Words to Avoid Using on Your Resume

Posted: 04/01/14 | Category:

When it comes to resume writing, every word counts.  You only have two pages to impress a hiring manager who may only give you six seconds to get the job done.  If your resume is filled with mundane and corny words you decrease your chances significantly.  Before sending in your next application, purge your resume and cover letter of these overused terms.


Being responsible for something implies that you are merely doing a task that was handed down the chain of command.  Teenagers are responsible for chores.   As a professional, you should be eager to jump into any project that presents itself.

Replace with: Achievements, accomplishments, and awards.  Those are just a few of the “A” words you can fill your resume with.


Do you really get starry-eyed every time a new project comes across your desk?  Even if you are excited to start a new challenge, you can’t possibly convey all your feelings with a single word. 

Replace with:  Appreciation, anticipation, or admiration.  Your resume should specifically convey how you feel about your work.

Rockstar, Ninja, Guru, etc.

When have you ever seen someone call themselves a ninja or a rockstar while keeping a straight face?  If you have, did you believe them?  When reading a resume, hiring managers are looking for a professional with significant career achievements, not a mystical being or a celebrity.

Replace with: Your job title will do.  Focus instead on your skills and accomplishments.

Creative, Innovative, & Inventive

If you are such a creative person you should be able to think of better words than these three clunkers.

Replace with: Your best work.  Actions speak louder than words (trite but true).  Nothing will demonstrate your creativity better than a unique career accomplishment.

Experienced, Seasoned, & Expert

While these sound like irresistible words to put on a resume, they are based on a system of trust that you likely haven’t established with the hiring manager.  He or she isn’t going to believe that you are an industry veteran just because you say so.

Replace with:  Numbers.  Nothing solidifies the quality of work experience better than quantifiable data.  Your resume should present a plethora of numbers to back up any claim that you make.  You may have worked for a company for fifteen years, but did you merely take up space or did you increase profit margins by XYZ%?

Words are not the only component of resume writing.  If you feel that your resume needs a second glance, send it to one of our recruiters.  They will help you present your skills and experience in the most impressive of ways.

By Kevin Withers

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