Janet Muli* is a dynamic, results-oriented, highly motivated individual with excellent problem solving skills. Teamwork is her middle name and she is looking for a unique opportunity in which she will be adequately challenged and compensated.
Sounds like the perfect candidate to you, but this actually makes HR cringe.
What clichés should you avoid? Here they are as outlined by Rebecca Karimi, a professional CV writer at Corporate Staffing Services.
1. “Dear Sir or Madam.”
This annoys employers very much. It can also be Dear Human Resource Manager or to whom it may concern. This shows laziness because you did not take time to research the name of the hiring person.
2. I am passionate about …
You may wonder why it is wrong, but it might be two-way: you are passionate about what you do or you are desperate for the job. Replace this with solid examples of how much you love what you do
3. I am an excellent team player and I can work independently.
An employer wants to see evidence that you can work independently and with others. They do not want to be convinced by hollow phrases, but by evidence..
4. I am dynamic.
Being dynamic is for others to judge. If you really are, then you do not feel the need to proclaim it.
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5. I am solution-focused.
It is a common cliché among graduates and students who are looking for internships or industrial attachments. This comes out as arrogance; where others see a problem you are the only one who finds solutions.
6. I have extensive experience in …
Two years is not extensive experience. Entry level candidates should desist form this phrase that inflates their experience. This shows the employer that you are not a trustworthy person.
7. Highly motivated, proactive individual
It is true that a Kenya employer is looking for a motivated individual, but when you just use it as a verb then it sounds like a lie. Instead, use it as a noun. For example, ‘my motivation enables me to produce results in any role’.
8. I work well under pressure.
This is dull and most employers have heard it before. Stand out by using words that are factual and capture the employer’s attention. Instead, give an example such as “working in a war-torn county I managed to deliver results…….”
“Avoid these statements that distract your letters purpose which is to highlight your most impressive skills and accomplishments,” concludes Ms. Karimi.