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6 words and phrases that kill your resume

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You’ve handed over your resume, ensuring it’s typo-free, grammatically correct, and highlights your top skills. Despite editing it down to one page, it may still be riddled with common clichés and jargon, inducing eye rolls from hiring managers.

A resume is key to securing an interview, but applicants might hurt their prospects by cluttering CVs with cringeworthy buzzwords.

So before you send yet another copy of your resume, purge all of these unwanted words!

  1. “Responsible for…”
    While reading this, a recruiter can almost picture the average, dull employee mechanically fulfilling his job requirements. To really stand out, turn phrases like “responsible for” into “managed,” “led” or other decisive, strong verbs.

  2. “Problem-solving skills…”
    Excellent at solving a problem? I hate to break it to you – but that’s not really an accomplishment. Anyone scanning your resume probably expects you to find solutions. Instead, you’d be better off demonstrating how you achieved key objectives and overcame obstacles. Typically, during an interview employers need the assurance that you can overcome real day-to-day job challenges. Be specific and precise instead of using terms that are open ended.

  3. “Experienced”
    Again, experience is something that happens to you and not something you achieve. Describe your background in terms of achievements and key deliverables that can be quantified. Don’t just say you are “experienced” – it means nothing on its own!

  4. “Detail-oriented…”
    So, you pay attention to details. Well, so does everyone else. Don’t you have something unique to tell the hiring manager? Plus, putting this on your resume will make that accidental typo in your cover letter or resume all the more comical.

  5. “I am a team player”
    There are very few jobs that don’t involve working with someone else. If you have relevant success stories about collaboration, put them on your resume. Talk about the kinds of teams you worked with, and how you succeeded. Show, don’t (just) tell!

  6. “Motivated or Passionate”
    It’s great to be highly motivated and love what you do, but to claim this for yourself without context doesn’t do much to distinguish you from the rest. Talk instead about how motivation led to results. For instance, devised, formalised, led, and initiated are some action verbs that highlight your expertise. The key is to summarise and keep every point smooth and succinct.

Looking for more tips to create that perfect CV? Click here.

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