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Here are 10 Phrases Employers Hate to See on a CV

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Writing a CV is one of the most challenging parts of the job search. Every employer has their preferences, their likes, their dislikes, and who knows if you’re phrasing something in a way that will annoy or enthuse them?

Thankfully, the Internet is filled with many resources and articles that delve into this topic, and The Telegraph recently published an article by Helena Horton dedicated to “The 10 phrases on CVs that enrage employers the most.”

“Research released today indicates recruiters are tired of reading clichés on job applications and the overused phrases can put them off hiring someone,” Horton writes.

Some of these phrases are so commonly used that you probably have them on your CV and if not your CV, then your cover letter.

The 10 phrases, in no particular order are as follows:

1. “I’m a hard worker.”

2. “I work well under pressure.”

3. “I can work independently.”

4. “I’m a team player.”

5. “Good communicator.”

6. “I’m proactive.”

7. “I am a good listener.”

8. “I’m enthusiastic.”

9. “Excellent written communication skills.”

10. “I am a problem solver.”

It behooves me to note, as your humble blogger, that most employers and recruiters actually bait you into using these phrases. I’ve seen hundreds of postings and ads from employers who will say, in the qualifications section describing the kind of employee they’re looking for, that they want someone who is “a hard worker, works well under pressure, a self-starter, a team player, has good communication skills, is proactive, is a good listener, is enthusiastic about their work, possesses excellent written communication skills, and is a problem solver.” Or if they don’t use that phrasing precisely, then they’ll use a variation on it.

But that’s the job market, gang. Inconsistent, unfair, and tough.

Nevertheless, those are the phrases employers hate the most. In our next post, we’ll explore other things they hate to see on a CV.

In the meantime, as physicians and advanced practitioners who are looking for jobs, are any of the above phrases on your CV? What could you put in their place that would still convey the same message about yourself?

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