Job Ads Do Not Have To Suck | Minnesota Marketing Job
4 Simple Things That Hurt Your Resume

Top Five Overused Resume Phrases & How To Revive Them


The following post is courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap:

While we have good intentions when we use common phrases to describe our abilities, the fact is we are boring hiring managers to death! These are skills that are expected in today’s workplace and don’t do the job of making you stand out to employers. In fact, hiring managers see them so often on resumes that they don’t even notice them anymore.

For example, people commonly state they have “great communication skills”. While that is a good trait to possess, is more or less expected and tells them nothing about how you’ve demonstrated this skill, or the results it has created.

A great way to convey your communication skills is to add quality (e.g. examples) and quantity (e.g. measureable results) to pump them up and actually prove you are an ace communicator! A suggestion would be “Sharp, articulate communicator as proven by multiple large-scale presentations and applauded departmental reports.” You would follow this up with bulleted details about the presentations and reports you have completed.

Here are some of the worst offenders followed by questions you can ask yourself in order to bring them back to life in your resume:

“Great Communication Skills”

Quantity/Quality Questions: Did you improve means of communication within your company/department? How? Did you lead teams? Did you present content to a crowd? Did you organize presentations? Did you negotiate with clients/vendors? Did you resolve conflicts? How?

“Team player”

Quantity/Quality Questions: Did you contribute to group dynamics in your company (rather than just participate)? How? Did you organize and/or lead any groups? Did you work cross-departmentally? How?

“Problem solver”

Quantity/Quality Questions: Were you presented with a big problem? How did you fix it? Did people come to you for help in your job? Explain. What is your problem-solving method?

“Hard working”

Quantity/Quality Questions: Do you have examples of projects or events in which you worked late/on weekends when you didn’t have to? Did you earn accolades for your hard work? Quantify your hard work (quotas you have exceeded, impressive production results).


Quantity/Quality Questions: Do you work independently? Make your own schedule? Work remotely? Are you a motivator for others? Have you created results for your company (e.g. saved money by proactively auditing reports)? How do you motivate yourself? Give examples.

The bottom line is that while these phrases are well-meaning, they don’t convey the extent of your abilities in these areas. You must add quality and/or quantity to prove your worth and get noticed!

Author: Cathy Eng, CARW, Owner of Resume Rocketeer, Inc.

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

Click for info on my Job Search Seminar.

Click for more articles like this and for most recent blog posts.

Stay in touch with me by clicking Blog Posts by RSS, Blog Posts by Email and/or the From The Desk Of Paul DeBettignies Newsletter


The comments to this entry are closed.