Resume Clichés to Use at Your Peril!!


While considering the next topic for our blog I ended up on the subject of resumes. We review a lot of resumes!

Resumes/CV’s should be targeted and structured career biographies that reflect the candidates’ suitability for a job. More often they are poorly constructed, inaccurate, misspelt and cliché riddled documents which instantly eliminate candidates due to basic errors and missteps…

Here are several phrases that should be outlawed and banned from every résumé…

“I’m a team player” – a most overused cliché (so what are you if you are a team player?) The term doesn’t say anything. If you have achieved something as a team player, give details about it rather than using this hideous generic term.

“I have a strong work ethic” – it sounds great, but so what! – show how you go the extra mile, otherwise it’s just pointless – show why you are the person with a strong ethic!

“I’m self-motivated” – we all have to be in our own way otherwise we probably wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning! Find a way to show that you’re self-motivated in your work through some innovative ways of having improved something in your past jobs.

“I’m bottom line focused” – another term that means nothing unless you have some real facts of vital importance to back up the statement.

“I have a proven track record” – what is a proven track record? What did you do that makes you say so? Quantify it by being specific.

“I have excellent communication skills” – that can mean so much and nothing. Are you a good talker or email writer; do you communicate the essential information or just like to talk endlessly without saying anything! (If so, then maybe going into politics would be a better alternative!)

“I’m very enthusiastic about my profession” – many people believe that lack of experience can be compensated for with enthusiasm – really??

“I’m young at heart” – This means I am old, and I really should be on the golf course working on my game! The term doesn’t work and won’t get you in the door.

Some other overused and unimaginative terms include: –

I’m honest and reliable”

“I just love being in a hotel”

“I have travelled extensively”

The perception that ‘anyone can manage a hotel’ can be seen by the number of résumés received where the candidate has absolutely no experience or connection to the industry. We occasionally come across individuals who have found work through family connections and believe that being an engineer or stockbroker qualifies them to operate a hotel – some even believe that having eaten in the restaurants of a hotel also qualifies them for the job!!

Being able to read, write and add up figures does not constitute suitability for a senior hotel job, although there are plenty of hotel managers that could do with these skills! J

Make life easier for the recruiter or employer, read the job ad, prepare a good looking résumé, include all the vital information and you might just get that dream job you always wanted.

About the author

Karl Faux is a veteran Hotelier and Managing Partner with Elite Search – a leading hospitality recruitment firm.
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