Resume Tips

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The most successful job seekers avoid vague phrases on their resumes in favor of accomplishments.

Instead of making empty claims to demonstrate your work ethic, use brief, specific examples to demonstrate your skills.

In other words, show, don't tell.

Scott Bennett, author of "The Elements of Resume Style", offers these examples:

Instead of... "Experience working in fast-paced environment"

Try... "Registered 120+ third-shift emergency patients per night"

Instead of... "Excellent written communication skills"

Try... "Wrote jargon-free User Guide for 11,000 users"

Instead of... "Team player with cross-functional awareness"

Try... "Collaborated with clients, A/R and Sales to increase speed of receivables and prevent interruption of service to clients."

Instead of... "Demonstrated success in analyzing client needs"

Try... "Created and implemented comprehensive needs assessment mechanism to help forecast demand for services and staffing."
The worst offenders

It's good to be hard-working and ambitious, right? The hiring manager won't be convinced if you can't provide solid examples to back up your claims.

Bennett suggests being extra-careful before putting these nice-sounding but empty words in your resume.

# Aggressive

# Ambitious

# Competent

# Creative

# Detail-oriented

# Determined

# Efficient

# Experienced

# Flexible

# Goal-oriented

# Hard-working

# Independent

# Innovative

# Knowledgeable

# Logical

# Motivated

# Meticulous

# People person

# Professional

# Reliable

# Resourceful

# Self-motivated

# Successful

# Team player

# Well-organized

1 comment

Ozarks YinYang said...

Good suggestions! Let me also add that after being on at least a dozen university search committees, it is amazing how many individuals (with graduate degrees) fail to proofread their cover letters and resumes. Typos, misspellings, and simple grammatical errors can deep six your application even if you do have great experience and skills. One thing to do to avoid such embarrassing mistakes is to have someone not familiar with your resume/cover letter read it out loud to you. A fresh eye can often catch what your mind quickly reads *into* a sentence or paragraph. :-) -- DR

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