The post-recession job market is a bear; there are more people competing for fewer jobs and internships, and if you want your resume to be noticed — among the stack of dozens on that hiring manager’s desk — it needs to be expertly crafted to highlight your skills.
Resume real estate is limited, so you’d be wise to use words that will actually mean something to your potential employer, and strike those overused words that mean nothing:
Let your experience, and as such, your results speak for themselves. Were you named cashier of the month six months running? The person reviewing your resume will gather, from that piece of information alone, that you are hardworking.
It’s 2014; if you don’t have a working knowledge of Microsoft Office, how exactly did you compose that resume in the first place? Employers these days automatically assume that you know how to use Word and Excel. Focus on areas of more advanced expertise instead: Do you know how to write HTML code? Are you proficient in search engine optimization strategies?
Platitudes like ‘I’m a team player’ just don’t say much. What does that mean? “Led a team of six to develop marketing strategies that ultimately increased store sales by 15 percent” doesn’t just tell the reviewer that you’re a team player, it shows them that you know what you’re doing, and that you work well with others.
You’re a team player, remember? When it comes down to it, your resume isn’t really about you — it’s about how well the hiring manager thinks you will fit the position their company is trying to fill. Use your resume to showcase what you have done to produce measurable results for previous employers. Words like ‘I’ and ‘my’ could send the message that your focus is in the wrong place.
Just don’t use this word, ever.
Any prospective employee who is actually creative won’t use the word creative. Similar to hardworking and team player, this just doesn’t mean anything on a resume. What have you done that shows professional creativity? In what ways are you creative — visually, musically? Be specific.
Sure, you might have LOVED working the holiday rush at Macy’s last year, but again, it’s not about you. Reserve this powerful, ultra-personal word for your boyfriend and your puppy, and keep it off the time clock.
Every employer wants someone who will work hard and be dedicated to their job, but ‘workaholic’ carries a negative connotation. And even the most demanding employer wants to know that its staff knows how to maintain a work-life balance.
What resume buzzwords do you think should be stricken forever?