10 Words to Avoid Using on Resumes

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If you’re looking for a job, your resume is your first impression. However, most resumes contain overused and ineffective terms that fail to make a lasting impact on recruiters, HR personnel, and hiring managers. To ensure that your resume stands out from the rest, avoid the following ten terms and phrases:

  1. “Salary negotiable”
  2. “References available by request”
  3. “Responsible for ______”
  4. “Experience working in ______”
  5. “Problem-solving skills”
  6. “Detail-oriented”
  7. “Hardworking”
  8. “Team player”
  9. “Proactive”
  10. “Objective”

Instead of these terms, use strong verbs like “managed” or “led” to describe your responsibilities and achievements. Show, don’t tell, that you have the skills and experience to succeed in the job. Be specific, use concrete examples and focus on achievements that benefit the employer. Finally, consider replacing a resume objective with a career summary that highlights your skills, background, and accomplishments.

Avoiding these ten terms may not guarantee that you’ll land the job, but it will make your resume stand out from the rest and increase your chances of making a positive impression on the hiring team.

Chris Kidd is the owner of,,, and

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