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The Top 5 Cliches Never To Use In A Medical Job Application

Medical Job Application

Are you still using worn-out phrases on your applications?

The job application process can be a stressful and bewildering process for healthcare professionals. Whether you’re applying for an RN position, a GP job or a JMO locum position, you’re inevitably going to have to submit a CV, and sometimes a cover letter. In most cases, you’ll have an interview too.

One of the most frustrating things for people on the other side of the application (i.e. the recruiters, hospital managers, and consultants), is that many of the CVs and applications we see are full of cliches.

The problem with using an overused phrase is that it doesn’t distinguish you from other candidates. During the application process, your goal should be maximum (positive) differentiation. Everything you say or write needs to have added value.

Otherwise, how can we tell you from the hundred other candidates for the job?

Keep in mind that many of the people interviewing you or reviewing your application have seen thousands like it. Imagine hearing the same phrases over, and over again. We really want to hear something different!


So, the top 5 cliches you should never use on a job application for a medical job are:


  1. “I am a perfectionist”


We would hope so. You have people’s lives in your hands. This phrase doesn’t tell us anything that we don’t already know, and in your job you’re kinda expected to be a perfectionist.

Instead, talk about the particular traits and skills that you have that bring about this perfectionism. Tell us about experiences you’ve had that this trait has made a difference.


  1. “I work too hard”


Really? What is too hard, exactly? Yes, you’re going to be working long hours, like everyone else in your job. Tell us something new.

An alternative to this would be showcasing particular situations where you have really gone above and beyond for a patient, or their family.


  1. During interview: “That’s a very good question”


Gosh (blushing), thanks so much! I worked really hard on that question!

Stop stalling. Answer the question. We don’t have time for this.

If you’re completely stumped by a question, ask the interviewers to rephrase it, or even say that you’re not sure how to answer that question, and come back to it later.



  1. “I have excellent written and verbal communication skills”


Seriously, what do you mean by ‘excellent’? Are you Ray Martin excellent, or Tony Abbott excellent? Neither of those? Okay.

You really need to be more specific here. Perhaps, you’ll talk about your experience dealing with patients from multicultural backgrounds and their interpreters, or highlight your term report saying how great your patient notes are. Be specific.


  1. “I work well independently, and as part of a team”

Have you decided that for yourself? Do the other team members think the same thing?

Independent work and teamwork are opposite ends of a continuum. You’re inevitably going to be more comfortable with one or the other. Very few people can demonstrate both.

Talk about times when you were a critical part of a team during a difficult period, or about an occasion when your individual effort saved the day.


There are so many more job application cliches that I can’t fit them all into this article. The best way to avoid worn-out statements is to be authentic, honest, and to offer specific examples of your performance. The team at our medical recruitment agency, Beat Medical can help you prepare for your next interview, and job application process.


To avoid mistakes in your next job application, download ‘7 Obvious Mistakes to Avoid on Your Medical CV’ (+ Bonus Interview Guide) today 


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