Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 


You are not your resume.

The trouble is that some HR types don't want to make too much effort, so they look for certain items on their checklists.

They also look for certain items that drive them to the north of doolally.

Some of these items, sadly, are words and phrases that too many people think are exactly the sort of thing that HR people need to hear.

Helpfully, the Daily Mail asked experts at LinkedIn and CV-Library which self-expressions spell doom for their subjects.

I present them here, but with my own highly subjective annotations.

1. Hard-Working.

You're clearly the apogee of superfluousness if you include this one. How many resumes do you think there are that describe the applicant as Stunningly lazy doofus? And how can you prove you're hard-working? By using such a lazy phrase?

2. Enthusiastic And Passionate.

This all started here in America, I fear. We're supposed to be innately enthusiastic and passionate. Every day must be awesome or we lose our credentials as humans. Don't say it, prove it. This, of course, takes some thought.

3. Track Record.

Otherwise known as Broken Record, this is thoroughly pointless. If they read your resume, they'll decide whether you've proved your track record. Again, don't claim it. Show it.

4. Salary Negotiable.

What? Why? Is this supposed to suggest you're desperate? Is it intended to show that you're so stunningly reasonable that you're prepared to listen to the company's offer? Isn't every salary negotiable? Why even mention salary? Let that happen as the process goes along.

5. References Available Upon Request.

Oh, the employer has to ask nicely, do they? Or you won't give them references at all? When it comes to the time for references, they'll ask. They know how to do this. You don't need to help them. Though it might be lovely if someone wrote the truth on their resume: "I've got some big, important names who are prepared to lie on my behalf. But you know they're going to lie, so why don't you find your own referees and don't tell me anything about it? Even though that will be scary for me."

6. Team Player Who Works Individually.

This sounds like Ice Cream That's Made Of Dairy Products. Or Potato That Came From The Ground. Some people believe that if they claim to be all the things that a potential employer could possibly expect, then they'll attract attention. Instead, they'll more likely attract a snort.

7. Extensive Experience.

The man from LinkedIn told the Mail that you're more likely to show your experience by demonstrating your activity in one or more of LinkedIn's fascinating groups. He said that if you do, you're 15 times more likely to be given a look than someone who doesn't. But LinkedIn has extensive experience (and passionate enthusiasm) in selling LinkedIn. Phrases such as "extensive experience" have come to enjoy slightly yawn-making connotations, such as Has Been Around And Stuck With No-One.

8. Perfectionist.

The experts say that no one is perfect all the time and those who behave like self-claiming perfectionists can be less than entertaining co-workers. They're those who cannot see the golf course for the holes. For me, the mere thought of claiming to be a perfectionist has slightly haughty overtones. Does anyone actually know what perfect is?

9. Creative.

Look, you've written here that you're a hard-working, enthusiastic and passionate perfectionist. You say you're a team player who works individually and has extensive experience, as well as a stunning track record. You say your salary is negotiable and you have references available upon request. And now you're claiming you're creative? Seriously?