Words you should never use on a resume

For those who read my journal regulary, you'll be familiar with my admonishment that words hold power.

Use them well and you'll reap benefits; use them poorly and you'll reap less than optimum outcomes, failure, or even disaster.

And I have said in the past I rarely say "never." So today's headline is not in my own words; this headline is taken from popular internet posts that, with a generous dose of hyperbole, warn the job hunter to refrain from using certain words on his or her resume. Words like "results-focused, detail-oriented." Apparently they are overused.

Job hunters, you'll take some consolation in my opinion on this: these terms are over-used in the resume because they are over-used in job postings! To meet the requirements of the inflexible Applicant Tracking Systems, the job hunter must - MUST - adhere to language in the job posting.

Today I read another article on words to avoid. A recruiter writes (read the article here) that he doesn't like reading "approximately, assisted, team player, attempted, implemented, professional, hopefully." He has his reasons and some do make sense. I, too, refrain from using "assisted." I prefer to know exactly what my client did in assisting a new project to take root. Did s/he conduct research, collect business requirements, strike and convene teams or committees? Assist is a weak verb that inspires little confidence.

As are "approximately, attempted, and hopefully." The job search should be approached with confidence. If you are uncertain to what degree you improved efficiency, approximate it by stating "saved more than 10 minutes per data entry of new client info sheets by restructuring intake form."

Some changes are easy peasy; they simply take a bit of thinking!

My advice on all this talk of "never" using certain words is to use your judgement! There are no real rules in resume writing and one recruiter's "never's" are another recruiter's "no opinion." That's why my little clip-art man has no words in his bubble!

Above all be truthful and prove what you claim -- that you are a team player, have attention to detail, are super organized -- with actual information or examples.

- ready to be of service, Stephanie