Best and Worst words on a CV

One recent study showed that recruiters spend 6.25 seconds looking at a candidate’s CV before deciding whether he or she is fit for a job, so it’s important to get this right.

To help maximise the punch your CV gives in such a short amount of time, CareerBuilder carried out a survey to list terms they consider turn-offs, and to offer advice about the words that make them view a candidate favourably.

The message: Don’t include sweeping terms of self-praise, like “team player,” “go-getter” and “self-motivated.” Rather describe your accomplishments specifically with words like “improved,” “created” and “increased” and a specific explanation of exactly what you did, including numbers whenever possible.

For instance, instead of saying you added value to your sales team by your dynamic, results-driven efforts to proactively boost sales, say you improved every monthly sales target in the last six months by 40%.  In other words, instead of saying you are results-driven; show the results you’ve achieved.

Here are the worst words to use on your CV:

1. Best of breed
2. Go-getter
3. Think outside of the box
4. Synergy
5. Go-to person
6. Thought leadership
7. Value add
8. Results-driven
9. Team player
10. Bottom-line
11. Hard worker
12. Strategic thinker
13. Dynamic
14. Self-motivate
15. Detail-oriented
16. Proactively
17. Track record

Here are the best words to use on your CV:

1. Achieved
2. Improved
3. Trained/mentored
4. Managed
5. Created
6. Resolved
7. Volunteered
8. Influenced
9. Increased/decreased
10. Ideas
11. Negotiated
12. Launched
13. Revenue/profits
14. Under budget
15. Won

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