Picture: Nicolas McComber/iStock
Picture: Nicolas McComber/iStock

Reworking your CV for every new job application can make you feel complacent about the contents. You assume it must be at its best if you're constantly refreshing it, but if it still isn't getting you to the interview stage, the problem may be something more substantial.

Maybe, you're just a failure.

OR, despite regularly rejuvenating your CV you're still using overused and under-performing phrases. Avoiding career-killing words on your CV is all about avoiding cliché.

To be clear, we're not suggesting you explain your Core Science GCSE and Additional Science Dual Award through the medium of dance.

However, as a general rule, there's no need to mention how proficient you are at Microsoft Office.

If you were born after 1990, it's a given.

To add to this sage advice from indy100, here are the words which Darain Faraz of LinkedIn and Lee Biggins of CV-Library told Mail Online that everyone should avoid using on their CV.

1. Perfectionist

This is possibly the worst offender, mainly because people think it's a safe way to describe oneself. This may not be the case. If you're applying for a role that asks you to think strategically and long term, you don't want to give the impression you'll be a micro-manager. Even in jobs which demand you to pay attention to detail, calling yourself a 'perfectionist' can make you sound obsessive rather than focused.

2. Multi-Tasking

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Most people can't actually multi-task, they're just good at quickly swapping between different tasks. While it can make you sound more productive, it can also make you sound easily distracted. Better to showcase a variety of tasks that you undertook in your previous jobs.

3. Hard-working

This isn't the only CV heresy of its kind, but it's good totem for meaningless phrases. A recruiter has no idea if this is true.

Statements about your skills should be quantifiable. This phrase is also redundant because nobody would ever say they were not a hard worker on their CV.

4. Enthusiastic and passionate

Picture: PeopleImages/iStock

Rather than describing, show you care about something by listing it in the 'Voluntary' section of your CV.

Especially avoid saying you're enthusiastic and passionate if you have nothing to show for it. The absence of evidence will be stark, especially if you draw recruiters' attention to it like this.

5. Track record

This error is simply a case of a phrase being tired or hackneyed. Alternatives include 'performance' or 'reliable'. A good way to establish a 'track record' is through examples, possibly even statistics. Rather than listing your responsibilities, list your specific achievements.

6. References available on request

When you think about it, checking your references is one of the last things an employer looking to make a hire will do. It comes way down the line, after multiple interviews, sometimes even after an assessment day.

There's not need to waste precious space on your CV, telling an employer that if they ask for a reference they will get one. They know that.

7. Salary negotiable

Similar to references, an employer knows that there might be a salary negotiation. This is particularly true when the job advert said 'Depending on experience'. Prove you've read about the company, by leaving this unnecessary phrase off your CV.

8. Team player - who works well individually

A lot of these problems come about because companies instruct applicants to refer to every point in the 'person specification'.

It causes us to regurgitate the buzzwords which the recruiters claim they hate. One good way to avoid this is to remember 'Show, don't tell'.

Rather than saying you're enthusiastic, show it by being enthusiastic in your descriptions of past roles. This applies to the old team player - lone ranger dichotomy.

Many of these phrases aren't just bad because they're cliches, they're also detrimental to your chances because we use them as placeholders when we can't think of something positive to write about ourselves. If we can't do that, one can't expect an employer to see it in ourselves.

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