14 Clichés You Must Delete From Your Resume Right Now

Clichés kill opportunities.

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Are you a "hard-working", "dynamic", person with "extensive experience"? Well, it's no wonder you're having trouble finding a job.

How many times were you stuck for something to write in the “Objective” part of your resume? After minutes (perhaps hours?) of indecision, you watched yourself type: “I am a hard-working…” or “dynamic team-player…”?

Or, perhaps, all of the above?

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

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(Related Article: How To Choose The Best Resume Writer).

Well, guess what? 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 hand reach for the shredder.


Avoid Blending In.

Don’t forget that your resume’s sole job is to make you stand out. Clichés are clichés for a reason – they sound fancy, but in reality they’re common and powerless in their ability to help your job search.

So, without further delay, scan your resume and if you see any of the following phrases, I strongly suggest you take them out:

“Team player”
“Excellent communication skills”
“Problem solver”
“Strong work ethic”
“Extensive experience”
“Various roles”


What To Replace Them With?

Most of the time the clichés and buzzwords describe traits that are a given. 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 “I have a pulse”.

Furthermore, hiring managers and recruiters want to see evidence which demonstrates your traits, not blatant advertising of the traits themselves.

(Related Article: Here’s A Resume Which Will Pass Any ATS Test).

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

– Irene

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