words to not use in a resume

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Getting your best attributes across on a resume can be a difficult task. Some make the mistake of complimenting themselves in their resume or LinkedIn profile, not understanding that they are conveying fear rather than confidence, using words that they believe will catch the attention of employers, like “motivated self-starter.” Everyone wants to give reasons as to why they should get hired but it’s tough to describe yourself in words, so great care must be taken when creating a resume, to get your desired results.

The best way to get across your achievements and personality is to simply tell your story.  You can do it in the ‘summary section’ at the top of your resume, however try to not praise yourself and instead work on sounding individualistic and unique.

Here is a well-written example:

“I have designed websites for businesses for the past 10 years. I specialize in WordPress for creative speakers, authors, and other business associates. I plan to bring a unique and creative voice to pass along any messages you have to your clients.”

The more confident you seem, the less you need to rely on praising adjectives.

We compiled a list of the top 10 words you should never use when writing your resume:

  1. Innovative

  2. Disruptive

  3. Visionary

  4. Senior-level

  5. Game-changing

  6. Smart

  7. Strategic

  8. Savvy

  9. Talented

  10. Well-rounded

Wondering why using these words elicits a negative reaction? These are subjective compliments that other people would give you, as their opinion. When you use them in your resume, you are saying them about yourself as your opinion, which hiring managers do not typically give much credibility. On LinkedIn we encourage you to get endorsements and recommendations from others, that would help convey your accomplishments without you having to do it yourself. Accomplishments speak for themselves; there’s no need to boast about being “tech-savvy at a senior-level” when you can “accomplish detailed projects within tight deadlines.”

Remember to be humble, simple and direct when writing your resume and use facts vs. opinions to explain your skills, instead of self-complimenting words. You will differentiate yourself and achieve your goal!

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