Words to Avoid on Your Resume

June 8th, 2012 | Articles, Job Search, Resume | No Comments »


Word choice affects how hiring managers pick candidates so get rid of these words from your resume and see results.

The English language is a bountiful one with, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, well over 171,000 words in current usage, not to mention all of those wacky, obsolete words that fell off of our tongues into obscurity centuries ago. Yet for some reason, as job seekers, we often rely on static language that has been treaded over, time and time again, as we try to depict our perfect selves in words. Cliché and hackneyed phrases bore hiring managers and lose your resume in the countless files cluttering his or her inbox. So spruce up your image and strike the following words from your resume writing vocabulary.

Creative, Innovative
Good alternatives: inventive, inspired, imaginative

Adaptable, Dynamic
Good alternatives: flexible, versatile, malleable, resilient

Good alternatives: potent, persuasive, emphatic results

Team player
Good alternatives: collaborative, cooperative, cohesive worker

Good alternatives: Disposed, propelled, galvanized, compelled

Extensive Experience, Track Record, Accomplished
Alternative example: “Supported 1,500 Windows and Linux users,” or “Maintained uninterrupted network connections for 5 straight years.”

With words and phrases like the last three, your best bet is to simply focus instead on quantifiable examples of your work. You want the person reading your resume to realize you have extensive experience and a great track record. You don’t want to force-feed the concept to them. It should seem a natural and organic decision on the hiring manager’s part. The same can be said for “accomplished,” “results-driven,” “successful,” and “qualified.”

An original way of describing yourself leaves a lasting impression. It demonstrates inventiveness and dedication to generating a unique self portrait and implies your ability as a great communicator. Pick up a thesaurus and find words that suit your personality and the connotation you want to convey. Make sure you use words that you understand and continually work to expand your vocabulary.

by James Walsh