I have just done a little exercise. I have taken out 10 random CV’s of people I have recently met. Bearing in mind I know these individuals, here are some slightly worrying statistics:

  • nine were “dynamic”
  • eight were “great communicators”
  • seven were “highly motivated”
  • six were “passionate about customer service”
  • five were “charismatic”
  • most worrying of all, four were “responsible for the day-to-day running of this busy dealership”

Clichéd phrases such as this do none of you any favours. We don’t believe a single word of them, especially having met all of the individuals – I don’t believe they have any relevance to their job applications at all. Focus on concrete achievements, rather than giving us your clichéd view of your background and your abilities.

Think of it this way. Do you really believe that DFS has a sale every day of the week? Are you utterly convinced that payday lenders let you borrow responsibly? Do you truly believe that 8 out of 10 cats prefer a particular brand?

This is how we think about a lot of stuff that is said on CV’s, as I say stick to the facts, concentrate on your concrete achievements, focus on how professional, disciplined and organised you are and you will probably not go far wrong. Try and tell me that you were better in motor trade terms than Lionel Messi or Wayne Rooney and I probably won’t believe you.

And nor will a potential employer.

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