The Most Meaningless Words on the Resume and CV
A well-written resume and CV will be optimized with keywords that the employer and recruiters are looking for, but that doesn’t mean that any words can be thrown on the paper. Words must be put in context to show how your experience and skills carry out results on the job. At the same time, using descriptive words like leader, creative, fast learner, dynamic, problem solver, and the many other similar descriptive words won’t help your resume or CV; all that does is cause it to be overlooked by employers and recruiters.
Remember that filling your resume and CV with keywords (not put in context) and empty descriptor words only:
- Takes up space
- Leaves employers wondering how you perform on the job
- Hits the trigger points to many hiring manager and recruiters’ pet peeves
- Fails to illustrate your measurable success on the job
Now, look at your resume. If it’s a victim of meaningless words, it’s time for an overhaul.
- Express Traits through Achievements
If you want employers to see that you’re a problem solver, don’t say it! Express it through your achievements on the job. Was there an instance of crisis where you were actively involved in resolving it? Provide information on the challenge faced, what you did, and what was achieved from your actions.
- Show Accomplishments and Results with Numbers
It’s one thing to say that you’re an accomplished sales professional and another thing to show for it through numbers. Did you exceed sales goals by 50% each quarter? Then present it in that manner rather than just saying, “I’m a top sales professional.”
- Don’t State the Obvious
Hiring managers aren’t looking at your resume or CV to retell responsibilities of the job. They want to know about the outcomes of your role on the job. While applicant tracking systems (ATS) now complicate the resume/CV-writing process with the need to hit keywords that match skills, experience, and responsibilities the employer is looking for, it still requires a careful balance of information on the resume and CV. At some point in the process, the resume/CV will reach the hands of a human, and the content and layout of information is going to have to appeal and impress them. For more tips, read: “The Debate Over Resume Length, Unraveling the Truth.”
Don’t waste the marketing opportunity you have on the resume and CV to impress employers with meaningless statements and words – they don’t work!