13 Word and Phrases not to include in your resume

Career Advice
28 February 2017 | Career Advice | upriseVSI Technical

To cut-down the initial pool of resumes, many big organisations use an automated software and loading your resume with cliché buzzwords is definitely not the smartest idea that will help you get noticed.

Time to time, everyone has used crazy buzzwords on their resume. But, candidates are evaluated on their ability to communicate. One of the major drawbacks of using these clichés is that they have been used so many times that they have lost their meaning now and they no more act as a differentiator.

All these words waste readers time leaving them annoyed and cutting your chances of making it through.

Today, show more than you speak. Results, accomplishments and figures work more than just plainly putting words on your resume.

Avoid using these buzzwords to stand out of the crowd and create a strong impact.

#1 “I have leadership qualities”

Leadership is one of the most used buzzwords but does not make your resume stand out or eye catching. Rather than saying that you have excellent leadership skills, use specific examples of situations where you used these skills and the results you derived from it.

#2 “Exceptional Communication Skills”

Resume experts today feel that skills like communication skills are too basic in today’s job market. Hence, stating that you are an exceptional communicator in your resume is basically not adding any positive value to it.

#3 “Best of Lot”

Best of the lot or best of the breed are some of the most irritating buzzwords on a resume. The phrase has very little meaning and it does not help differentiate a candidate from other candidates. Recruiters are interested what is unique about you that makes you a perfect fit. Specify how you are capable of adding value to your organisation.

#4 “Results-Oriented”

Again, show what you did. Instead of just saying that you are results driven, write what you did to drive results and how successful you were.

#5 Extensive Experience

Extensive experience or highly qualified would give no value addition to your resume but can work the other way around. Keep your focus on skills, accomplishments and value additions you can bring to this role.

#6 “Duties Included”

Unnecessary words like “oversight of” or “responsible for” complicate the resume leaving the reader irritated. Also, it hides your relevant experience. Stay direct and use active verbs to describe your achievements.

#7 “Knowledge of Microsoft Office”

Today, having a command over Microsoft office is not a skill. So do not write that on your resume. Include a list of strategic skills on your resume that makes you fit for the role.

#7 “References Available on Request”

This is one of the most outdated phrases and tells that you are overeager. If an employer wants to know more about you, they will do it whether you state this phrase on your resume or not. It is unnecessary that you state the obvious.

#8 Ambitious

Calling yourself ambitious on your resume is useless. Obviously you won’t call yourself lazy on your lazy, so avoid using generic no meaning words on your one page draft.

If the reader takes it in a negative sense, it will make you look like someone who will simply move on to another job at any given opportunity and your stability would be in question.

#9 Passionate/Eager to Learn

Unless you want the recruiter to think any negative of you, keep your resume off words like these. They might sound positive and all but can have a very negative implication and make you look desperate. Be careful with your choices of words especially in the top section of your resume.

#10 Assisted/Helped/Supported

Though the words are positive and would display you as a nice person, it can sell you short to your employer. If you were a part of a major project that gave good results and impacted the business in a positive way, there are better ways to do it. Focus on what direct actions you took and the results it brought.

#11 Unemployed

If you have employment gaps, do not directly mention it. Your employment dates already tell the employer about the period you were unemployed. Do not highlight it pointlessly.

#12 Team Player

There is no one who does not want to be a team player? It is very simple. If you are not a team player, the chances of you getting the job are very limited. Using this word like team player would not differentiate you from the crowd.

#13 Punctual, People’s Person and Hardworking

The words are plain clichés that the employer does not want to see. Being punctual and hardworking are very basic qualities that everyone who is looking for a job is must possess.


Akansha Arora is a professional writer and blogger who loves to pen down her views on a number of topics that interest a reader. She writes keeping in mind the current scenarios and wishes to keep her readers well informed.

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