Over 1.5 decades of professional CV reading I have given up counting how many they were. Thousands and thousands. Also, I saw a lot of changes in styles and wording. Again, much more than I can count. And then some things don’t seem to change. Or slowly only. One being the keywords candidates label themselves with.
Over the years I have spotted some „favorites“ and every time I addressed the deeper meaning, the candidate said “Oh dear, this is not the impression I want to create.” Or something similar.
Find below my three “favorites” I highly encourage you to think twice before using. Not because they are wrong, but because they are attached to certain thought patterns. And the devious part is, usually they are subconscious thought patterns and play out widely unnoticed by the thinker but might lead to a result you don’t prefer. Let’s start:
No matter if you are passionate about, what looks good and positive at the surface has in its roots a meaning which leads straight to the opposite. The root of “passion” is suffering! If you have a background in Christianity you will remember the Passion of Christ. And how his journey ended. It was a lot of suffering. My native language German still carries this old meaning. Passion in German is “Leidenschaft”. “Leiden” meaning “to suffer”.
While you might rightfully argue that not everybody believes in Christ and that religion shouldn’t have anything to do with business matters, there are still subconscious thought patterns at work. Even for non-religious people.
So before you use the word next time, ask yourself. If like something because it’s expanding your life and career or if you (secretly) want to suffer. I have abandoned this word pretty much. Doesn’t mean you have to. Just feel in what’s right for you.
I confess I was a “problem-solver” at large. And the good news is: I got hired! So you can create a life and career by being a problem-solver. However, one day you might notice the same like I did. You are creating an endless repetition of problems to solve and then feel good about. On top, problems just seem to “find” you everywhere you go! If you no longer want to be a problem-solver (especially not for other people whose problems you can’t solve anyway!), draw the line in the sand. Over! Done! Don’t even mention the word ever again. I love “results-oriented”. Why? You always get results and you don’t have to create a problem first.
A word I recently found in a CV. To be honest, I like the word. I even like to be disruptive once in a while. It moves a lot of energy and creates new insights. However, in a CV you want to think twice if you want to use it. Point is that the “other side” (namely HR and Line Management) put you in the box labeled “difficult to manage” and therefore shy away from hiring you. “Moving too much energy” is exactly what they are not looking for in the moment.
I think that we need more “disruption” not less. But I also have to face that we already live in a very disruptive world and that many people feel overwhelmed already. So I wouldn’t wonder if my point of view is a less popular one. One way or the other, you might want to avoid the word “disruptive” and feel into what you want to express with the word. And then choose a different one with a more positive connotation. Also, feel free to make use of Thesaurus to get more ideas.
Again, nothing is right or wrong. By the end of day, it’s YOUR CV and it has to reflect YOU. It’s just that there are many people with many different points of view. Especially unconscious points of view. So, the better you’re informed the easier you navigate through hiring processes.
And if you are interested in more “wording articles”, just let me know right here. Or suggest a word / a phrase you want to know more about. And if you wish to get your CV checked, feel free to have a look here.
Have a wonderful day!