Words and Phrases to Avoid Using On Your Resume

When a hiring manager decided whether to call you in for an interview or not, they will oftentimes base their decision solely on the picture your resume paints. The words you use on your resume to describe your skills and experience can have a big impact on the decision a hiring manager or recruiter makes.

Once a job is posted online, resumes start pouring in and the hiring manager starts the arduous process of reviewing many, many resumes. They will glance over your resume (oftentimes for only a few moments) and if something jumps out at them, they may call you in for an interview. Sure, they are looking for a candidate who has the skills and experience needed for a job, but they are also looking for a candidate that stands out to them and doesn’t include any overused resume phrases. To position your resume to jump out at a hiring manager, you need to make sure you don’t use language that will send your resume straight into the “Don’t Hire” pile.

Here are four phrases to avoid using, and why:

  • “Including, but not limited to.” On your resume, you need to be to the point. Using this long phrase isn’t necessary if you are highlighting multiple duties or capabilities.
  • “Innovative.” Being innovative is a desirable skill for many positions, but hiring managers don’t want to just hear that you are innovative, they want to hear about how you are innovative. Provide specific examples if you can.
  • “Good communication skills.” There isn’t a set scale all hiring managers use for how good, or bad, a candidate communicates. Instead of using this phrase, talk about was accomplished with your communication skills (e.g. “Negotiated XYZ”).
  • “Results oriented.” Regardless of what job you are applying to and what positions you have previously held, hiring managers assume that you work to accomplish something. Avoid stating something that you know the employer is already assuming.

When applying to a job opportunity, be sure that you are tailoring your resume for each position. Highlight your skills and capabilities that the employer may put emphasis on and remember to avoid using clichéd or overused phrases.

Looking for help finding a great job opportunity or revising you resume? Contact the recruiting team at Contemporary Staffing to learn how to leverage your resume to help you find a great job.