Delete these words from your CV
You may be an energetic and dynamic strategic thinker looking to disrupt the industry, but loading a job application with buzzwords and cliches is unlikely to work in your favour.
Analysis of over 60,000 Australian CVs by job site Adzuna reveals the most common phrase seen by prospective employers is "communication skills", appearing on almost half of resumes.
Other worn out words include "motivated" (appearing on 23,502 of the analysed CVs), "excellent" (20,441), "problem solving" (20,088), "flexible" (16,722), "effective" (16,196), "innovative" (15,068) and "team player" (14,258).
In some cases, jobseekers may be choosing these words because they are used in the job advertisement and they hope to game automated applicant tracking systems that are potentially set to scan for these keywords.
Adzuna Australia country manager Tejas Deshpande says jobseekers must strike a fine balance when it comes to crafting a great CV.
"While many employers now use technology to scan through CVs and look for keywords in applications to help refine lists of applicants, it's important to choose your skill set and attributes wisely," he says.
"When choosing words to describe yourself and your skillset, consider the kind of skills that are really relevant for the exact industry and job role that you are applying for."
Sullivan Consulting managing director Andrew Sullivan says "can-do approach", "highly-skilled" and "innovative expert" are also buzzwords he comes across often.
His least-favourite phrase is "disrupting the industry"
"Disruption was a great word five or 10 years ago but everyone is using it now and I'm not a fan," he says.
"Buzzwords are words that people use to really sell their experience - but they could be doing it in other ways.
"Instead of saying you are a hard worker, say what your achievements are.
"Instead of saying you think outside the box, maybe list projects you have worked on and what you have actually done in the role. What does it actually mean? Delve a little further."
Mr Sullivan says some employers embrace buzzwords more than others so advises tailoring resumes and cover letters to the language of the company.
"If they have lots of buzzwords on their website or in their annual reports then go for it but if it's a conservative organisation then you are just going to annoy the person (reading your resume) because they will think 'what are you talking about?'."
He says if jobseekers are using buzzwords as strategic keywords for automated applicant tracking systems, they are better off including them in the cover letter rather than the resume.
He also recommends ensuring they can live up to the buzzwords they use.
"If you write all those buzzwords then you are invited into an interview and you are not any of those things, you end up with egg on your face," he says.
"You can't say you are dynamic then you're looking at the ground and you wear a brown cardigan and you're not engaged."
Other pet peeves of Mr Sullivan's include resumes written in the third person and lists of hobbies that are unrelated to the role.
5 TIPS FOR CRAFTING A SUCCESSFUL CV
1 CUSTOMISE FOR EVERY ROLE
It may seem time consuming, but ensuring your CV is tailored to every company and every role you apply for is important as prospective employers need to be assured you have not sent the same CV to 100 other companies.
Demonstrate you are a good match by tailoring your own experience to the job ad.
2 DITCH IRRELEVANT INFORMATION
Potential employers have a finite amount of time to read CVs, so do not waste valuable space talking about responsibilities and duties that do nothing to improve your application.
3 INCLUDE RELATED HOBBIES
If you are applying for a role as a sales person, you may wish to include hobbies that demonstrate your competitive, outgoing nature, such as a team sport or the university debating team.
4 INCLUDE A PROFILE SUMMARY
This is a few sentences or bullet points at the top of the first page illustrating the unique selling points that make you a perfect match for the role.
Clearly outline the kind of role you are applying for and why.
Try to include the top three most relevant skills in this section then expand further down.
5 PROOF, PROOF AND PROOF AGAIN
Errors, typos and spelling mistakes are a massive turn off for employers and provide an easy excuse to reject your application and speed up their short-listing process.
Print off your CV and proof your work slowly and meticulously, then ask a friend or family member to proof it for you, too.
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