14 Clichés You Must Delete From Your Resume Right Now

These words kill your career opportunities.


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Last updated: September 18th, 2023

Resume cliches you must delete from your resume

Last updated: September 18th, 2023

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Are you stuck for something to write in the “Professional Profile” part of your resume? Have you, after minutes – or perhaps hours – of indecision, watched yourself type: “I am a hard-working…” or “dynamic”, err… “team-player”?

After all, you’ve seen those words on other people’s resumes; surely they must work?

Well, by doing so, you’ve just placed your resume into the pile of all those other unimaginative, grey job applications that make recruiters’ eyes glaze over and their mouse reach for the rubbish icon.

Clichés Make You Look Ordinary.

Don’t forget that your resume’s sole job is to position you as a standout candidate who is uniquely qualified to tackle a specific set of business challenges.

Professional Aussie resume writers know that clichés compromise your candidacy because, despite sounding fancy, they take up valuable real estate on your resume – without articulating why you should be hired over another, similarly qualified candidate.

Before you send out your resume to any recruiters, use this resume writing guide to improve its content and design. In the context of this conversation, be sure to perform a quick audit and remove any mentions of the following:

  • “Hardworking”
  • “Team player”
  • “Excellent communication skills”
  • “Self-starter”
  • “Dynamic”
  • “Motivated”
  • “Problem solver”
  • “Responsible”
  • “Detail-oriented”
  • “Strong work ethic”
  • “Creative”
  • “Extensive experience”
  • “Various roles”

What To Replace Clichés With?

Most of the time the clichés and buzzwords describe traits that describe the minimum expected standard. Your employer expects you to work hard, turn up on time and not require close supervision.

If you declare that as your differentiating feature, you might as well add that you “have a pulse”.

Have you led teams? Delivered projects before deadlines? Negotiated deals skilfully? Great. Give examples and let the achievements you’ve produced speak on your behalf.

– Irene

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