How to Fast Track a Resume...Into the Trash!

Written by John Daskas.

All day long search firms as well as corporate recruiters and hiring managers are plagued with resumes sprinkled with phrases that repeat themselves over and over within stacks of resumes and droves of email attachments from job applicants…whose resumes run the risk of getting ZERO attention!    

1. “Objective”
Use this term with discretion. It’s unnecessary to use this if the goal is aimed towards acquiring the job that you want. Why announce it with a heading? Usually replacing the “Objective” with a background summary, including achievements, and brief description of what you can offer an employer is far more effective.

2. “Experience working in …”
Experience is just that, an experience that occurred. Instead, “Achievements” suggest that a person actually took control and provided results!

3. “Problem-solving skills”
This phrase isn’t suggesting the candidate has any more ability than a chimpanzee figuring out how to source a meal. Rather, Innovative Ideas and Outcomes should be clearly listed on a resume.    

4.  “Responsible for …” This term tends to lend itself to mediocrity, someone who is just doing the bare minimum of fulfilling his/her listed job duties. Flip this term into action by describing what you DID like, “trained”, “supervised”, “mentored”, “grew” or other descriptive terms.

5. “Detail-oriented”
Please tell me who is claiming otherwise? This is especially funny when a resume includes grammatical errors. I suggest differentiating oneself instead.

6. “Hard-working”
This is one’s opinion and an annoying phrase often used in entry-level resumes. Substantiate “hard-working” by listing documented achievements.

7. “Proactive”
Another overused catch-phrase that is rarely followed by any proof of the word.

8.  “Team player”
The point here is not that one is a happy camper but collaborative. Most jobs require working with others so describing successes while involved in a team setting will better serve the resume.

9. “Salary Negotiable”
Of course it is! Filler phrases like this are unnecessary and can it make it look as though you’ve run short on content.

10.  “References available by request”
Like the preceding comment, a filler phrase.