10 Words you should NEVER use to describe yourself in your CV
When writing your CV or when in an interview, the words you select to describe yourself can have an effect and create a response to the reader or interviewer which could condemn you faster than you would think. These words should also be selected well when writing your LinkedIn profile, your Twitter bio and covering letters.
The following 10 words should be avoided where possible:
- ‘Legend’ or ‘Ninja’ – it is surprising how often these words are used. Before using them, really think about their meaning. What makes you think you are classed as a ‘legend’ or a ‘ninja’?
- ‘Expert’ – sometimes the level of expertise can come down to being questioned on the skill or experience. Allow the interviewer or recruiter to decide on how much of an ‘expert’ you are!
- ‘Humble’ – by stating that you are humble clearly shows that you are not.
- ‘Generous’ – this may be true, but this is an attribute judged by others not to be used to describe oneself. Let your new employer be the judge of that!
- ‘Honest’ – another word that should be displayed rather than stated. Being honest should be a human given, so if this is a ‘special talent’ it could show you are working at it and being honest is harder for you than it should be!
- ‘Rock-Star’ – the literal sense of this word is unlikely when writing a CV. There are much better and more professional ways to describe oneself then as a ‘Rock Star’!
- ‘Nice Guy’ – another word that has to be bestowed by others and not a word used to describe oneself.
- ‘Exceptional’ – your skills and experience may be great, but what makes you think they are that much above any one else’s that you are that exceptional – another word to be used to describe you by your employer.
- ‘Funny’ – not professional in the slightest. Employers don’t usually require someone to be funny to get the job. This could be a characteristic the interview finds in the interview – not something they need to be told about prior.
- ‘Visionary’ – this isn’t needed
Instead, focus on including facts. List the main points of your role and even some parts of your role that could be of interest.
Words that could be included should describe your job role; the words to describe yourself can be drawn by the interviewer when they meet you. Examples include:
Use these words to make strong statements about what you have done and prove you are pro-active, reliable, hardworking, honest, etc. rather than telling them.