Many people are brushing up their CV at the moment to find a new job after being made redundant due to the impact of coronavirus – but there are some words they should avoid when trying to sell themselves to a potential new employer.

There were 9,900 Google searches for ‘CV writing’ in the UK in June 2020, which give a sense of just how many people are now looking for a new job.

To help candidates increase their employability prospects, – a website which offers advice on writing a CV – consulted 562 hiring managers across several popular industries in the UK, to discover the commonly used words on CVs they most dislike seeing. found that ‘best’ is the word that employers most hate seeing on a CV, with 76% agreeing. The word indicates a strong ego and sense of self-importance. 71% of hiring managers are not a fan of candidates using the word ‘motivated’ on their CV. With nearly 4,000 uses of the word on CVs from’s database, applicants might fare better with alternative options such as driven or goal oriented.

‘Dedicated’ (69%) and ‘proven’ (65%) are other words that a significant proportion of employers disapprove of on CVs. Given that a lot of individuals (4,207) are crediting some of their skills and accolades as ‘excellent’, they might be better off not doing so – as 1 in 2 (54%) hiring managers don’t look too fondly at the adjective on a CV.

On the other end, 43% of employers would prefer it if candidates didn’t use the cliché ‘hardworking’ to define their work ethic.