Six Resume Phrases That Every Hiring Manager Hates

Lately, I’ve been seeing so many hackneyed phrases on resumes at every professional level. Here are the top six phrases I see job seekers using to describe themselves over and over again that are sure to get your resume tossed in the no pile.

  1. trustworthy
  2. team player
  3. flexible
  4. good communicator
  5. problem solver
  6. works well under pressure

These examples of personal attributes rarely elevate the quality of a resume because they are boring, overused, and in some cases, just plain silly. A hiring authority expects you to have all of these traits and detailing them in the resume is redundant and a waste of valuable space on the resume. Do hiring authorities care about these traits and look for candidates that possess them? Absolutely. But listing these words on the resume doesn’t make them true. A better strategy is to showcase a story of success that proves the degree to which you possess these traits. For example:

Instead of saying “trustworthy”, say:

  • Selected by CEO to start up XYZ sportswear brand based on exceptional success managing ABC dress shirt line launch and ability to market product lines effectively across several retail verticals.

Instead of saying “strong problem solving skills”, say:

  • Improved quality control measures for jewelry production as much as 60% by developing company’s first formalized manufacturing guidelines for factory partners.

Instead of saying “works well under pressure”, say:

  • Under aggressive 3-week time frame, staffed 100 people for six retail stores across the U.S.

Instead of saying “good communicator”, say:

  • Instrumental in reducing the number of unsold current accounts from 15% to 4% within one year by discovering and working to address individual client needs.

Take a look at your resume. Are you using some of these words or other overused phrases such as dedicated, loyal, or quick learner? Lose the fluff and replace it with tangible proof of success to wow hiring managers rather than bore them to tears.

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