Stop Using These Words on Your Resume!

One of the first steps when job hunting is updating your resume.  There was a time when many individuals in the Blue-Collar industries did not have resumes.  However, many of our clients are now asking for resumes to be submitted.  Going through a staffing agency has many benefits.  One of them is having a recruiter help write your resume, if you do not have one.  On the other hand, no one can sell you better than YOU!

Writing a resume may seem like a daunting task, especially if you’ve never written one before.  Luckily, there is a wealth of sources out there with sample resumes that can give you some good ideas.  One down side to this is over the years there are some buzzwords that everyone seems to put on their resume and it needs to stop!  If you want to set yourself apart from the competition, avoid using the words listed in this article.  Don’t worry, I’ll give you some good alternatives.

What I mean when I say “buzzwords” is words that we as recruiters see all the time.  It is now to the point that these words are cliché and boring.  Don’t let a recruiter pass over your resume because it’s filled with unoriginal words that anyone can pull out of hat that doesn’t really say anything about you.


“Hard Worker”

Yes, we get it, we know you are a hard worker.  Even if you weren’t you wouldn’t write on your resume, “I’m pretty lazy.”  Think of a different way to illustrate that you work hard.  Give a brief, but specific example, of when you went the extra mile.  A different word that you could use is “achieved” and then spell out exactly what you did.

In interviews these days you are likely to be asked to give specific examples from things you did in previous jobs.  Including these in your resume will give you a starting point.  Obviously, you cannot include full details on your resume, but having these examples ready to build upon looks good during an interview.


“Outside the Box”

This one makes us cringe the hardest.  Many people think this says, “I’m good at coming up with new ideas.”  Instead what it says to recruiters is that you couldn’t think of anything specific to say about yourself so you threw out a buzzword.  You definitely need to show your creativity.  Trying using the word “created” and follow that up with the “outside the box” thing you did.  Thinking outside the box is always good idea, but just don’t say it, show it!


“Excellent Communicator”

If you have to say what you are, you probably aren’t.  In an interview if you say “I’m an excellent communicator” and follow it up with nothing, you may look silly.  This is another instance when giving a specific example is the best policy.  Use the word “listen” and show when listening resulted in a positive at work.  For example, listening to a customer complaint and what you did to turn it around.



At every job every individual has responsibilities, otherwise what are you even doing at work!  Rather than this being like “Excellent Communicator” you absolutely need to describe what you were responsible for.  This word is just tired and we are tired of seeing it.  Instead try using “managed” or “directed.”  Follow up what you managed or directed with the positive business result.  If you started a new safety program for your trucking company, say it!  Don’t say “I was responsible for starting a new safety program.”  How about instead saying “I launched a new safety program that was implemented company wide!”



Are you?  Are you really?  This is akin to saying, “I’m the best at blah blah….”  Think of someone who is an expert in a field.  It’s very unlikely that person ever said “I’m an expert.”  That is a word we give to others, no ourselves.  For example, Bobby Flay could be considered an expert at cooking.  However, you can bet “expert” is nowhere on his resume.  A bit of humbleness goes a long way.

There is no synonym for “expert” to replace it, they all mean “expert” in the end.  Instead, if you know you are really great at something, describe it.  Focus on your experience and training.  If you have 20 years behind the wheel of a semi with a clean driving record for the entire 20 years, say it!  That doesn’t mean you are an expert in driving safety, but you are pretty close.  Spell out what and why you are such great candidate!


Original source:






“Helping our clients get jobs done since 1998.”