I see a lot of advice on writing resumes, sometimes I run across something that really makes sense and is useful. Sandy Leary creates memorable cover letters and compelling resumes. She recently shared her insights about some of the over used words you should consider eliminating when developing your resume.

If I were to look at the resume I used over 12 years ago when I was job hunting, there is no surprise to find many of these overused words scattered throughout my descriptions because it was a considered a best practice. In today’s market, employers are looking for what differentiates you, also known as personal branding and why you can make an immediate impact.

According to Sandy, the list of personal attributes that job seekers place on their resume to convey their value proposition is endless – almost nauseating. When Sandy reads a resume that suggests a person is someone worthy of a spot on the team it often falls short because few of them explain what they have actually done in their place of work to prove that they really possess these attributes.

Some of the biggest “offenders” Sandy sees repeated over and over again on resumes include:

  • Reliable
  • Loyal
  • Trustworthy
  • Great sense of humor
  • Conscientious
  • Helpful
  • Innovative
  • Seasoned
  • Results-oriented
  • Dependable
  • Detail-oriented
  • Highly motivated
  • Versatile
  • Independent
  • Self-starter

If you are still unconvinced you need to eliminate these words on your resume, consider the questions Sandy pose:

  1. Can you imagine buying a car from a salesman who claims the vehicle is dependable without first doing some research on the car’s handling, performance and gas consumption?
  2. Would you hire an accountant just because he claims he is trustworthy or would you want more specific details about how she prepares taxes?
  3. Would you choose the house renovation contractor who says he is reliable without asking him questions about his time frames for getting the job done?
  4. Would you hire someone to take care of your children because she says she is conscientious or would you want to know exactly what type of activities she has done with children?

What Sandy says makes sense to me:

“Hiring managers don’t hire people who say they are reliable and trustworthy. They hire people who can prove time and time again, without a shadow of a doubt that they have experienced successes in the past that make them strong candidates for similar continued success in their organization.”

In conclusion, Sandy suggests that before you include a list of personal attributes on your resume, ask yourself, “Will these words really persuade a hiring manager to interview me or are they just words?”

Then do the hard work of actually creating a resume that includes the strong proof of success that gets candidates in the front door.

Once you have your resume ready, check out Resources for Career Movers and Shakers to put your resume into action today.