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Words that Weaken your Resume

Category: Applying For Jobs

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Most resume resources will go into great detail about words and phrases that make your resume stronger, but many of them do not give examples of the words and phrases that have the opposite effect. How can you avoid words that weaken your resume if you are unsure what they are?

Let's take look at some of the most common statements that job seekers put into their resumes that weaken their content rather than strengthen it.

Buzzwords and trendy language: The business world inevitably goes through trends in language and phrases, just as any other community of people with similar interests does. It is a big mistake, though, to include this type of language in your resume because it is often annoying to a potential employer and demonstrates a lack of communication skills on your part.

Examples of buzzwords and trendy statements include:

    Impact
    Interface
    Synergy
    Synchronize
    Visionary
    Innovative
    Scalability
    Buy-in
    Drill down

Avoid these types of words and opt instead for more standard words that add strength to your resume.

Meaningless and vague words: There are any number of words that are vague and nearly meaningless when used in your resume. They may be unclear, too broad, or simply fluff that does not add to the clarity and strength of your resume.

Here are some examples of words and phrases that fall into this category:

    Assisted with...
    Contributed to.
    Successfully.
    Effectively.
    Productively.
    Profitably.

Most potential employers will read words and phrases such as this and find they raise more questions about your qualifications than they answer. Their confusion and uncertainty will often prompt them to screen out your resume in favor of others that are written with more strength and clarity.

Other words to avoid: Your resume should not include several other types of words that reflect poorly on you. Examples include:

    Negative words - hate, boring, harassed, fired, demanding, picky, discriminated against, unfair, unwilling, etc.
    Words you cannot define - it is tempting to include fancy complex words that sound big and important, but if you do not know what they mean then you risk using them incorrectly which can in turn lead to your resume being screened out

Some types of words are sometimes necessary to include in your resume, but their use should be kept to a minimum. Examples include:

    Abbreviations or acronyms - even if you work in a field or industry that uses a lot of abbreviations or acronyms, avoid them as much as possible in your resume because they make it less readable
    Overused words - these are words like very, especially, unique, uniquely, really, also, as well as, etc.

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