Why over-using Buzz Phrases in your Resume is a bad idea!

In one resume I read this recently, the candidate described herself as an “extremely qualified team player,” a “self-starter,” and a “proactive worker” who will to “take it to the next level” with her “ability to multitask and prioritize.”

She did not explain what she was going to prioritize.

Very few of us can exercise distance and restraint when creating a career portrait, that highlights details of our skills and achievements. There is some pride in writing one’s resume and seeing our career history documented in word.

It can be exhausting work.

Now, I am not rubbishing the effort candidates put into creating a professional narrative of their work history and achievements. But (and I am struggling to be generous here), if the use case for your resume begins and ends, at you being the only person meant to read it, I would say go for it. Otherwise – Don’t do it!

Work with a professional resume writer whose job it is to make you look good, qualified, and hirable in two pages or less.

The problem often starts with the job description. If companies stopped using buzz phrases in job descriptions, perhaps candidates will stop cutting and pasting them into their resumes. Competencies and attributes that are not related to or referenced to achievements in the resume’s body may dissuade a reader from inviting you to an interview.

1. Perennial winners in the resume writing useless phrase derby include – “a demonstrated ability.”

2. Or the even worse phrase, “a demonstrated history.” How do you demonstrate your work history?

3. Battling for third place are the cringe-worthy twins “forward-thinking” and “drill down.” It appears that “forward-thinking” people tend to “drill down,” too.

Candidates add buzz phrases to their resumes hoping to increase interview invites. But it has the opposite effect. The professionals reading your resume are real people, and there is no benefit to adding nonsense jargon to your resume.

Finally, be wary of others who tell you that investing in a quality resume does not matter, because other important things do not matter to these folks either, like referring you and rooting for you at THEIR place of employment.

But I digress.