Delete! Negative Resume Words To Dump

Have you ever noticed how different products or services have stock standard phrases that end up meaning nothing?  Or even worse, how some have evolved to mean something negative?

So for example, in real estate if you see a property described as ‘close to all amenties’ or having a ‘standout location’ – expect it to be on a busy road by a bus stop, adjacent to the public toilets and next door to the pub!

Well the same is true in resumes. When a recruiter has seen thousands of them with the same or similar descriptors they either skip over these bland words and phrases (which means you wasted valuable space in your resume and bored the recruiter in the process) or worse still, read them as negatives.

Never use these words!

There are many words that fall into this category, but here are our top 10 overused words that can be read negatively and should never be used in your resume. 

  • People person                  Time-wasting gossip
  • Ambitious                          Dissatisfied back-stabber
  • Hard working                    Inefficient
  • Experienced                      Old
  • Quick learner                    No relevant experience
  • Creative                             Does own thing. Hard to manage
  • Detail-oriented                  Slow – will miss deadlines
  • Reliable                             Unimaginative plodder
  • Competent                        Junior & barely adequate
  • Ethical                               As opposed to what??

Yes, and so what?

Other words are often used to try to convey a positive image such as:

  • strong communicator
  • dynamic
  • enthusiastic
  • self-motivated
  • trustworthy
  • determined
  • team player

These are qualities that are expected as a bare minimum of all applicants. Almost every resume is full of them. Using these phrases sounds trite and wastes your valuable resume real estate space that could used to talk about your achievements. Worse still, they will make the reader yawn!

Show, don't tell!

Read the job application requirements and focus on the required skills with examples not just bland phrases. If the job advert asks for a skill such as ‘strong written and oral communication’, don’t just state that you are a good communicator. Give evidence that you are with a successful achievement in that field.

Almost all job adverts will attract a huge number of applicants these days. Don’t blow your chances by filling your resume with the wrong words.

For more information or help

See our Resume Writing Services page, call us on 1300 97 87 66 or email us for more information. We will be pleased to help.