It’s no secret that 2016 was pretty horrid. We lost truly amazing people – Muhammad Ali, Ellie Weisel, Leonard Cohen, David Bowie – but you know what didn’t die? So, so many old and tired resume words that not only need to be retired but buried…dropped into the Mariana Trench…or jettisoned into the vacuum of space.
I’ve blogged about the best words to use on a resume before, but as resumes evolve, so do the words that make me cringe every time I read them. Here’s my list of words to avoid on your resume that have no place in 2017.
- Drive: That big change management initiative you were responsible for? Not a car. Not the Daytona 500, and most likely did not require a license to operate. This word always makes me think of Talladega Nights and lots of hair spray.
- Implemented: Back to that change management initiative, I assume that there was some sort of implementation, right? Here’s my problem – implemented does imply that you used any kind of strategy. As a Hiring Manager, I want to know about your ideas, not just that you can follow a series of predetermined steps.
- Proven track record: It’s cliché, overused, and really does nothing to make you stand out. What it honestly makes me think of is the word “adequate.” It doesn’t say to me that you exceeded your sales quota by 145% or planned every step of your company’s latest technology integration. Say THOSE things instead!
- Managed: I’m willing to bet that you have this word on your resume in multiple spots. I do, in fact, use this word – but typically only once per resume. As a professional resume writing service provider, I prefer to say that my clients mentored, coached, or professionally developed their 12 employees.
- Accomplished: This is a tricky one because it can be used as both a verb and an adjective. When writing resumes, I avoid using “accomplished” as an adjective to describe my clients’ careers because as a descriptor, this is a completely subjective measure. And I try like heck to stay away from subjective measures. As a verb followed by a major milestone or achievement, “accomplished” has power – it says what you’ve actually made happen.
Stay tuned for my list of best resume words that don’t get the airtime they deserve!