Phrases to Remove from Your Resume to Increase its Impact

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Writing an effective resume can be a daunting task.  Unfortunately, it is a necessary part of the job search process. In order to be noticed, candidates have to get it right. Keywords can help resumes pass a recruiter or hiring manager’s initial screening – especially if done by an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) – but buzzwords can detract from the document’s meaningful content if overused.

Resumes that are littered with buzzwords often lack the depth of experience needed to fully progress through the hiring process. According to ERE Media, typical corporate job openings receive an average of 250 resumes, in addition to the many resumes sourced from job boards, social media sites and internal systems as well. Such high quantities do not permit substantial, in-depth reviews. Overtime, recruiters and hiring managers develop an acute sense of who they’re looking for and who to avoid, while scanning resumes. The use of overused keywords could cause the hiring manager to inadvertently overlook a resume.

Seven Common Resume Phrases to Avoid

Before applying to another job, take another look at your resume. If it includes any of the following phrases, remove them. Replace buzzwords with impactful keywords and statements that show the positive impact made in previous roles, and help to convey the value you hope to bring to the company.

1. Extensive Experience

Simply telling a hiring manager you are very experienced will not make you appear more qualified for the job. Instead of wasting valuable resume real estate on empty words, prove your fit by highlighting your relevant skills and accomplishments. Include quantitative information to best show the impact of efforts taken while gaining the experience.

2. Seasoned Professional

In the business world, the word seasoned often translates to old. While this is not always the case, and it is illegal to  discriminate against a candidate based on age, it might create the image of someone past their prime. That being said, it may be prudent to avoid the term.

3. Highly-Motivated

No one wants to hire a candidate who lacks drive. Blatantly describing yourself as motivated adds no depth to your candidacy. Let your accomplishments speak for themselves to really prove your ambition to the hiring manager.

4. Team Player

Saying you work well with others and actually being an asset to a team are two entirely different things. Rather than simply claiming to be a team player, list successes you have realized as part of a group.  If possible, show progression by  highlighting your ability to both thrive as cohesive unit, and successfully step up into leadership roles when needed.

5. Effective Communicator

The best way to prove your communication skills is to submit a resume that clearly explains who you are as a candidate and what you have to offer. Describing yourself as an excellent or effective  communicator lacks meaning, especially when the reader has trouble making it past the first section of the resume.

6. Deadline Driven

An ability to meet deadlines is a basic part of holding a job. Meeting deadlines does not set you apart from competition. Instead, focus on your track record of overachieving by constantly exceeding expectations while still meeting deadlines.

7. References Available by Request

Resume real-estate is valuable. Focus on what is critical to the open position, and avoid wasting space stating the obvious. Hiring managers expect candidates to produce a list of references if asked.

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