to have the opportunity to shine in an interview?

Your CV is your shop window

Think about when you’re shopping, something in that window will inspire you and make you want to delve further.

How often do you see a plain pair of black leggings as the centre of attraction in a window? The answer is never because every clothing store sells them. What you need to be, is that amazing jacket that someone will stretch their budget for, because it looks amazing and is something that you will wear for years to come.

Bearing this in mind, you need to make yourself stand out in the first few lines of your CV. In order to do this, try to avoid the words/phrases that every candidate uses. They become empty phrases as everyone is using them on CV’s and if the employer has been looking at a lot of CV’s, it could mean you end up straight in the regret pile.

Here are some words/phrases I have identified that could be hindering your interview chances:

  • “I work well alone or as part of a team”
  • “Willing to go the extra mile”
  • “Ambitious person who is motivated”
  • “Hardworking individual with a positive attitude”
  • “A desire to learn new skills”
  • “Integrates well in any team environment”
  • “Relate well to my peers”
  • “Great attention to detail”
  • “Highly Qualified”
  • “Good communicator”
  • “Results driven!”
  • “Leadership”
  • “Innovative”
  • “Responsible for…”
  • “References available on request”
  • “Microsoft Word”
  • “Punctual”
  • “Me”, “Myself” or “I”

It’s also worth noting that using the words ‘phone number’ on your CV before your number is just using up valuable space, the recruiter/employer will be aware that it’s your phone number. This also applies to ‘Address’ however putting your actual address on a CV is not necessary. If a hiring manager needs to know where you live, they will call and ask!

As a recruiter, I read 100’s of CV’s a week, 9/10 contain these phrases in their opening paragraph. Although they are great values and traits to have, when it comes to a CV it doesn’t make you different; and let’s face it, who would write that they’re not motivated or have no initiative and cannot work unsupervised?

So, think about your skills, anything that you have been awarded or commended on in your previous roles, skills that make you valuable as a candidate in the workplace. I appreciate that these will be different depending on your experience and what you have achieved but here are some general ideas:

  • Strong excel skills, including formulas and pivot tables
  • SAP Super user, have trained other staff on the systemmichelle-circle
  • Reduced the aged debts on the accounts ledger
  • Achieved £240k growth for the same period year on year (£72k net profit increase)


Try to think of 5 or 6 unique bullet points that make you different to everyone else to showcase what a great asset you will be for their company and what you can add in a work capacity.

You can demonstrate your excellent communication and time keeping skills at your interview. Tell them the facts – how will you transform their business?

If an employer looks at your CV and sees that you have a track record of reducing debtor days dramatically or have grown a social media following by hundreds, it’s likely that you will land yourself the interview (if that’s what they’re looking for.)

So don’t sell yourself short, tell your potential employer how good you are and why you are worth taking a chance on.


For more information on landing your dream job, get in touch, or view our jobs herehelen-circle-for-intro


01254 239363


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