Words to leave OFF your resume


In a competitive job market, it’s important that your résumé communicate your skills as succinctly as possible.

Some terms are obsolete. Others are too vague. Here are a few words and phrases you can leave off your résumé to save space for key qualifications.

  1. “Try.” It implies negativity, uncertainty, or lack of commitment.
  2. “References available upon request.” While it’s just one sentence, potential employers will request that information from you if they need it.
  3. “Objective.” The objective is landing the job for which you’ve submitted your résumé. Spelling it out on the résumé itself wastes space.
  4. “Responsibilities include…” Lengthy lists of very basic responsibilities and tasks take up space and bury the important information – your key qualifications for the job.
  5. Any buzzwords. Expressions such as “innovative”, “team player”, and “results-oriented” have lost their impact because they’re overused. Instead, use the space to be specific about your accomplishments, such as the goals you’ve met or quotas achieved.

Other résumé suggestions:

  • Don’t reach too far back into your employment history just for the sake of adding length to your résumé.
  • Use quantitative descriptions, rather than qualitative. For example, rather than saying you were “innovative,” describe how you accomplished a specific task in a unique way.
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