Words to Avoid When Writing a Resume
Despite the fact that today people use a variety of additional job search tools, resume remains the most powerful marketing instrument to land interviews and eventually get jobs. There has been a lot of discussion about what format of the resume is the most effective when it comes to job applications or what content should be given priority in the document. We are not going to discuss these global things now in terms of resume writing but rather will concentrate on things that are common for each and every job seeker when he or she approaches creating a resume.
Resume Words and Cliches to Remove
Before we move on to actual words and cliches, we should note that it many job seekers don’t think it is a problem to use old-fashioned phrases on a resume. The truth of the matter is that many hiring managers who review resumes are annoyed by fluffy words and phrases that in essence doesn’t contain any useful information. Another thing you may want to consider that the majority of resumes reviewed by decision makers are literally filled with these fluffy words and cliches which means that most of the candidates look the same. Now if you really want to get selected for the interview, that’s not what you want because employers invite those who can stand out as strong candidates. So actually the language can hurt you in the way that hiring authorities won’t see anything that makes you unique and as a result your resume will be thrown to the discard pile. Below you will find some of the most annoying and meaningless words for employers.
Responsible for. This one is usually found and copy-pasted form websites that offer generic job descriptions. This fact alone should be convincing enough not to use this phrase on your resume. Using “responsible for” prevents you from focusing on your accomplishments and that is the most annoying things decision makers experience – looking through resumes with no actual accomplishments. You are much better using words like “created”, “initiated”, “implemented”, “improved”, etc.
Worked. Being too vague on a resume is a mistake that can cost candidates a job. Whatever you say on your resume should be specific. The word “work” or “worked” is nothing but a vague description of what you did. You have to find a way to be more specific in regard to your professional experiences (i.e. substitute “work” for words like “reduce”, “facilitate”, “increase”, “create”, etc).
Utilized. For some reason job seekers believe than using fancy words will help them standout. Nothing can be further from the truth. The word “utilized” is just the example. Why wouldn’t one want to write simple “use” instead? It basically has the same meaning. Going back to the basics is an important part of writing a successful resume. HRs like candidates who prefer going a simple way. If you want to impress a potential employer, you should do so with your achievements and qualifications. Not with “fancy” substitutes of simple words.
Assisted. Sometimes job seekers are too humble and instead of saying they “collaborated” or “cooperated” they use the word “assisted”. The problem is that hiring managers will not appreciate such humility or more specifically won’t be able to paint a clear picture of who you are. Therefore, don’t stick with this word unless you held only entry level positions.
Greatly, effectively, etc. Any adverb that ends with -ly to “emphasize” how good you are is a trick hiring authorities don’t like. More than that, it looks superfluous. It is much better to use valuable space on your resume on listing action verbs and highlighting relevant accomplishments.
We should note that using any of these words doesn’t automatically disqualify you from the competition. You can still use these words and get an interview invitation. But at Prime-resume we believe that eliminating every chance to be disqualified results in a much more effective job search campaigns. Therefore, doing everything you can to remove potential so-called “red flags” will ensure you will receive more job opportunities with your resume.