23 CV sins that drive recruiters crazy

Seasoned, friendly and best of breed could very well be adjectives used to describe a dog rather than candidate.   

Yet more and more jobseekers are routinely overusing generic buzzwords on their applications, to the point that some phrases have lost all tangible meaning. Paul McDonald, Senior Executive Director at Robert Half, told Business Insider: “Nearly everyone is guilty of using buzzwords from time to time, but professionals are evaluated increasingly on their ability to communicate.

“Avoiding overused terms can help job seekers convey their message and stand out from the crowd.”

With the help of recruiters such as Mary Lorenz, Corporate Communications Manager at CareerBuilder, and Career Coach Eli Amdur, Business Insider has compiled their definitive list of the top 23 phrases that candidates use on their CV which drive hiring managers, and recruiters, insane.

Alyssa Gelbard, Founder and President of Résumé Strategists, told the publication that superfluous words like “responsible for” and “Oversight of” are redundant nowadays, and should be struck off all CVs. She said: “Be direct, concise, and use active verbs to describe your accomplishments.”

Amdur suggests that candidates remove the word “phone” from their CVs, saying that there is no reason to have it in front of their telephone number: “It's pretty silly. They know it's your phone number. The same rule applies to email.”

Rita Friedman, a Philadelphia-based Career Coach, noted that her most hated word had to be “seasoned”. She claimed that it had undue connotations: “Not only does this word conjure up images of curly fries, but it is well-recognised as a code word for 'much, much older.''

The full list of ultimate CV sins can be found below;

  1. Best of breed
  2. Phone
  3. Results-driven
  4. Responsible for
  5. Highly qualified
  6. Seasoned
  7. References available by request
  8. Team player
  9. Ambitious
  10. Microsoft Word
  11. Hard worker
  12. Interfaced
  13. Honest
  14. Punctual
  15. @
  16. People person
  17. Hit the ground running
  18. I
  19. My objective
  20. Successfully
  21. Innovative
  22. Extracurricular activities
  23. Address

What's your most hated phrase? Tell us in the comments...

Comments (7)
Mon, 7 Mar 2016 4:25pm GMT
I agree that a couple of the given words / phrases are somewhat poor, if they make a recruiter angry then I would suggest the recruiter needs a new career path. Not everyone is as eloquent and as capable as others. If the role is requiring 'Gravitas' - an oft used word by recruiters - then perhaps they are unsuitable, but if the role is for an IT Engineer who has the experience, knowledge, certification, does it really matter if they are not Wordsworth ? This probably explains the worlds growing distrust of recruiters and why those who can, bypass them at every opportunity by contacting the hiring companies directly.
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Thu, 18 Feb 2016 3:32pm GMT
What about just incorrect spelling !!
I have just received a CV which has its heading as 'CIRICULUM VITAE'

Really !!!
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Thu, 18 Feb 2016 11:28am GMT
Fatigued candidate wading through the none jobs advertised!
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Fri, 12 Feb 2016 10:25am GMT
Those resumes that list out the company's profile, and not the candidate's.....
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Mon, 8 Feb 2016 2:37pm GMT
Woe betide any job seeker who pays attention to this load of nonsense. Some of them are certainly mildly irritating but no they don't "drive me crazy" and I don't "hate" them. Some of the remainder can even be useful.
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