‘Motivated, creative and passionate’ – the words that kill your CV


How can we break out of the business “buzzword bingo” trap? When in doubt, some of George Orwell’s rules on clarity and simplicity in writing are worth remembering: never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech that you are used to seeing in print; never use a long word where a short one will do; if it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out. But more importantly, it ought to be possible to apply for a job without pretending to be something we are not. It shouldn’t be necessary to repeat a list of hackneyed workplace virtues. We should tell a potential employer who we are, in plain terms. If they are looking for someone like us, good. If not we will have avoided the unpleasant experience of getting stuck in a job that didn’t really suit us.

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