Thursday, November 3, 2016

10 Phrases You Should Never Use in a Resume

A job search is challenging enough, but sometimes we create more problems for ourselves by using outdated language or statements that cause us additional issues.  Here are 10 of those phrases to avoid:

1)     References Available Upon Request
a.       Hiring managers already know this fact.
b.      You are wasting space on your resume.
2)     Excellent Written and Verbal Communication Skills
a.     See it frequently, but this is not the definitive based info hiring managers are looking for on the resume.  Your resume writing itself should show excellent writing skills and the interview, your verbal communication skills.  Use it if you want on the cover letter, with an example  demonstrating your excellent communication skills.
b.      Again, wasting space, this time with a generic statement.
3)    Works Well in High Pressure Situations
a.     This is something everyone deals with today in the business world, so instead of a generic statement like the above, give them an example of a project that got done on time and on budget with a time-compressed schedule, or a client that you helped with a product shipment issue that was going to shut down their factory, but you saved the day.
4)    The words Duties or Responsibilities include…
a.     These are highly overused and you want to get a thesaurus and find other action oriented words to being your resume bullet points.
5)    Gained Expertise
a.     Showing hiring managers how you used the expertise is the important part, not just that you learned it.
6)    Strong Work Ethic
a.       Unfortunately many of the people who say this on their resume don’t have one.  
7)    Meets or Exceed Expectations
a.       Generic statement, instead use a real example of how your met or exceeded a goal.
8)    Highly Qualified
a.     Again, generic statement, give specific examples of how you are qualified from your work experience.
9)    Results-Oriented, Results-Focused, Results anything…
a.     Yes, we have all used this phrase or some incarnation of it in our past resumes, but it is time to put this one to bed and give the hiring manager an actual example of results.
10)  Objective Statement
a.     We have covered this before in another blog post, but I find myself still telling this to jobseekers on a fairly consistent basis.  Don’t use an objective statement, which is about what you want, instead use a job title.  Until the company wants to interview and hire you, they don’t “care” about what you want.  By giving them a (their) job title, this communicates what the resume should cover in regards to “type” of experience.

Whether you call them filler words, general or generic statements, or just fluff, including several of the above phrases in your resume will look less than professional.  You only have a few seconds in the initial review of your resume to get the attention of a Hiring Manager, HR, Recruiter, etc.  The last thing you want to do is alienate them with canned phrases and space wasters.  Give real examples of your work successes with some detail, as this is what anyone who reviews resumes and/or hires employee’s wants to hear – proof you are up to the challenge.  To your job search success!

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