Things that you should never say in a CV or job interview

By Graeme Jordan (CV Writer / Interview Coach / professional Marketer)

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things you should not say

An easy way to improve the sophistication of your job seeking is to eliminate certain phrases from the vocabulary of your CVs and interviews.

 ‘I consider myself to be’
Aren’t you sure? Confidence is key, and this isn’t confident enough.

‘I feel that’
‘Feel’ is just the wrong word. ‘Think’ or ‘believe’ is more suitable, but then again, these display a lack of confidence. Instead, just state the skills you have using positive language.

‘Duties included’
Skip this and get straight to the point. Unless your duties really are integral to your new role, they don’t matter. 

There is no ‘we’ in recruitment and selection. You are the only ‘you’ applying.

‘Basic understanding of’

You either have applicable, relevant knowledge of something, or you do not, and it possibly shouldn’t be included. If you are writing in relation to a skill that the employer needs, then you have two choices: Learn it or seek a more suitable job instead.

The purpose of your CV is to get you interviews and opportunities. Any information you include which does not contribute to that end does not belong there. 

Instead replace these tired phrases with more confident language that is not clichéd, and so devoid of meaning. This will immediately improve any CV.


Graeme Jordan is a CV Writer and Interview Coach who helps candidates at all levels in a range of industries to get interviews and get selected. See more at


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