Quick – you’re looking for a job. Should your résumé say you’re “experienced,” “competent,” or “detail-oriented”? None of the above! According to Scott Bennett, author of The Elements of Résumé Style, job seekers often overload their résumés with vague claims that don’t impress hiring managers. He says that most successful job seekers highlight their skills and accomplishments instead.
For example, instead of saying “Experience working in fast-paced environment,” try saying, “Registered over 120 emergency patients per night.” Those are facts – and impressive ones at that. And instead of saying, “Excellent written communication skills,” try “Wrote straightforward User Guide for 11-thousand programmers.” That way, you’re saying exactly what you achieved with your skills.
So, here’s a challenge. See if you can write a résumé without using any of these vague and useless words. These are the 12 words that human resources people hate the most: Ambitious, competent, creative, detail-oriented, efficient, experienced, well-organized, knowledgeable, innovative, reliable, self-motivated, and team player. Instead use specific examples that highlight your best qualities – and that relate to the job you’re applying for.