Things To Avoid On Your CV


Passionate is a word so overused it has lost its meaning. Just like “awesome” and “amazing,” its meaning has been diluted. Try communicating your passion for something without using the word itself. Try synonyms like “avid” and “keen.” Or rephrase things entirely. If you were truly passionate about something, you’d be able to share it in a creative way. And above all, do not say you’re passionate about working for [insert company here]. Your employer can see right through that, and they find it very annoying.


If everyone is a leader, I wonder who they’re leading? There are so many different types of leadership that simply saying “leadership” isn’t saying very much at all. Are you autonomously driven? Are you a respected figure? Are you approachable? What characteristics make you a leader? It’s better to spell this out for your employer than to throw around a vague term that everyone else seems to be using. It’s a mark of true leadership when you buck the trend and find a new way of communicating this skill.

“Communication Skills”

There’s a special kind of irony here. By saying “communication skills” you haven’t actually communicated any of your skills at all. Much like leadership, there are many types of communication. Are you a digital communications pioneer? Do you have stellar interpersonal skills? Perhaps your communication skill is cultural sensitivity/empathy? Or do you speak thirteen languages? Don’t forget listening – that’s an important communication skill too. You want to leave your employer with no doubt about the skills that you have, so it’s essential to spell it out for them.


The word “expert” carries authority over knowledge. Your employer doesn’t want to employ someone with a fixed mindset who believes they know everything about a topic. In every new job, an employee needs the capacity to learn new things. Expertise implies stubbornness, stagnation, and stuck-upper. It’s best to avoid this word altogether and play the game of humble greatness instead.


This word appears everywhere, yet it’s clear that most people think inside the box. If you’re a creative thinker, you’d find a novel way of expressing your creativity. Attach links to a website you designed. Redefine the conventions of CV design. Or craft a story of how your best idea changed the game and saved your last employer time and money. Use your imagination to help you stand out from the crowd – be creative!


People use these buzzwords because everyone else is using them – and that’s exactly why they should be avoided. Using a new language can be intimidating and you may be tempted to play it safe. But the employers of tomorrow are looking for game-changers, disruptors, and challenges. Make your CV reflect your uniqueness, and you’ll soon find yourself being offered interviews, leaving all the “passionate and enthusiastic leaders” behind.