15 Words You Should Replace on Your Resume

The list of personal attributes that job seekers place on their resume to convey their value proposition is endless. Almost every resume I read is full of words that suggest the person is someone worthy of a spot on the team, yet few of them explain what they have actually done in their place of work to prove that they really possess these attributes. Some of the biggest "offenders" I see repeated over and over again on resumes include:

1. reliable

2. loyal

3. trustworthy

4. great sense of humor

5. conscientious

6. helpful

7. innovative

8. seasoned

9. results-oriented

10. dependable

11. detail oriented

12. highly motivated

13. versatile

14. independent

15. self-starter

Can you imagine buying a car from a salesman who claims the vehicle is dependable without first doing some research on the car's handling, performance, and gas consumption? Would you hire an accountant just because he claims he is trustworthy or would you want more specific details about how she prepares taxes? Would you choose the house renovation contractor who says he is reliable without asking him questions about his time frames for getting the job done? Would you hire someone to take care of your children because she says she is conscientious or would you want to know exactly what type of activities she has done with children?

Hiring managers don't hire people who say they are reliable and trustworthy. They hire people who can prove time and time again, without a shadow of a doubt that they have experienced successes in the past that make them strong candidates for similar continued success in their organization. Before you include a list of personal attributes on your resume, ask yourself, "Will these words really persuade a hiring manager to interview me or are they just words?" Then do the hard work of actually creating a resume that includes the strong proof of success that gets candidates in the front door.

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Marilyn King

Completely agree! Here are some other pointers on avoiding overused "buzzwords" http://stevelowisz.com/2013/02/21/buzz-off-with-the-buzzwords-overuse-of-fluffy-phrases-cliche-language-leads-to-resume-tossing/

October 17 2013 at 8:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Don't get me wrong. I agree that I need to "sell" myself to prospective employers by telling them what I am going to do for their organization, instead of just throwing out random words. But if employers don't want us to use these "buzzwords" in our resumes, why do they use programs to "weed out" people based on keywords? Keywords like trust-worthy, dependable, detail-oriented, etc. It seems that we can't win in these situations.

May 15 2011 at 3:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Be mad as hell... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMBZDwf9dok

May 09 2011 at 10:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Juan Doez

Blah blah blah it's all garbage. Any compnay around here can hire, will hire 19 and 20 year old druggies, knowing they will lay out and NOT WORK. If you are over 30 no matter what your resume' has, you WON'T GET HIRED. Or, if you are ILLEGAL, you'll get the job over an american.

May 09 2011 at 9:43 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Juan Doez's comment
Monica Smith

illegal mexicans get the job because us "americans" are lazy good for nothing people............and then we bitch and whin about how all the mexicans are taking our jobs, you see if we really wanted those jobs we would have already gone out and got them...........so thank you mexicans for doing those jobs that us americans cant! we love you!

July 10 2011 at 3:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Monica Smith's comment

No they will work for years without a raise, here in AZ the kids took the jobs and now can buy cars, dates etc. I have fired many many lazy mexicans. There is no jobs Mexicans do that a white person cant

October 30 2012 at 5:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

we call it 24/24 a 24 year old doing the job for 24k cheap cheap cheap

October 30 2012 at 5:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We've looked into hiring HR personel to fill our company's positions. And allthe posters here are correct.
We got so tired of people who don't really know how to not only weed out the totally unqualified applicants, but also know absolutely nothing about the positions their speaking to applicants about.

And so true, skip the BS. tell the employer what you have done, what you can do for his company (and why) make is one page, period!

All the boy scout values, trustworthy, loyal.....are expected from every applicant, period. No one will belief it anyway, you must be able to prove it.

In my humble opinion. Find a niche you like and start your own home business that needs little start up capitol and can be replicated.

May 09 2011 at 5:39 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply


All of the job ads out there use these words so WTF???

I am a professional accountant with over 25 years senior level experience and when I see an ad that says "must be detail oriented" I think NEXT! WTF people. Look at my damn resume and see the two major corporations I have worked for over 10 years each, do you really think they kept me that long without me being detail oriented and good at my job? Geez, HR people, get your head out of your a**es, really.

In the last 6 months I got so tired of hearing thanks but no thanks that I got my butt in gear and started advertising for small businesses to do accounting for. If it keeps going as it has for the last 6 months, then within another 6 months I will be making as much if not more then I was when I working in the corporate world. I leave the house maybe one day a week to meet with all of my clients and I get their files and bring them home to work on them. Alot of my clients I have met once and the communicate through email and phone. No fuss, no muss, no gas spent for a long commute in the hot sun of Arizona and I LOVE it! if I never have to deal with another moronic HR person asking stupid questions about a job they don't know anything about then I will be thrilled!!!!! This economy actually did me a favor. It made me realize at the age of 53 that I don't want to hassle with the office environment and politics of it all. Oh yeah, AND I make good money working maybe 2 days a week. The rest of the time I am able to ride my motorcycle and volunteer for charities or just lay by the pool all day if I want.

May 09 2011 at 2:48 AM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Sue's comment

Well said Sue, To many people looking for too few jobs. Self starters will start themselevs, as you have. Anyone worth hiring can find a way to make money, start a new home business, work independently (like you are) etc.

May 09 2011 at 5:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

love your comment

May 09 2011 at 2:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You don't need words. You need to know the person or people working for the corporation. Not what you know, it is who you know 90% of the time.

May 09 2011 at 1:24 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gmath55's comment

Exactly ..That's why most people you have to deal with at companies nowadays don't really seem to know much but are great at BSing with the boss or other employees but if you need actual help from them they are lost at what to do..

May 09 2011 at 7:47 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

To all the ranters and ravers who can't stay on topic. At least learn to spell. Then, just maybe, the rants and raves would make more sense even if they are off topic.

May 09 2011 at 12:29 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply

HELP WANTED: We don't care if you are reliable, loyal, trustworthy, conscientious,helpful, innovative, seasoned, results-oriented, dependable, detail oriented, highly motivated, versatile, independent, a self-starter, or have a great sense of humor: for, you see, WE are Corporate America and are none of those. What we DO care about is that you return $100,000 in profits for us for each $1 we pay you ( including benefits and bonuses ). Apply at any branch of Wells Fargo or other major bank.

May 09 2011 at 12:04 AM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply

I would like to know the resources for this article. I have spent quite a bit of time at libraries reading a number of resume writing and building books, and this article very much contradicts what I have read.

May 08 2011 at 11:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to iamzoned78's comment

The problem with resume books, is by the time the hit the shelves, the business climate has changed, and with it, the protocols of submitting resumes. We limit ourselves to ten resumes a day because we too get inundated. We are always looking for the right person. Something has to pop out at me. The resume has to stick out from the rest. The standard boiler plate, resume templates are too boring, too similar and too many times, just signal to us that this person is as normal as all the rest of the sheeple out there. The person behind the resume has to be creative. Well why not show that in your resume? Wriritn a resume can be alot like writing a novel....show it, dont tell it.

A for references.....Tell me everything, but I for one have never, in 35 years ever called one past job referral. I presume if your applying, yur smart enough to onl put glowing referrals down.

Make me get excited about what you do for ur business, not what we can do for you.

May 09 2011 at 5:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to kazenoya1's comment

Mis-spelling are tongue in cheek for those who mis-spell on their resume.


May 09 2011 at 5:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down

Oh lordy, please tell me that you do not do the hiring! With your poor grammar and editing skills, I can't believe you even HAVE a job, much less are in a hiring position. Your HR department is in dire need of help!

November 13 2013 at 8:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down

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