Words to avoid on your resume

Many job seekers have “resume in mouth” disease, that is they kill any chance of getting a job BEFORE they even get to the interview.  Typos, poor formatting, not focusing on what the hiring manager is looking for, and using the wrong language.

TechRepublic wrote an article a couple of years ago, and created a PDF document highlighting these language issues.  They identified several words/phrases that typically will kill any chance of an interview.  To save you the trouble I will summarise the words here, but to see why the words are “bad” you will need to review the article.

  1. assist
  2. assisted
  3. experiment
  4. Skillfully
  5. effectively
  6. carefully
  7. quickly
  8. expert
  9. mastered
  10. Cutting-edge
  11. detail-oriented
  12. coordinate
  13. facilitate
  14. transform
  15. proven ability
  16. synergy
  17. liaison
  18. Responsible for…

8 thoughts on “Words to avoid on your resume

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  2. I used four of these on my resume last week. Surely the words aren’t bad in themselves. Surely it’s the context in which they’re used. I mean responsible for is just another way of saying “I did” if I didn’t get fired from the position (if I got fired from the position after a month, then sure, I was responsible for it, but clearly I didn’t do it well or at all).

  3. Urbaer, to some degree you are right it is about context. In talking with many recruiters the words can be used as fillers and sometimes to actually hid the real story.

    I have a few of those words in my resume, which needs major clean up!

  4. Just how am I supposed to avoid the word coordinate if my official title includes the word “coordinator”? Also, my job description includes things like “facilitate workshops” and “serve as a liaison”, so I just disqualify myself by describing my job duties and saying what my title was?

    I think that the issue isn’t including any of those words. They are perfectly fine. What is problematic is that people abuse them and use them to over-inflate their resumes, use them out of context, and use them in a way that exaggerates what they really have.

    So I don’t necessarily agree with “not using” those words.

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