The most common problem in updating resume from time to time is the language. Most resumes are thicker of deadwood words and phrases, empty clichés, annoying jargon and recycled buzzwords. Recruiters, human resource and hiring managers see these terms over and over again, and it makes them sad.
There are also some words that can detract from the overall effectiveness of your resume. Unless you are trying to convey your ability to function as an integral part of a team, words like assisted, contributed and supported are not going to be very effective. These words basically say you helped, but not how. If you must use these words, follow them with a more complete description of your role. ‘Successfully’ is another meaningless resume key word. Rather than using it, give concrete examples of your accomplishments which prove your success at your past jobs. The phrase, ‘responsible for,’ takes up necessary space on your resume and should be avoided.
Besides, your resume is the place to list your accomplishments, not your job duties. Your also need to avoid ‘flowery’ speech and words. By trying too hard to sound intelligent or ‘in the know,’ you may convince your reader of just the opposite or even worse, confuse them. The key is to say what you mean, plainly and simply, using powerful action words. Stick to these resume key word rules and you cannot go wrong. Instead of making empty claims to demonstrate your work ethic, use brief, specific examples to demonstrate your skills.
Salary negotiable: Yes, they know. If you are wasting a precious line of your resume on this term, it looks as though you are padding – that you have run out of things to talk about. If your salary is not negotiable, that would be somewhat unusual.
References available on request: references are means to note your accountability. ‘On request’ questions your work background and shows you are either over or under confident.
Responsible for certain achievement: Reading this term, the recruiter can almost picture the average, uninspired employee mechanically fulfilling job requirements. Being responsible for something is something that happened to you, not something you did. Turn phrases like ‘responsible for’ into ‘managed,’ ‘led,’ or other decisive, string verbs.
Experience working in certain field: Again, experience is something that happens to you, not something you achieve. Describe your background in terms of achievements.
Problem-solving skills: Even dogs and monkeys have problem-solving skills. On your resume, stick to skills that require being human.
Detail-oriented: So, you pay attention to details. Well, so does everyone else. Do you not have something unique to tell the hiring manager? Plus, putting this on your resume will make that accidental typo in your cover letter or resume all the more comical.
Hardworking: have you ever heard the term ‘show-do not tell’? This is where that might apply. Anyone can call himself a hard worker. It is a lot more convincing if you describe situations in concrete detail in which your hard work benefited an employer. It is good to be hard-working and ambitious, right? The hiring manager will not be convinced if you cannot provide solid examples to back up your claims.
Team player: There are very few jobs that do not involve working with someone else. If you have relevant success stories about collaboration, put them on your resume. Talk about the kinds of teams you worked on, and how you succeeded.
Proactive: This is a completely deflated buzzword. It is better to put in action rather than putting it into words.
Objective: This term is not always forbidden, but you should use it carefully. If your objective is to get the job you have applied for, there is no need to spell that out on your resume with its own heading. A resume objective is usually better replaced by a career summary describing your background, achievements and what you have to offer an employer. An exception might be if you have not applied for a specific job and do not have a lot of experience that relates to the position you would like to achieve.