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The Ten Worst Resume Clichés

By Jeremy Cyrus 01/25/2013
The Ten Worst Resume Clichés

As you look over the final draft of your resume and get ready to send it off to employers, take a red pen to these common resume clichés. These statements are so vague and overused that they probably won't help you gain an employer's attention. In fact, they may turn employers off and undermine your chances of landing an interview.

  1. Motivated to succeed

  2. Results-oriented

  3. Success-driven

  4. A real team player

  5. Change driver

  6. A track record of success

  7. References available upon request

  8. Fulfilled responsibilities as needed

  9. Served clients/customers as needed

  10. Supported company needs as necessary

Remember these simple rules regarding resume clichés:

  1. Watch out for the word "success". This is a very abstract and hollow term, and no two people, positions, or industries share exactly the same definition of what it takes to "succeed." If you're great at something, or if you have a goal you'd like to achieve, just state that goal or describe that talent. Be specific.

  2. "Change driver" was the latest hot resume buzzword…about five years ago. Before you describe yourself as an agent of change, make sure you know what you're saying and exactly what traits you're selling. Not all employers are looking for workers who plan to step in the door and "change" things. And most of the time, nobody is sure what this term even means.

  3. Don't make vague statements about where you fall on the leader/follower/team player spectrum. Employers like leaders sometimes, and sometimes they like team players who follow orders. All of us, regardless of our personalities, move back and forth between these roles all day long depending on our circumstances. Instead of claiming to be one or the other, stay focused on the specific skills and talents you have to offer that can help your employer run the business.

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