Squackfox.com touts itself as a site deditcated to “living simply, spending wisely, and investing intelligently impacts your health, wealth, and self,” but they are featuring tips on resume building now: an important skill to address as more and more of us join the ranks of the unemployed.
I myself have addressed the topic of resumes and cover letters recently.
In conducting a series of discussions on resume writing, the latest missive, I think, is particularly appropriate for our topic of effective communication. Specifically, this Squawkfox article hits the six most overused words/phrases in resumes.
In general, I think this is an important point as it addresses several of the most ineffective and oft-repeated mistakes or missteps in communication: repetition/redundancy, reliance on clich?s, and ambiguity. According to Squawkfox, the six top words or phrases that negatively affect one’s resume are:
- Responsible for
- Excellent written communication skills
- Team player
- Detail oriented
There are a few large problems with all of these words/phrases.
One, they appear in far too many resumes. I will admit to throwing some of these in past resumes. In effect, thought these words and phrases speak to or reference important points of your experience and talents, their frequency alone negates whatever point they are trying to make. Your resume should set you apart from all the other applicants, not serve to mix you up with everyone else.
Furthermore, these words are all very general. Here it is important to be as specific as possible. Yes, you want your potential employers to perceive you as responsible, but in what ways are you responsible? What specifically can you point to that would portray you as “responsible”? Moreover, to say that you were “responsible for” a certain task only implies that you completed that task, that it was carried off with aplomb.
The best way to avoid these CV clich?s is to focus on action verbs. Another large problem with all of these missteps is their grammatically indirect nature. You weren’t responsible for writing the monthly newsletter, you wrote a five-page newsletter every month.
To read the complete article and to see what else Squawkfox has to say about resume writing click here.