The buzzwords to leave off your resume

June 28, 2017

The buzzwords to leave off your resume

Resume buzzwords can sometimes be a necessary evil.  They are crucial because most employers place resumes in keyword- searchable databases but if your resume is crammed with too many buzzwords you could be losing out.

As a job seeker, you understand the importance of your resume. It’s often the first impression you make with a potential employer, and research shows that recruiters and managers spend less than 10 seconds on resumes that don’t quickly catch their eye.

While the fundamentals of resumes remain the same, they’re also evolving. Yesterday’s important phrases and buzzwords may already be outdated. That said, it’s time to eliminate these resume buzzwords and phrases to ensure that your resume gets more than a cursory glance. Here are 12 resume buzzwords and phrases that you need to forget:

1. Results-driven
This phrase needs to be reworked to fit into the “show me, don’t tell me” category. Instead of saying that you’re motivated by results, give examples of when you did drive them. And show them exactly what the results entailed.

2. Highly-qualified
Saying that you’re highly-qualified won’t fool a recruiter into thinking that you’re better suited for the job than other candidates. Focus instead on your skills, accomplishments, and credentials that truly qualify you for the position.

3. Team player
The bottom line is that every employer prefers to hire a team player and most will assume that you already are one. But saying you’re a “team player” won’t make you stand out from other candidates; instead, show how you contributed to a team project or collaborated with others.

4. Visionary
There’s nothing wrong with suggesting that you take a personal, creative approach to your job but saying you’re a “visionary” comes off as arrogant. Besides, can anyone honestly call themselves visionary?

5. References available upon request
There’s no need to use this phrase because it’s already assumed that your references will be available if needed.

6. Able to meet deadlines
This phrase sends the message that you’re satisfied with only meeting deadlines rather than going above and beyond the expected. Again, give examples of your time management skills and how you work well under pressure.

7. Phone
There’s no need to put the word “phone” before your actual number. Recruiters and hiring managers are smart enough to know that it’s your phone number. The same rule applies for email.

8. Effective communicator
Your resume will attest to your communication skills, so there’s no need to include this phrase within it.

9. Seasoned professional
This phrase doesn’t necessarily apply to recent college graduates or younger people looking for jobs, but it’s still wise to use caution when using it. While “seasoned professional” is intended to send the message that you have years of experience and dealt with a myriad of situations, it makes you sound outdated.

10. Think outside the box
This was an effective and perhaps attention-grabbing phrase – several years ago. Like “synergy,” it’s one of those resume buzzwords that has outlived its usefulness.

11. Hard worker
The truth is, employers aren’t knowingly going to hire anyone who isn’t a hard worker. Until proven otherwise, they’re going to assume that you’re one, as well. The same is true of “go-getter.”

12. Ability to accomplish objectives
Again, it’s better to show and not tell. List your objectives and accomplishments rather than describing your ability to complete them.

Eliminating all of these resume buzzwords and phrases will not only un-clutter your resume but make it more appealing to hiring managers who have only so much time to grasp the important things on it. And always remember to list your work accomplishments rather than talking about them in general terms.

Need More Advice?

If you’re still trying to figure out what career is a good match for you, download the Mercer Match app to get started. Your profile will be matched to careers and companies where you will thrive. Visit Mercer Match now to play or download the iOS mobile app or Google Play app.

Original article by Mercer Match.

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