In today's Internet-centric world, not approaching your resume with keywords in
mind is job-search suicide. Understanding the appropriate buzzwords to include,
however, is where the difficulty comes in. You want to make your resume a unique
and accurate representation of what you offer your potential employer. It's the
most important sales tool you have during the search process. I've listed some
of the most commonly used words and phrases that you should not include on your
Hard worker: I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that no one who is truly looking for work would ever describe themselves as being "lazy" on their resume or in an interview. You're wasting valuable space when you include these words to describe yourself on your resume. Just leave it off, and your recruiter or hiring manager will just assume. Hopefully, they will assume correctly.
Dynamic: What does this word even mean? If you want to relay that you're energetic, say you're energetic. If you want to say you're effective, exemplify that on your resume. If you want to say you're creative ... scratch that.
Creative: Don't say you're "creative." Ever. This is my second- biggest pet peeve on a resume. "Creativity" is the most overused word for resumes in America. Think of another word to describe your creativity, and give an example of how you are creative. Think inspired, resourceful, innovative, inventive, imaginative, etc. Then give examples of your resourcefulness throughout your resume. Examples are always better than simple words.
Reliable: This goes along with the previous "hard worker" point. If I ask you, "Are you reliable?" You're not going to respond back, "No, I love to call off of work, especially when there's an important meeting, and I never meet my deadlines. Just want to give you the heads-up on that one, hiring manager!" That's just not going to happen. So, again, leave it off.
Objectives: The average person is just looking for a job, so that is the objective. The only time you should include an objective is when you're looking for a niche job in a niche market. Although, I do appreciate the resumes that I receive that say, "Objective: To find a job." They shouldn't have it on their resume, but at least they're cutting to the chase.
References available upon request: This might be my biggest pet peeve of all time. If a company is interested in you to the point of wanting to check your references, then they will ask you for them. If you don't give them to the company, then they will more than likely not consider you any further. Therefore, putting this on your resume is pointless and wastes precious space.
Hobbies/interests: There's no reason to include your hobbies or interests on your resume. You should keep your resume directed solely toward your professional accomplishments and what you could bring to the table to your potential employer.
I'll go ahead and include photos and other personal information on the list of things you shouldn't include. Human resource professionals are trained to ignore information like that for many reasons -- most of them legal. Help your HR department comply by not including those things on your resume. It really isn't relevant information during a hiring process, anyway.
Professional: The only time you would ever need to describe yourself as "professional" on your resume is when there is doubt from some party that you actually are professional. Take it off. There's no need for it because no one is going to hire someone who wouldn't describe themselves as being professional.
There you have it -- eight words and phrases you shouldn't be using on your resume. The next thing you should do is calmly open your resume and delete everything I've mentioned. I know you've got at least one, so go do it now! And don't feel bad while you're doing it. I've got a couple of the same ones in my own resume. No one's perfect, but let's strive to be!
Anne Williams is president of JobFinders Employment Services, a firm she founded in 1986. She has worked in the staffing field for 28 years and is a member of the American Staffing Association and the Missouri & Kansas Search and Staffing Association.
[copyright] 2013 Columbia Daily Tribune . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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