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6 Words to Avoid When Writing Your Resumé

6 Words to Avoid When Writing Your Resumé

You have six seconds to grab a recruiter’s attention, meaning every word on your resumé counts. With one quick scan, you want to compel a hiring manager into calling you; that requires strong action verbs, quantifying your achievements, and remembering to show, not tell. So, when writing your resumé, do not waste those precious six seconds on any of these six words.

Believe

Hiring managers do not care about what you “believe,” they care about what you know and have accomplished. The word “believe”—or similarly, “feel”—indicate a lack of self-confidence. Use strong action verbs when detailing previous positions, such as:

  • Achieved
  • Improved
  • Negotiated
  • Launched
  • Managed
  • Trained
  • Mentored

I

Employers reading your resumé know you are the one behind the achievements bulleted. Although first-person is preferred, pronouns like “I” and “me” are redundant.

Plus, you want to keep the focus on the employer; a repeated use of “I” detracts from that.

Related: How to Craft a Resumé That Will Attract Employers

Hardworking

Anyone can call him or herself a “hard worker”—the words mean nothing if they are not backed by results. Let your resumé do the talking. If worded properly, hiring managers will jump to the conclusion you are a hard worker on their own.

Team Player

“Team player” is similar to “hard worker”—show, do not tell. To better determine cultural fit, an employer is likely to ask, “What role do you tend to play on a team?” If asked, get specific. Are you a leader who can motivate the team? A creative who enjoys dreaming up the next big idea? Or do you prefer to be the one extinguishing fires? Each of those descriptions say more than “team player.”

Related: 7 Questions Employers Should Ask Every Job Candidate

Results-Oriented

Employers want someone who is results-oriented, but simply using the phrase will not land you a job. Hiring managers want to see results, so put your achievements in numbers they will understand. You taking a “results-oriented approach to sales” does not sound as impactful as you having “improved sales by 30 percent month over month.”

Responsible for

Do not let employers assume that you rotely fulfill job requirements. Employment website Monster said it best: “Having been responsible for something isn’t something you did—it’s something that happened to you.” Turn phrases like “responsible for” into an action verb listed above.

About Lauren Landry

Lauren Landry is a digital content specialist for Northeastern University, working with the New Ventures team to help spread an important message: It's time to close the "experience gap."

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