Barbara Safani 3 Comments

word cloudOut of every 100 resumes I review, approximately 95 of them start off with a reference to the personal attributes that candidate believes they possess. The logic here is that these descriptive words will verify the person’s abilities and make them a more desirable candidate in the hiring manager’s eyes. I actually believe that using these words makes the candidate far less desirable. Below is a list of some of the most commonly used descriptive words on a resume.

  1. highly qualified
  2. hard worker
  3. team player
  4. problem solver
  5. flexible
  6. people person
  7. self-starter

Now let’s consider the opposite meanings of these words:

  1. unqualified
  2. lazy
  3. loner
  4. problem maker
  5. inflexible
  6. people hater
  7. slug

Before you include a descriptive word on your resume, consider its opposite. In practically every case, it will be a word you never want to use to describe yourself. What this means is that all the words expressing personal attributes that you are using on your resume are a given and to assume the opposite is somewhat comical. Hiring managers don’t need to hear that you are qualified or a team player. They need to see it.

Instead of claiming to be a hard worker, show an example of a situation where you did what needed to be done in order to get a project done on time. Rather than saying you are a problem solver, describe a time when you approached a problem in a different manner and achieved outstanding results. Instead of saying you are a people person, illustrate an example of how you built relationships with clients or mentored staff.

Carry this logic over to your LinkedIn profile and try to avoid these top 10 overused buzzwords on LinkedIn. As you will see, the opposites of these words are pretty silly as well.

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