Candidate Resources

25 Words That Can Hurt Your Resume

So, you’re experienced? Before you advertise this in your résumé, be sure you can prove it?

Often, when job seekers try to sell themselves to potential employers, they load their résumés with vague claims that are transparent to hiring managers, according to Scott Bennett, author of “The Elements of Résumé Style” (AMACOM). By contrast, the most successful job seekers avoid these vague phrases on their résumés in favor of accomplishments.

Instead of making empty claims to demonstrate your work ethic, use brief, specific examples to demonstrate your skills. In other words, show, don’t tell.

Bennett offers these examples, which were adjusted for the hospitality industry:

Instead of… “Experience working in fast-paced environment”
Try… “Directly responsible for high sales exceeding budget”

Instead of… “Excellent written communication skills”
Try… “Wrote jargon-free Training Manual, used concept wide”

Instead of… “Team player with cross-functional awareness”
Try… “Part of management team that increased…..”

Instead of… “Demonstrated success in analyzing client needs”
Try… “Created and implemented comprehensive needs assessment for the concept, with the result…..”

The worst offenders

It’s good to be hard-working and ambitious, right? The hiring manager won’t be convinced if you can’t provide solid examples to back up your claims. Bennett suggests being extra-careful before putting these nice-sounding but empty words in your résumé.

• Aggressive

• Ambitious

• Competent

• Creative

• Detail-oriented

• Determined

• Efficient

• Experienced

• Flexible

• Goal-oriented

• Hard-working

• Independent

• Innovative

• Knowledgeable

• Logical

• Motivated

• Meticulous

• People person

• Professional

• Reliable

• Resourceful

• Self-motivated

• Successful

• Team player

• Well-organized

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