Get Rid of Your Resume Fluff

I read a lot of resumes that start off with applicants describing themselves as passionate, visionary, out-of-the-box thinkers, dedicated, "roll up their sleeves" professionals, and big-picture thinkers. Perhaps they believe these phrases elevate the professionalism of their resume or make them sound more committed to their work. But I think this type of language works against you when you are crafting your resume. Here's why.

1. You sound like a cliche. When you incorporate these types of terms into your resume to make you sound unique, you actually sound like you don't have an original thought in your head. Hiring managers read thousands of resumes with these same claims every year. If it wasn't that interesting the first time around, it certainly won't be interesting after the 1,000th resume.

2. No one will ever find you. Many hiring managers search for candidates by using applicant tracking software or performing targeted keyword searches on LinkedIn. I guarantee you, no one is keying-in on the search terms "passionate" or "visionary" to find their next top executive. They are searching based on key skills and competencies.

3. You won't look different than your competitors. Anyone can say they are dedicated or the top in their field. Until you can prove it with a strong overview of your accomplishments, no one will believe you are any different than all the other candidates vying for the same opportunity.

Skip the flowery language and stick to the facts. Tell employers how you can solve their problems and what skills you have leveraged in the past to help companies make money, save money, and save time. Your resume will be a better, more engaging, and more credible read for hiring managers.

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Also it's hard to have accomplishments when you are constantly being laid off and downsized every time you are up for a raise or promotion. I my experience, the new person is generally the first to go. Also, how do you quantify success and accomplishments if you are not an executive, just a menial worker doing your blue collar job? Typically workers have no access to the numbers or statistics of how successful a particular job was.

August 10 2013 at 4:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sadly these are the types of words we've been told and trained to use in our resumes and cover letters for years. This is the first time I've heard anyone say otherwise.

August 10 2013 at 4:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

not all jobs are about making money, or saving money or time...while i get the criticism i dare you to put that business school clap trap to work on a nurses resume.

January 02 2013 at 8:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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