Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

March 25 2014

Top 10 Worst Words To Use On Your Résumé

By David McMillin

Before you complete another round of revisions on your résumé, you may want to take a second look at how you’re presenting your credentials to potential employers. A new CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,200 hiring managers reveals that some decision makers hate to see a few specific words in front of them.

Here’s a look at the top 10 terms that respondents selected as turn-offs.

1)    Best of breed
2)    Go-getter
3)    Think outside of the box
4)    Synergy
5)    Go-to person
6)    Thought leadership
7)    Value add
8)    Results-driven
9)    Team player
10)  Bottom-line

But wait, some job candidates might say, can one or two words really make that much of a difference? It turns out that the answer is yes. Nearly 70 percent of respondents said they spend less than two minutes reviewing each resume, and 17 percent won’t even bother spending more than 30 seconds. Translation: it’s all about making an immediate good impression. With limited space and limited time, each word counts.

SEE ALSO: 5 Résumé No-Nos

Show, Don’t Tell.

“Hiring managers prefer strong action words that define specific experience, skills and accomplishments,” Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources, CareerBuilder, said. “Subjective terms and clichés are seen as negative because they don’t convey real information. For instance, don’t say you are ‘results-driven’; show the employer your actual results.”

SEE ALSO: 7 Factors That Will Impact Your Next Job Interview

It’s a nod to the old adage that “actions speak louder than words.” Why describe yourself as a go-getter or a team player? Anyone can award themselves with these positive titles. Instead, use concrete examples from your work experience to bring those descriptions to life. Rather than relying on subjective adjectives and fluff, aim to insert more verbs that show what you’ve accomplished in your professional life.

Here’s a look at some of the respondents’ favorite terms to see.

1) Achieved
2) Improved
3) Trained/mentored
4) Managed
5) Created

Feeling confident that your résumé will grab some good attention? Click here to visit the PCMA Career Center, and browse the latest openings in the meetings industry.

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