8 Words To Never Use On A Resume

words never use resumeMy friend, Don Goodman, from Resume Wizards recently gave me his personal 18-point checklist for creating a good resume. As I read through it, all the bad resumes I've ever read came flashing back to me.

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Your resume is the often the first impression an employer has of you. Talk about tough?! That 8 1/2x11 inch document often holds the power to get you in the 'yes' or 'no' pile for an interview. I see dozens of resumes each week from people who are struggling to land the coveted interview.

You'd be amazed at how many people forget this is a document they are writing about themselves. Which means, over-stating your abilities sounds boastful and even worse... desperate. The following are words I've personally seen used on resumes. If you want to come across as the "talented yet humble" professional that you really are, consider eliminating these words from it:

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1. Guru: No, you are not a mystical person from another physical realm. You are a professional who uses their smarts to get results.

2. Emperor: You are also not the head of a foreign country.

3. Star: Well, unless you are in a band that sells out stadiums weekly, you can't claim this one.

4. Awesome: Sorry, but if you are going to put this on your resume, why not add 'wicked' in front of it to really let them know where you are from.

5. Gifted: Really? Who told you that, your mom?

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6. Principled: You need to tell us you have rules and follow them?

7. Unconventional: So you like to break rules and buck management?

8. Evangelist: Got your own church and Sunday TV show? If not, skip this one.


The key to selecting the right words to use on a resume is objectivity.
  • Stick to the facts.
  • Use quantifiable accomplishments to prove your worth.
That way, you don't have to try to over-sell yourself using terms that will only make you look bad.


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J.T. O'Donnell

J.T. O'Donnell

Contributor

J.T. O'Donnell is a career and workplace expert who founded the top-ranked career advice site, CAREEREALISM.com. In 2009, she launched CareerHMO, the first on-line career care membership site which specializes in curing chronic career pain.

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Steven Wade Dundee

Good advice, those are words to avoid. Also avoid proverbs e.g. 'rome wasn't built in a day' or 'teach an old dog, new tricks'.

Writing a resume can be tricky, getting the right balance between design, layout and content and trying to stand out from the 500 other applicants isn't easy, which is why I used a resume improvement service recently. The resume came back much improved, both content and layout, and I had a job within 2 weeks. Can't argue with that can I? :D

Try one out if you're struggling.

Good luck.

P.S.
The guys I used were http://tiny.cc/cvimprovement but there are many on google.

June 24 2012 at 7:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tammy

Gifted - lol :))
But seriously, it is not that difficult to write an excellent resume nowadays. Just look around the net. It is full of good advice (e.g. http://moneyland.time.com/2012/04/13/how-to-make-your-resume-last-longer-than-6-seconds/ or exactly this one you have just read) you should only follow them and you are there.

June 21 2012 at 3:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rich

..."Smart-?ss - Unless you were the class clown, you should not use this one"...

June 20 2012 at 5:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bruzasj01

This article zaps away brain cells.

June 20 2012 at 5:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
garrysocks

wow !!!!! are u one of them what ... color shoes do u wear

June 20 2012 at 5:03 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
David FLynn

I liked the old day,s when you could go into Personel with your resume and even if there was others looking
the Manager could tell what kind of a person you were. I would say i worked at so and so and i show up on time don't mind overtime if you need me i do not need to be told a 100 times to do some thing i don't stand around with my hands in my pockets and i get along good with other people and you had an 85% chance of being hirered and if not keep calling mabee that person did'nt work out and he will hire you ! BRILLANT

June 20 2012 at 4:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nancy

lol Do people really use those words? No wonder they're still looking.

June 20 2012 at 4:12 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
GermanGT500

Apparently AOL doesn't really take these comments seriously or else they would've realized by now that every second article they make is pointless and wastes 2 minutes of our lives in reading it. This article...surprise!...is one of them! I think 98% of us know how to write a resume without looking like a fool.

June 20 2012 at 3:53 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
tablet8e6

Wow. Junk food for the mind.

June 20 2012 at 1:53 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
cctvlr

If I had read a resume with a grammatical error in the second sentence, it would go into the trash. I'd read no more.
"You are a professional who uses their smarts to get results. A professional - their smarts???
Ever hear of agreement in number.???

Even if the grammar were correct, what king of a professional would write " I got smarts"

Take this author's advice, and you will be unemployed line long after your 99 weeks run out.

June 20 2012 at 1:48 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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