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.

Irene McConnell
< 1 min read

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 resumes of other people; 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.

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Avoid Blending In.

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.

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.

So, before you send out your resume to any recruiters, use my resume writing guides 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:

“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 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 your achievements you’ve produced speak on your behalf.

– Irene

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