Clichés to avoid on your CV/Resume


While reviewing CV/Resumes, I come across many “clichés”, overused words, verbs or expressions such as “spearheaded”. So, what exactly does “spearhead” mean and what is the first connotation and example that it suggests?

Firstly, in English, the noun spearhead is the sharp pointed head of a spear. Secondly, the verb spearhead is “to lead something such as an attack or a course of action” source Cambridge Dictionary.

As a native English speaker, the noun “attack” sticks in my mind as it resonates with violence and damage against a person or place.

I agree that the Cambridge definition starts with “to lead”; however, in a business context or on CV do you really need to use verbs that are so “powerful” and “overused” such as spearheaded (past tense of spearhead)? It sounds so fake and unoriginal.

There are many other more simple and effective verbs to describe your leadership on a project or course of action! The English language is full of nuances and subtlety.

A large part of successful communication is to consider who your audience are. Not all candidates or recruiters are native English speakers! I am firm believer of  “If you can’t put it simply, then you don’t understand it well enough”. Saying that, communication comes in different styles. 

People have their different communication styles often related to cultural dimensions which also reflect the way they interact and exchange information with others!

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