There are certain words that are used soooo often in resumes they have become meaningless. They are generic and don’t show the reader WHY you are using them.
Point A) You think that the reader will take your word for it? Ain’t happening.
Point B) Your resume may be the 15th that morning that the Human Resources Department has scanned quickly through (you think they all give you a good three minutes/resume? HAH!). If there’s been nothing to stop them using it to line the trash can, then that’s what it’ll do.
Here is some of the most popular resume vocabulary:
Excellent. It’s such a good word, isn’t it? It can be applied to absolutely anything – your communication skills, your computer skills, your organizational skills, your management skills. So…Write an example of what you did to justify your making the claim that there’s no-one quite like you.
“Organized a party for 150 Lithuanian crop dusters”.
“Prepare the pivot tables for the whole of the finance department”.
“Wrote the chapter in the staff handbook on how to use the Samsung Galaxy Doo-Dah Thingie”
Exceptional. Same as above, basically, if you merely want it to mean “really, really excellent.” However, your resume is your chance to show the world that you can prove your claim.
“Won the Under-16 National Championship in Synchronized Diving”.
“Chosen from 500 students to attend a month’s course in Fractal Mathematics at the University of Geniuses”.
“Won the Employee of the Year every year for the last eight years”.
“Can type 110 words a minute with no mistakes”.
Outstanding. Same as above two, if you merely want it to mean, “really, really exceptional.”
Seasoned. This is for the most part used as code by candidates who want you to know (because the law, rightly, forbids them to say how old they are, in case it’s used either against them or in their favor) that they have been working for quite a long time, and are therefore what my mother would have called “no spring chicken”. Don’t use it at all. If you want to boast/warn the potential employer that you’ve got a specific amount of experience, say e.g. 10+ years, 25+ years, whatever+ years of import/export experience in the textile industry. If it’s 35+ years and you think that might turn off naughty managers who don’t care about age-discrimination legislation, then why not write 15+ years? I mean 35 is 15+, right? 15+20, to be precise.
Good. Oh go on, you have to be better than plain old “good.” Try “excellent”, “exceptional” or “outstanding”. See above.
Driven. And I’m going to put Energetic with this. They both give me the same feeling that the candidate is going to be hyperactive, and annoying to be around because they’ll bang on and on and on, like the Energizer Bunny. Sometimes the candidate will be trying to prove that they’re perfect for a sales position, and indeed a tenacious quality focused on sales figures has to be what the potential employer will be seeking. But think of other phrases to use; “focused on achieving and exceeding sales targets – sold more widgets in my 3 years at The Acme Widget Manufacturing Company” than any of their 42 sales force had done in the previous decade.”
Motivated. Really? I don’t know what to say about this one. Why is it worth mentioning? I mean, NOT motivated would be worth highlighting, if only to see if the HR Manager is therefore paying attention. If you think you can prove it e.g. you have examples that show you had the initiative to go beyond the job spec, and actually made a difference beyond what was expected, then go for it and let the world know!
Strong. I’m starting to cheat a little with this word. It isn’t one I never want to see again. I just want to see it with facts to back it up. E.g. strong computer skills – Score 100% on any test I’ve ever taken. Am Excel 2010 certified.
Do I have regular readers yet for my blog? Please say yes…..Next blog is the corollary of this one, the resume words that can help sell your application.