In reviewing resumes, I often come across terms that are overused and don’t provide a lot of value to your document. Here are some examples:
Great communication skills
This tends to be a throwaway term because few people even recognize (much less acknowledge) their poor communication skills. I always cringe a little when I see this included in a resume that also contains improper sentence structure or awkward verbiage. Generally, unless you’re applying for a position for which excellent communication skills are imperative, those abilities should shine through in the quality of your resume—without your having to spell them out.
Attention to detail
This is another term that many people use to describe themselves. Of course, it’s all right to claim on your resume that you’re detail-oriented, but if you do include this term, you’d better make sure there are absolutely no spelling, punctuation, grammatical, or sentence structure errors in your document!
Experienced or seasoned
Spelling out your years of experience on your resume is good. However, describing yourself as either “experienced” or “seasoned” can come off as a euphemism for “old”. Your title and accomplishments should speak to your professional achievements; there’s no need to age yourself with adjectives like these.
Work well independently
Not only is it difficult for many people to ascertain whether they truly work well on their own, but sometimes this phrase can be interpreted as “not interested in being a team player”. By using your resume to highlight projects that you led or completed independently, you can make the same point without wasting space with this description of yourself.
The terms above are frequently used on resumes, often by candidates who really don’t even possess them. Instead of using these throwaway terms to describe yourself, attempt to outline specific accomplishments that you could only have achieved through your communication skills, experience, attention to detail—or whatever your strengths may be.
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Jessica Holbrook Hernandez is an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, speaker and President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast. She creates high-impact, best-in-class resumes and cover letters that transform job searches into interviews and ultimately job offers. For more information about professional resume writing or to read more career and job search related articles visit http://www.greatresumesfast.com or call 1.800.991.5187.