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It is important to know what to include in your CV when applying for a job. Make sure you present yourself as a highly qualified candidate for the role, and make a good impression on the recruiter.

Creating an impactful CV requires careful consideration of every phrase you use. Our article explains why it’s better to leave phrases like ‘references available upon request’ off your CV, suggests positive alternatives, and offers tips for writing a job application that impresses potential employers.

The benefits of leaving ‘references available upon request’ on a CV

If you are thinking of including references on your CV, you may want to consider the phrase ‘references are available upon request. Choosing whether to include this phrase on your CV can be difficult, but the right decision can help you advance your career. You might want to leave this phrase off your CV in order to make your application more appealing to recruiters:

Enhancing recruitment efficiency

In order to streamline the recruitment process and increase your chances of impressing the recruiter, consider leaving out the phrase from your CV. CVs that include the phrase ‘references available upon request’ often create more work for potential employers. In order to determine if you’re a good candidate for the job, they need to contact your references and wait for their reply. Consequently, they may prefer candidates with similar qualifications who attached references to their initial application.

Makes your sales pitch stronger

The closing of your CV should position you as an interesting and qualified candidate in order to increase your chances of advancing in the recruitment process. Consider closing your CV with a strong sales pitch and attaching references as a separate document rather than telling the recruiter that they can request references. By doing so, you will be able to highlight only the most relevant information on your CV.

Increases the amount of useful information available

CVs typically consist of one page. In order to accomplish this, it is imperative that you include as much information as possible on a single sheet of paper. A CV without the phrase can help you better stand out by leaving room for additional information. Instead of including a reference statement, you can include important keywords from the job description, as well as some of your greatest accomplishments or skills.

Provides you with an opportunity to provide separate references

The reference list should be attached to your initial job application as a separate and complete document. It saves them time and gives them a more comprehensive picture of the candidates when everything is provided at once. If you would like to prepare a reference list for your application, ask your referees for their permission. They can expect an email or a call from your prospective employer if you’re looking for a job. List of items to include:

  • Referee’s full name

  • The company they work for and their role

  • Address of the company

  • Telephone number

  • Email address

The four phrases you should leave off your CV

In order to make your CV stand out to potential employers, you may want to consider leaving out the following phrases and words:

Hard worker

Choosing a different way to describe your work ethic to a potential employer may help you improve your application’s quality, even if you consider the term ‘hard worker’ appropriate. Consider creative ways to describe your traits and skills in order to present yourself as a more qualified candidate. In place of these adjectives, here are some alternatives:

  • committed

  • determined

  • diligent

  • driven

  • earnest

  • focused

  • motivated

  • passionate


Candidates for jobs have overused phrases such as ‘self-starter’ and ‘go-getter’ in recent years. Recruiters may therefore consider it cliche. If you want your CV to be effective, consider exchanging these with adjectives and phrases that show action, such as ‘achieved’ or ‘improved’.

Best of breed

The phrase ‘best of breed’ is among the least likely to lead to a job interview. In spite of its usage as a description of business or technology terms, it may put off recruiters who are looking for candidates. You might consider describing some of your professional accomplishments that are closely related to the position you are applying for instead.

Think outside the box

The phrase has already been overused hundreds of times by recruiters. Think about removing this term from your CV if you want to show you’re creative. Instead, you can use action verbs to describe how your creative thinking skills helped you find an innovative solution and improve the profitability of your former company.

Other phrases to leave off your CV

Listed below are some additional phrases and terms you might consider exchanging:

  • value add

  • results-driven

  • team player

  • self-motivated

  • detail-oriented

  • proactive

  • track record

  • dynamic

These terms will help you stand out from the crowd

In case you’re stuck and don’t know what phrases to use in your CV after eliminating overused terms, here’s a list of terms recruiters may prefer:

  • achieved

  • improved

  • created

  • resolved

  • volunteered

  • influenced

  • negotiated

  • under budget

  • launched

  • won

How to create an effective CV

Knowing what you need to do can help you create a CV that stands out. A good CV can be drafted by considering the following steps:

Take keywords from the job description

A thorough analysis of a job description will help you better understand the job. Recruiters and employers often use keywords to describe job duties and responsibilities. A keyword is a specific word or phrase that describes a hard skill or a requirement for an employer. By identifying and incorporating them into your CV, you demonstrate to your potential employer that you’ve prepared and taken the time to learn about the specifics of the position. Also, it helps you beat applicant tracking systems (ATS) and increase your chances of getting hired.

Be original

You could describe your unique abilities, accomplishments, and personality in your CV instead of using cliche words that could describe most candidates. When you use the right words and action verbs, the recruiter will be able to better understand your career goals and get to know you. It demonstrates a degree of creativity that is desired in the workplace.

Explain how you can help the company succeed

When describing your career goals in your application, instead of describing your career goals, focus on those qualities that could benefit the company you are applying to. Then, you can position yourself as a self-aware candidate who is ready to contribute to the growth of the organization by focusing on the needs and expectations of your potential employer.

Include data

You can prove your skills and qualifications by including data and facts on your CV. In the process of drafting an effective application, you might want to include some useful statistics that describe your past professional achievements. When applying for a social media manager position, mention some statistics from your previous ad campaigns.

Review your CV before submitting

You should review your CV carefully to ensure there are no grammar or formatting errors. Ensure that your skills are accurately described in the document by reading it through. Ask someone who works in human resources or has experience applying for jobs to review your CV next if you know someone who works in human resources. You can polish your CV with their objective opinions and make sure you use creative phrases that potential employers will enjoy.

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Author ianh22

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