Terms That Should Never Appear On Your Resume

If you’ve got a great background in your field, but you can’t seem to land an interview, your resume may be to blame. The art of writing a resume is a unique one, and if you’re using the wrong words, you may be tanking your chances before you even get your foot in the door.

Specific words, when used on your resume, may be hampering your efforts. Let’s take a look at some of the worst offenders.

  1. Negotiable. The simple term “salary negotiable” is a repeat offender on a resume. You may not want to seem overly greedy or price yourself out of a job, but putting this term on your resume is a definite problem. This is considered to be wasted space on a resume.
  2. Skillsets Ad Nauseum. It’s only natural to want to enumerate your many skills. Place only skills that are relevant to the position and not run-of-the-mill.
  3. Buzzwords. Yes, most people would describe themselves as “hard-working,” “team players,” and “talented.” While these adjectives may actually describe you, they are overdone and again, waste precious space that could be used to promote real-world skills that employers are looking for. Try less words that are patting-yourself-on-the-back and more honest.
  4. Listing your past responsibilities. This gives the image of someone grabbing their old “job responsibility” list and filling in the blanks. Instead of a boring list of unrelated terms, sum up your past responsibilities in an actual sentence.
  5. Focusing on “experience” vs. “achievements.” Yes, you may be very experienced. Anyone who has worked for a few years at a company can claim experience. What are your achievements? What have you done that is above and beyond your daily job? This is the information employers are looking for – they want to know how talented you are.

It can be difficult walking that fine line between blowing your own horn and being competitive for a job. The best thing to do is to be open and honest on your resume. Avoid the pitfalls listed above, and focus instead on what your real-world skills are and how you are going to be an integral person for the position you want.