These are the words to avoid using in your CV, according to experts

Buzzwords such as ‘hard-working’ and ‘reliable’ should be avoided on resumes, according to CV experts.

Experts at carried out research into the most overused words on CVs, and the terminology that employees would deem a ‘cliche’.

They report that certain buzzwords, such as ‘hardworking’ and ‘dynamic’, are an instant negative for your future boss, and can come across as insincere and generic.

The following were listed as the most frequently used on a resume, and therefore the best to avoid:



Team player



Strategic thinker



The company claim that by putting these generic terms, employees will gain no sense of your particular character. Instead, suggest figuring out a personality promoting alternative that individualises you.

They advise to give concise, concrete examples that demonstrate your ability and hint at how and why they would be beneficial to your potential employer. Being specific is vital – each CV you send should be tailored to appeal to that particular company.

The group also advice making your CV memorable with a rigorous approach: perfect grammar and punctuation, and thoughtful descriptions of what makes you stand-out individually.

Ayers infographic backs up the research by, explaining that ‘polluting’ your resume with standard cliches will automatically move your CV into the no pile. They explained:

This is one of a recruiter’s main bugbears, along with overly artistic images and font types and ridiculously lengthy CVs, to name but a few.

If you can take time to get your application word perfect and sufficiently comprehensive, with real life examples that you’re just what an employer is looking for, your chances of at least securing an interview are strengthened considerably.

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