Monday, July 13, 2015
20 words you should never put on your résumé
I came across this article on Business Insider. I think it's some good information that I think you might find useful...
While many large companies use automated résumé screener software to cut down the initial pool of job applicants, loading your résumé with meaningless buzzwords is not the smartest way to get noticed.
"Nearly everyone is guilty of using buzzwords from time to time, but professionals are evaluated increasingly on their ability to communicate," says Paul McDonald, senior executive director for professional placement firm Robert Half.
One of the major problems with using buzzwords and terms, according to Mary Lorenz, a corporate communications manager at CareerBuilder, is they have become so overused that they've lost all meaning. Another issue, she explains, is that many of these words don't differentiate the job seeker from other candidates because they're so generic.
Instead, Lorenz says job seekers should speak in terms of accomplishments and show rather than tell.
"Avoiding overused terms can help job seekers convey their message and stand out from the crowd," McDonald says. Here's what you should avoid:
20 words you should never put on your résumé
1. 'Best of breed'
When CareerBuilder surveyed more than 2,200 hiring managers last year, it found "best of breed" to be the most irritating term to be seen on a résumé.
"Anyone can say they are 'best of breed,' a 'go-getter,' a 'hard worker,' or a 'strategic thinker,'" Lorenz says. "Employers want to know what makes the job seekers unique, and how they will add value to the specific organization for which they're applying."
Career coach Eli Amdur says there is no reason to put the word "phone" in front of the actual number."It's pretty silly. They know it's your phone number." The same rule applies to email.
"Instead of simply saying that you're results-driven, write about what you did to actually drive results — and what those results were," Lorenz suggests.
4. 'Responsible for'
Superfluous words like "responsible for," "oversight of," and "duties included," unnecessarily complicate and hide your experience says Alyssa Gelbard, founder and president of Résumé Strategists.
"Be direct, concise, and use active verbs to describe your accomplishments," she suggests. Instead of writing, "Responsible for training interns ...," simply write, "Train interns ..."
5. 'Highly qualified'
McDonald saying using terms like "highly qualified" or "extensive experience" won't make you seem better-suited for the job — in fact, it could have the opposite effect. Instead, he suggests you focus on the skills, accomplishments, and credentials you bring to the role.
"Not only does this word conjure up images of curly fries," says Rita Friedman, a Philadelphia-based career coach, "it is well-recognized as a code word for 'much, much older.'"
7. 'References available by request'
This outdated phrase will unnecessarily age you, Gelbard says. "If you progress through the interviewing process, you will be asked for personal and professional references."
Vicky Oliver, author of "Power Sales Words" and "301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions," says you should spell out any acronyms first and put the initials in parentheses. For example, "NYSE" would read "New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)."
"For starters, acronyms are capitalized, and all caps are harder to read than upper and lower case," she explains. "It's also really difficult to wade through a piece of paper that resembles alphabet soup."
9. 'Team player'
"Who doesn't want to be a team player? If you’re not a team player, you’re probably not going to get the job," McDonald says.
But using this term isn't going to make you stand out from other candidates. "Instead, use an example of how you saved a company time, money, and resources on a team project or in collaboration with others."
"Of course you would never say you're 'lazy' either, but calling yourself ambitious doesn't make any sense on a resume," Friedman says.
"It can imply that you're targeting this job now, but will quickly be looking to move up in the company because you won't be satisfied in the role, leaving the employer stuck with doing a new job search in the very near future."
11. 'Microsoft Word'
Yea, you and everyone else.
It's assumed that you have a basic proficiency in Microsoft Office, Gelbard says. Unless you have expert proficiency, there's no need to include it on your résumé.
"Words like this make you sound like an automaton," Oliver says. "Most recruiters would rather meet with a human being. Keep your verbs simple and streamlined."
13. 'Hard worker'
It's true that a company is less likely to consider you if you haven't worked hard or don't come across as someone who will put in what it takes to get the job done, but that doesn't mean writing "hard worker" will convince hiring managers of your efforts.
"Give concrete examples of how you’ve gone the extra mile, rather than using a non-memorable cliché," McDonald suggests.
Honesty is one of those things you have to show, not tell, Friedman says.
"It's not as if there are some other candidates out there vying for the job who are describing themselves as 'duplicitous' or 'dishonest.'"
Being punctual is great, but it's also pretty basic to holding down a job. Don't waste the space on your résumé.
Unless it's in your email address, avoid casual texting language like @.
"A resume is a formal document and is often the first impression a potential employer has of you," Gelbard stresses. "Business language should be used to reinforce that first impression and text-style or casual words should be avoided."
17. 'People person'
Cliches like "people person" are impossible to prove, Oliver says, and recruiters have heard these phrases so many times they're likely to feel their eyes glaze over as soon as they see them.
18. 'Hit the ground running'
"This one is a pet peeve of mine," McDonald says. "The expression is unnecessary and doesn't add value. A recruiter isn't going to be able to place you if you're not eager to start the job and you aren't committed."
Avoid using personal pronouns like I, me, my, we, or our, Gelbard says.
"A person reviewing your resume knows that you're talking about your skills, experience, and expertise or something related to the company for which you worked, so you don't need to include pronouns."
"It's generally assumed that you were successful at whatever you are including on your resume," Gelbard says. "There is no need to say that you successfully managed a marketing campaign or successfully led annual budget planning."