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Should I Use Those Words in my Resume?

We’ve talked many times about what should and what should not be in your resume.  What kind of experiences do you include? What do you say about a job you were fired from or suffered victimization from a reduction in force? We reminded you not to say negative things about a past boss or place of employment.

Now let’s look at some specifics. What words should you use and what words should you avoid in your resume? What buzz words should not be used and how do you know if a word is considered jargon or not?

A few years ago, it was the thing to do to say you were hardworking, outside the box thinker and team player. Now if you say those things there just might be a new York hiring manager somewhere rolling their eyes. Now these are buzz words that have lost any power they once had.

Since most hiring managers – a full 68%-  take only a couple of minutes to review your resume, they don’t want to see jargon or buzz words. In those few minutes the hiring manager wants to see accomplishments and real skills, not buzz words.

Hiring managers have no time for passive language, vague language or clichés. So in this article we will look at the words you should avoid and the ones that will make a positive impression. Vague words that anyone could be defined by do not make a good impression while specific accomplishments do.

Here are some of the most disliked words reported to CareerBuilder by hiring managers.

38% of hiring managers dislike the term Best of Breed

27% of hiring managers dislike the term Go Getter

26% of hiring managers dislike the term Thinking Outside the Box

22% of hiring managers dislike the term Synergy

22% of hiring managers dislike the term Go-to Person

16% of hiring managers dislike the term Value-Added

16% of hiring managers dislike the term Results-Driven

15% of hiring managers dislike the term Team Player

14% of hiring managers dislike the term Bottom Line

Don’t use words for your responsibilities that require the hiring manager to try to sort out what it is you actually do. Use strong words like “lead on this project or negotiator”. Not weak words like “assisted on this project”.

The same CareerBuilder survey that gave us the terms hiring managers do not want to see in your resume, also gave us the kind of terms they do want to see.

52% of hiring managers like the term Achieved

48% of hiring managers like the term Improved

47% of hiring managers like the term Mentored/Trained

44% of hiring managers like the term Managed

43% of hiring managers like the term Created

40% of hiring managers like the term Resolved

35% of hiring managers like the term Volunteered

These should always be action words, followed by what it is you achieved or improved. Who did you mentor and what did they accomplish? Remember not to use clichés, but to use action words that describe what you actually did.

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