Try simply shows a lack of belief, passion, commitment and confidence — all the qualities you need to succeed in today’s tight job market, according to Brad Hoover, CEO of Grammarly. While try is the most dangerous word that an employee or job seeker can use in the workplace, there are certainly other danger words that also indicate negativity, uncertainty or controversy at work and can also doom your chances of getting (or keeping) a job.
Don’t use common buzzwords such as innovative, team player and results-oriented. These and others are so overused that they’re now seen as clichés and have lost their impact altogether.
Rather, list specific accomplishments. Instead of saying you have extensive experience in sales, note that you’ve worked in sales for 10 years, hit your quota the last 12 quarters and note specific deals you’ve closed. “As a hiring manager I want real details of past jobs, such as how many people you supervised or specific ways you helped increase profitability,” says Darnell Clarke, author of Employmentology: A Practical Systematic Methodology of Finding Employment by a Hiring Manger.
References Available Upon Request
When it comes to developing a strong resume, there are many words and phrases which shouldn’t be included in this professional document. One of the most outdated happens to be the phrase: “references available by request,” according to Heather Huhman, founder and president of Come Recommended.
You’re not doing yourself a favor by wasting precious space on your resume to include a phrase that is clearly understood by hiring managers and recruiters. If a hiring manager is interested in contacting your references, they will request the information from you.
Irrelevant and Outdated Experience
“Oftentimes I will see candidates that still have their high school work experience on their resume. This is a huge mistake since it looks like the candidate is reaching for items to include on their resume,” says Patrice Rice, CEO and founder of Patrice & Associates. Instead, include any recent projects that challenged you and include a similar skill set for the position for which you are applying.
Candidates should never put an objective on their resume, says Stefanie Carrabba, senior consultant at Eliassen Group. Their objective is to get the job. “It has been my experience that hiring managers simply do not care about a job seeker’s objective,” she says. “What they want to see are your skills and experience.”
In today’s tough job economy job seekers need resumes that are leaner and cleaner than ever before, so they command the attention of busy hiring personnel. This is why the phrase “responsible for” should never occur in a resume. This tired and completely impractical expression is going to be translated into completely average at and will most certainly cause hiring managers to toss the resume aside.
Wasting prime resume real estate with basic tasks, duties or responsibilities is a sure way to harm a job search since nobody is interested in reading a career obituary of basic requirements, says Adrienne Tom, founder and certified professional resume writer (CPRW) at Career Impressions.
“I was going through a large number of resumes last week for a search project that I am working on and about 75% of the candidates had the phrase ‘transformational leader’ on their resumes. No explanations of how they were transformational or what that meant,” says Kimberly Bishop, founder and CEO of Kimberly Bishop Executive Recruiting.
“That phrase is overused and doesn’t specifically mean anything that translates to a specific experience. My recommendation is to remove this from your resume and more specifically describe the skill set.”
As in “I’d love to work for a company.”
“I see it all the time when people ask me to take a look at their resume and/or cover letter,” saysDayna Steele, author of 101 Ways to Rock Your World. “You love your significant other, your kids, your family. You shouldn’t put love on a cover letter or resume.”
“I would leave off any qualitative description that is not accompanied by an example or metric,” recommends Caroline Ceniza-Levine, career and business expert at SixFigureStart. “Some of the words job seekers use in a summary that are glossed over such as seasoned, experienced, creative and innovative. Just give me years of experience and what exactly did you start or improve.”