Obtaining your desired career begins well before any interview, any phone conversation or even any employment listing – it all starts with your resume. Your resume is the foundation of your experience, an extensive look into what you’ve accomplished and what skills you’re capable of.
It’s a brief, but crucial, summary of you and your personality, so before you submit your resume to an employer, make sure it’s the best it can be – and helps to get your foot in the door. Making it stand out and get noticed is important, however you want to approach it the right way. Here’s a few tips for polishing your resume, as well as some common buzzwords and phrases you’ll want to avoid (at all cost).
Examine The Look And The Language
Recruiters can look at dozens, if not hundreds, of resumes in a single day. They typically don’t spend much time with each resume, so you want it to stand out immediately – but how do you do that? Much of that comes down to the look of your resume. Don’t send an identical resume from all of those job posting sites, using an aggregator 15 others applying for the same position used. Ditch it and, instead, give it some tweaks and make it your own. A cookie-cut resume is boring and your uniqueness could help you get noticed in a hurry. While you’re at it, avoid attaching multiple photos – if you want to add a photo, just include a small one. This isn’t your Facebook or Instagram account, use words instead of photos to best promote your skills.
“Make sure your resume is organized and easy to read,” says Teresa Mangano, Recruiting and Team Development Professional. “Just make sure it flows well – and make it unique!”
When push comes to shove, your resume is all about wording. It’s imperative that you check for spelling and grammar errors before submitting it. One mistake might slide but multiple mistakes will probably raise a red flag and cause the recruiter to move on to the next potential employee.
“Spell Check is your friend – make sure you always use it when creating your resume,” added Mangano.”
You also want it all to sound professional, using words and phrases that elevate your identity, rather than just more basic verbage that makes it sound like someone with a lack of experience. But there’s a fine line with language and buzzwords – a fashionable word or phrase. Sure, it might look and sound great to you but it might make recruiters cringe. Every word counts here and if you’re using stale, overused or generalized language, you might be overlooked.
Synergy or Team Player
What you believe it says: “I work well in a group, performing seamlessly with multiple employees.”
A former scientific term that has morphed into business jargon, synergy is one of the most overused buzzwords you’ll find on a resume. Synergy has been used to death – and sometimes done so incorrectly – and won’t impress recruiters. Just stick to simple terms when describing your accomplishments or, better yet, give a good example of how you rallied the team to unite.
Rockstar, Ninja, Expert or Guru
What you believe it says: “I am the best at this specific task or subject.”
You might know something extremely well, however it doesn’t mean you can just throw around titles such as “expert’ or “rockstar.” If you’re a true expert, just let your reputation speak for itself and turn your focus to action words to display your knowledge, your years of experience and training and give precise examples that demonstrate your authority on the subject or task.
Hard Worker or Go-Getter
What you believe it says: “I am dedicated to work and will strive to go above and beyond.”
Including “hard worker” really doesn’t add much to what you offer. Of course, you’re a hard worker, that kind of goes without saying – and if you aren’t, you wouldn’t admit it! Provide actual examples of how you go above and beyond, instead of just stating the obvious. Work like “achieve” or “accomplish” both might be more suitable, eye-grabbing words in its substitution.
Outside The Box or Creative
What you believe it says: “I am able to develop new and unique ideas.”
So, you think outside the box – then why did you use one of the most common resume phrases when describing yourself? It kind of undermines this descriptor if you don’t include examples. Just ditch the word all together and, like previous buzzwords, concentrate on examples of how you implemented and developed successful updated strategies in previous endeavors.
Responsible or Detail Oriented
What you believe it says: “This is a specific task I am in charge of.”
Including “responsible” might sound good, but it conveys vagueness, making it unclear what role you might’ve played. Were you the leader, someone who just handled part of the overall task, etc? Get more specific and delve into what you did using words like “directed” or “managed.”
What you believe it says: “I have the ability to successfully speak and listen to people.”
Much like “hard worker,” this one is something you really don’t need to convey, because it kind of goes without saying. If you weren’t a great communicator, you wouldn’t admit it. Instead, just change up the wording, using different buzzwords such as “listen” and “action” to better illustrate how you were able to effectively implement your communication skills. Providing instances when it proved beneficial, such as listening to customer feedback to better implement a system.