Do a little research on resume writing, and you’ll probably hear the idea of “soft skills” mentioned at least once or twice. But while you may be tempted to throw in a mention of “strong communication skills” in order to beef up your resume, don’t. This type of cliché addition is exactly the kind thing that will cause a recruiter to cringe. Truthfully, it is implied that you have clear communication skills. The ability to communicate is a trait that all professionals need to have. Furthermore, your hiring manager will find out whether you actually do possess these abilities as soon as they sit down to interview you. No need to take up precious space on your resume stating the obvious. Looking for some other items that you can delete off of your resume? Here are a few examples:
- Detail-oriented: Unfortunately, while you may be detail-oriented, so is everyone else who is submitting a resume for consideration. This is one of those general, bland additions that people seem to feel as if they must include. In reality, this term will quickly get glanced over, and has little to no impact on how a hiring manager sees you.
- Results-oriented: In the same vein as detail-oriented, results-oriented is both cliché and highly subjective, making it unnecessary on your resume. Instead of telling someone you’re results oriented, show it. Offer up factual statements about past successes and performance. Did you increase sales by 15 percent? Land three new clients during your first month? These kinds of facts jump off the page. Throwing in a “Results-oriented” will not.
- Extensive experience: If you’re applying for a job, it’s assumed that you have extensive experience in that field. Instead of stating this outright, let your resume speak for yourself. Highlight the different positions you’ve had and the success you’ve enjoyed.
- Team player: This addition is different from the others, because it actually can have some value to a potential employer when positioned correctly. Management professionals want to know that their new hires are able to collaborate with others. The problem is, everyone claims that they’re a team player, but very few prove it successfully. Instead of relying on this undescriptive statement, use your resume to tell a story. Provide details about how you partnered with colleagues in order to achieve something substantial in the workplace. This carries far more weight than this generic cliché.
- Proficient in Microsoft Office: Today, every business professional should be proficient in Microsoft Office. If you don’t know how to use Word and Excel, you’ll probably struggle to find work. Therefore, there is no need to include this on a resume. It’s like saying, “Knows how to read and write.” It would actually be more interesting if you said, “Is not proficient in Microsoft Office.”
- Dynamic: We can only hope that this word falls by the wayside soon, along with terms like “guru” and “ninja.” Dynamic is highly overused, and should be replaced by action words. Come up with an adjective that is specific to you and your field instead.
- Motivated: Again, like dynamic, this word is one of the most overused on resumes. It’s great that you’re motivated, but prove it instead of saying it. The work you put in each day illustrates this point far more effectively than just slapping it on a resume.
Another term to avoid at all costs is “proven track record.” Regardless of the field, you’ll probably see resume after resume that feature this term. But what does it really mean? Proven to whom? Investors? Clients? Your co-workers? Instead of making a broad statement such as this one, find a new and more detailed way to sell your skills and accomplishments.
If you spot something on your resume that would seem just as appropriate on your co-worker’s, your spouse’s, or your neighbor’s, it’s time to get rid of it. Your resume should highlight who you are as a professional. This means focusing on details and measurable results. Skip the clichés and blanket statements.
Chic Resumes by Grammar Chic, Inc. provides professional resume writing services and other career support writing options to entry-level, advanced and C-suite job seekers worldwide. For more information about our services visit www.professionalresumewriters.net or call 803-831-7444. Chic Resumes by Grammar Chic, Inc. is on Facebook and can be followed on Twitter @ChicResumes.