Tuesday, February 22, 2011

7 Overused Words That Damage your Resume's Success

By Jessica Holbrook Hernandez

Words and their meanings are vitally important in the resume world, and if you want a competitive advantage, then we suggest you pay close attention to your word choices. I’ve compiled a list of seven worn-out resume terms and some more creative alternatives that you can implement in your resume today!

Accomplished Yes, we all know every job seeker is accomplished, otherwise you would have been fired from every job you’ve ever had if you’d never accomplished anything. Instead try: Peak Performer.

Results-Driven We all know that everyone’s professional resume starts out with Results-Driven (Insert your job title here). The only problem is, in the job search game you don’t want to sound like everyone else; you want to stand out from the crowd. Instead try: Performance-Driven, Top-flight, or Top-notch.

Successful This is another overused phrase. We all want to communicate how successful we’ve been so that a new employer will think highly of us, but let’s look at some alternative wording versus just coming out and saying, hey there, I’m a success. Instead try: Best-In-Class, Award-Winning, or Top-Performing.

Skillful or Skilled These are so boring. Seriously, I hate to see resumes with these words on them. I cannot even tell you how incredibly dull these words are, and I am sure you can come up with something way more creative for your resume. If you can’t think of anything, try my recommendations; or, if you don’t like them, use a thesaurus. Instead try: Talented, Sharp, Progressive, or Resourceful.

Problem Solver Can I just say that this is a given … we are ALL problem solvers. If you are human, you are a problem solver; it is just part of human nature. Does it really need to be stated on your resume? I think not. Instead try: Troubleshooter, Forward-Thinking, or Visionary Leader.

And last, but not least, Dedicated and Dependable Again, I have to say, boring … boring … boring. Spice up your resume with something creative. Instead try: High-Potential, Quality-Driven, High-Impact, and Dynamic.

Will these words make or break your resume success? Maybe … maybe not. But if it means the difference between being memorable and being passed over … then word choice is much more critical than we might think.