When looking for a job in the art world you will never get a second chance to make a first impression. Which in job hunting terms is most relevant when it comes to how you write your CV. The language and content of a CV is your first port of call to woo an employee to land your dream job. This piece of A4 paper needs to be eye-catching in a glance, so you must be wise about the words you use. According to the U.S. News & World Report it takes 20 seconds for a possible employee to make a decision about you based on your CV. They need to scan your CV and find the important information they need in record time, so they can move on to the next CV. Therefore filling the limited space you have with over the top vocab and cringe buzzwords can put a hopeful employee off. So, we have complied a list of words and phrases that should be banned from your CV. Time to get out the red marker pen and hit the delete button.
Hiring managers will know whether you have been unemployed by looking at the dates of your employment. No need to highlight it.
- Stay-at-home Mum
Similar to our number one tip, you do not need to feel obliged to detail personal breaks in your CV.
Insead of using the word, show it! Name drop the accomplishment then explain how you achieved it. Also leave out the words ‘responsible for’. Superfluous words like these unnessarily complicate and hide your actual experience.
- ‘ I know Photoshop…..’
When it comes to skills be honest about what you actually feel comfortable with and know well. Skills account for the most common lies on a CV. On the same theme Microsoft Office does not need to be listed within your skills. Command of of Microsoft Office is not a skill, it is a given.
- Unnessesary personal information
Date of birth, personal gaps in your cv etc. should be avoided. This kind of personal information does not show your accomplishments and could cause an employee to discriminate.
- Can’t or Won’t
Your CV should not include any negative words full stop, so leave them out.
Steer clear from this word unless you are one. Equally stay away from the words ‘highly qualified’ or ‘extensive experience’. Instead list the skills, accomplishments and credentials you can bring to the role.
- On time
Being on time is not an accomplishment, nore should it be a skill. It is a standard expectation with every job, so leave it off your CV.
- Talking in the first or third person
Using I, she, he, him her ….just sounds really weird, like someone wrote your CV for you. Just state facts instead.
This word has no place in any context – period.
- Mispelt words
Mispelt words should never be included on your CV. Use spell checker, read it several times and ask a pal to check it again.
Again this is not a real skill or an accomplishment. It should be a given. Here are a few additional examples of phrases possible employer’s expect without needed to see them on your CV.
Self-motivated, team player, strategic thinker, best of breed ( please please leave this out) think outside the box, results driven, detail-orientated and proactive.
- Go-getter or Go-to-person
Think more creatively. These words and phrases do not sound professional at all. If this is a critical asset in the position you are applying for, try using an action statement that shows how you work with others.
Nearly every job requires you to with other people, so unless you have a specific example that shows you are exceptionally skilled in this area, it’s not worth including.
- Phone number
Just say ‘number’ and opt for email rather than email address. Don’t fill up that precious space with unnessary words.
This word gives employers the impression that you are inexperienced and require a great deal of training.
Not only does this word conjure up images of fried goods, it also is a code word for being much older.
- References available upon request
If you progress through the interviewing process, you will be asked for your personal and professional references anyways so leave it out.
Words like this make you sound like a robot. I know we are living in a era of AI but most employers still want to hire a human being. Keep your verbs simple and streamlined.
Avoid slang or causal texting language. A CV is a formal document, therefore only business language allowed. This also implies to your interview too if you get to that stage.
This may mean you are savvy with digital marketing, but many ‘influencers’ are not that influential. Show stats instead of using the cringe-worthy word.
Text by Peigi Mackillop
Image via we heart it