8 Resume Terms You Should Stop Using

Resume on the beach
If you want to land a job, you may want to think about rewriting your resume. Chances are you have cliché phrases, buzzwords, or annoying jargon that drive the Human Resources folks nuts. To help you appease the HR gods, we will give you a quick list of some of the most common resume words they want retired:

  1. “Salary Negotiable”: Don’t you think it would be odd if your salary were NOT negotiable? You may want to think twice before wasting space on your resume to state the obvious. An HR professional may think you are just adding this to pad space on your resume.

  2. “Career Objective”: Back in the day, it was popular to have the top section of your resume stamped with an objective, like “To obtain a position as a [insert job title here] that leverages my skills and experience as well as promoting growth.” HR professionals have seen this one too many times, and it drives them crazy. You should replace your “Career Objective” with a “Mission Statement” that summarizes your background, core competencies and accomplishments to show what you have to offer to employers.

  3. “Team Player”: When you consider that there are few jobs where you don’t work with others, “team player” becomes an overrated term. Regardless of how talented you are, most companies will not hire someone that does not work well with others, so consider team player as a given.

  4. “Experienced”: This is a vague term especially if you’re not putting a specific length of time behind it. Saying “Created Excel spreadsheets for marketing strategy meetings” is a lot more specific than “experienced at creating Excel spreadsheets.”

  5. “Detail-oriented”: So you pay attention to details to prevent from making mistakes? Awesome. Unfortunately, employers are not fans of mistakes either, and tend to hire a lot of “detailed oriented” individuals. Having this quality doesn’t make you special in a work environment; it just means you’re like everyone else. What qualities truly set you apart from the rest?

  6. “Hard Working”: Anyone can say that they’re a hard worker. The description of your work history should imply how hard you worked over the years.
  7. “Proactive”: This is another word that is overrated and overused. Without explaining a scenario where being proactive paid off at a job, the word has no substance to HR.

  8. “References Available Upon Request”: This is another statement that HR will consider a given. If a manager wants to hire you, they will assume that you will have references available.

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