Vision and dreams are the blueprints of soul and achievements.
-Mohammed Ahmed F

Top 10 worst resume terms


Strike these words and phrases from your resume today

Resumes are your most precious professional real estate, so don’t waste valuable space on clichés and tired, old phrases that express nothing, other than the fact that you love vapid buzzwords. CareerBuilder recently asked more than 2,200 hiring managers and HR pros across the U.S. to name the worst resumes terms they see. Pull up your resume, for compare/contrast purposes, and read ahead.

Best of breed - It may include “best” but hiring managers say this is the worst term to use on your resume. Any description is better than “best-of-breed” technology/app/software what have you. How about “most-effective,” “most-efficient,” “top performing,” “quickest-ROI-returning”?

Go-getter - You certainly aren’t going to get a thesaurus if you use this clunker on your professional best-foot-forward. Think about it, isn’t this a given? What’s the alternative: “passive professional who enjoys waiting for opportunities to land in his lap”? This is one of those terms you need to demonstrate on your resume through your experience and what you have achieved (i.e., metrics). Show, don’t tell.

Think outside the box - This good-’ol management chestnut from the ’80s needs to be put in a box and buried in a deep hole, never again to see the light of day or grace a PowerPoint slide. Again, think about how you can demonstrate this quality without stating it outright.

Synergy - Unless you’re a one-man band, you’re expected to be able to work cooperatively with others to produce a desired outcome. Technically, this is something you learned in kindergarten, so unless you’re also adding your talents in using scissors and glue, delete this immediately. The same goes for any derivative: synergistic, synergize, synergism, etc.

Go-to person - This is one of those red-light terms, in that it’s a label others give you and not one you should give yourself. It’s akin to bragging about how humble you are. Like the earlier “go-getter,” concentrate on how you can substantiate this quality by showing results. If you’re dying to be tagged as the “go-to person” ask your references to ensure to mention it if called. Again, it sounds much more authentic coming from anyone but you.

Thought leadership - Do you have any idea what this means? We certainly don’t. It sounds like someone, sometime took two words they thought would look cool together and mashed them up into some weird buzzword. Is it mind control? Hypnotism? Regardless, avoid at all costs.

Value-add - An economic term that has been shamelessly latched onto pretty much anything under the sun. All anyone knows is that if you add it to a noun, it makes that noun sound better. It also makes you sound like a person who enjoys jamming his resume with outdated, superfluous keywords. There are countless ways to better describe how you made a process, technology, program or company better. Find them.

Results-driven - Another obvious term that is already assumed by a hiring manager. Would anyone state they were “results-indifferent”? Actually, someone might. Regardless, “results-driven” takes up valuable space you could use for other more-compelling adjectives or descriptions.

Team player - Much like the rightly maligned “synergy,” there are better ways of saying you play nice with others. Find them. If you insist on including the team theme, explain why working on a team makes you a more-efficient, productive employee.

Bottom-line - A horribly clichéd way of saying, “I care that my employer is profitable/successful.” Pretty much every employee does, therefore this is another space-waster. If you want to demonstrate how you impact a company’s success (financially, procedurally, etc.), show them, a la: “Trained and managed a team that rolled out a new messaging system ahead of schedule, which saved the company $75,000.”

-Chief Administrative Officer.

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-Chief Administrative Officer.