Nine Phrases You Should Never Put on Your Resume

Crafting an effective resume is crucial when seeking job opportunities. Avoiding certain phrases can significantly enhance your resume’s impact. Here are nine phrases you should avoid and why:

1. Responsible for… Explanation

Using this phrase can make your accomplishments sound like basic job duties without showcasing your impact or achievements.

Example: Instead of saying “Responsible for managing a team,” try “Managed a team of 10 individuals, increasing productivity by 20% in six months.”

2. Hardworking or Detail-oriented Explanation

These subjective traits lack concrete evidence and are often overused. They don’t differentiate you from other candidates.

Example: Instead of stating “I am hardworking,” demonstrate it by highlighting achievements like “Consistently met tight deadlines, completing 98% of projects ahead of schedule.”

3. References available upon request Explanation

This phrase is unnecessary as it’s understood that references can be provided if asked.

Example: Simply omit this phrase from your resume. Use the space for more valuable information.

4. Results-driven or Team player Explanation

These are generic phrases that lack specificity and fail to demonstrate your unique skills or achievements.

Example: Rather than saying “Results-driven professional,” highlight achievements like “Increased sales by 30% through strategic marketing campaigns.”

5. Objective statement Explanation

Objectives focus on what you want, not what you can offer. They’re considered outdated in modern resumes.

Example: Instead of an objective, create a summary or profile section highlighting your skills and experiences relevant to the job.

6. Excellent communication skills Explanation

This phrase lacks evidence and can be subjective. It’s better to demonstrate your communication skills through examples.

Example: Instead, mention a specific achievement like “Led weekly meetings, effectively communicating project updates to a cross-functional team.”

7. Unemployed or Jobless Explanation

These terms may carry negative connotations. Instead, focus on your skills and experiences rather than emphasizing your current job status.

Example: Instead of saying “Currently unemployed,” highlight your skills and experiences acquired during volunteer work or freelance projects.

8. I or My Explanation

Using first-person pronouns can make your resume sound less professional. Resumes should be written in a concise, third-person format.

Example: Instead of saying “I developed a new marketing strategy,” use “Developed a new marketing strategy.”

9. Clichés or jargon Explanation

Overused phrases or industry-specific jargon can make your resume less engaging and fail to convey your unique value.

Example: Avoid phrases like “think outside the box” or “synergy,” and instead, focus on specific accomplishments and quantifiable results.

Crafting a compelling resume involves using strong, action-oriented language and showcasing your achievements with quantifiable results to stand out effectively.

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