Employment recruiters only spend an average of 7 seconds glancing over an individual resume. With that kind of short attention span, job seekers need to make every word count. Over the nine years I’ve been a hiring manager, I have found that you should remove all the superfluous words that aren’t helpful to you. You can begin with these eight vague, overused, meaningless, or inappropriate words.
This is an inappropriate word when used in business communication. “Marketing is my first love” sounds very unprofessional and sticks out like a sore thumb. Reserve this powerful word for your social life.
Passion has been a big cliché on resumes. It is vague and most employers aren’t impressed when you promote yourself this way. Instead of performing an interpretive dance showing how passionate you are about coding or waiting tables, demonstrate it through career accomplishments, licensures, and educational achievements.
Employers assume that you will be detail-oriented, so it’s not necessary to spell it out. Instead, write about how your detailed attention has completed a project successfully, made a team run more effectively, or saved a previous employer money.
“Experienced” is so overused and vague that it’s become almost meaningless. Delete that word and get specific. What teams have you managed? What exactly have you done? Impress that with documented facts, and don’t bore them with generalities.
If recruiters received a quarter every time they see this phrase, they would be very wealthy. Get rid of this cliché and show how you’ve excelled with teams in the past. Even better, show examples of how you’ve assembled strong teams, supervised teams, and motivated them toward great results.
Impactful is a word, but it might not be a good one. It’s clunky and begs the question: was the impact good or harmful? Open a thesaurus and find a better adjective since most of them are better.
The content of a well-designed resume should illustrate this for you. Let your skills, results, and experience speak for themselves.
While it seems like getting your resume noticed by the hiring manager takes a great deal of luck, there is a method for success. Winning resumes are well-written, clear, and jargon-free. Get yourself noticed by trading generalities for specific achievements. Resist the temptation to clog up your resume with flowery language. Most recruiters are too busy for that.