Computer Resume Job Search

Words to Avoid on a Resume

Posted on: April 10, 2019

Computer Resume Job Search

You’ve put in the work and have the experience, but you just don’t know how to describe your abilities and talent on paper.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. If writing a resume was easy, there wouldn’t be a need for professional resume writers.

What most people struggle with when writing a resume is the inability to avoid tired or overused phrases that make recruiters and hiring managers cringe.

As you prepare your resume, here are some words and phrases to avoid:

Hard Worker

Anyone can say they are a “hard worker,” so it doesn’t provide much value unless you give concrete examples of situations where you handled something more efficiently than your coworkers. While it’s true a company would be more likely to hire someone who is a hard worker, mentioning that in a resume won’t convince the employer unless you provide concrete examples.

Responsible For

“Responsible for” and “duties include” are unnecessary phrases that essentially hide your actual potential. Instead, you should provide the actual details like “trained 30 sales people in a week”. Describe yourself concisely, directly and write active verbs to demonstrate your achievements.

Team Player

Think about it, how many jobs out there allow you to work completely alone? If you get selected, you’ll most likely have to work with someone, so this phrase won’t make your resume stand out. Instead you should mention what roles you’ve played in team settings and ways your contribution helped your organization. Remember, hiring managers want to know about your track record to understand your capabilities.

Salary Negotiable

This may come as a surprise, but this phrase indicates your desperation for getting a job. Unless you’re specifically asked by the employer to include this information, you should avoid it on your resume. Unless stated otherwise, it is commonly understood that it’s negotiable. Additionally, it is considered as a padding sort of thing to fill out your resume. Instead, you should conduct a market research for the post you’ve applied for and keep a specific figure in mind.

Flexible

Describing yourself as flexible is akin to saying you know how to dress yourself every morning. In today’s technologically advanced society, change is constant, especially in workplaces. Instead of saying you are flexible, give examples of ways you had to adjust to certain situations. For instance, you can mention when one of your team members quit with a one-day notice, you had to perform his/her duties for several weeks together with your job duties and how that helped your team to work seamlessly.

Other words to avoid on a resume include general phrases of self-promotion. Though your resume is a place to showcase your skills and abilities, broad terms and phrases to explain your value can be ineffective. Some examples include:

  1. Go-getter
  2. Results-driven
  3. Detail-oriented
  4. Proactive
  5. Strategic thinker

Just like previous examples, using these words by themselves without any examples won’t do you any favors.

So, what should you include on your resume?

Examples of your past work give employers clear evidence of how you are different from other applicants. They are looking for examples of times you delivered value, and whenever possible, with numbers to support them. Consider the following list of words that can be helpful as you develop a resume with action statements that clearly show the value you’ll bring to their team:

  • Achieved
  • Created
  • Developed
  • Established
  • Ideas
  • Improved
  • Increased/decreased
  • Influenced
  • Launched
  • Managed
  • Negotiated
  • Resolved
  • Revenue/profits
  • Trained/mentored
  • Under budget
  • Volunteered

Searching and applying for jobs is tough in today’s market. Remember, The Lee Group is here to help!