10 Words To Avoid On Your Resume

CHICAGO (CBS) – In Illinois, more than 608,000 people are unemployed. If you’re one of those looking for work, you’ll want to avoid 10 words on your resume. CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports.

Emerson Estrada is looking for a second job. He plans to apply to the new sandwich shop that’s opening in Block 37.

When he drops off his application, he’ll probably include his resume. In it he describes himself as: “experienced, responsible, reliable,” said Estrada.

Words matter, according to job expert Rick Cobb. There are some words you should avoid because they’re considered overused.

“If your job is to look at hundreds of resumes, anything you see over and over again becomes invisible,” said Cobb, Executive Vice President with search firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The list of words employers consider overused include: innovative, motivated, results-oriented, dynamic, proven track record, team player, fast-paced, problem solver, entrepreneurial, and extensive experience.

“Words that are overused, they become cliché and they have a meaning to people that may not be what you intended,” explains Cobb.

For example, “fast-paced” could imply that you’re not detail-oriented. “Team player” might indicate you’re a follower, not a leader.

Cobb says “extensive experience” is great, but someone might assume you’ve been at one job a long time, or you’re older.

And he adds that “entrepreneurial” doesn’t really fit in an organization. It may be a sign of a person who does things their way.

Not only should you avoid the overused words, but employers like Bob Gifford say it’s important you choose words that convey your desire for the job.

“People need to take the word and really customize it to the actual opportunity they’re looking for,” said Gifford.

There are a list of words that you SHOULD use on your resume. For more information on the “buzz words” that will get you noticed, click here.

  • Nice Article Still

    Well then, companies shouldn’t use those words in their postings either. Check every single listing on Craigslist and I guarantee you it’s filled with things like, “We’re looking for a team player who is a problem solver in a fast-paced paced environment, with 2-3 years of experience.” ..Sorry Dorothy, until HR people stop using those words in their own postings, we won’t stop using them in our resumes.

    • Sarah

      Exactly! I don’t know how many times I have seen the word “Exceptional” in job postings. An exceptional team player. Exceptionally motivated. Exceptional attention to detail. Exceptional people skills. Annoying!

  • Lynn Genter

    The report said we could find the ten words we SHOULD use on a resume, but where are they?

    • Nick

      um…. at the bottom where it says click here. lol. We were all noobs once.

  • Steven Provenzano

    Dorothy: This message keeps sending itself!
    Right on about those 10 words being virtually useless on resumes.
    Employers need to see your genuine, objectively-written business skills and keywords, right on top, in a strong Profile section.
    Check my last book for more info. on the right words to use:
    Top Secret Executive Resumes, or call me directly:
    Steven Provenzano, CPRW/CEIP
    President: ECS: Exec. Career Services & DTP, Inc.
    630-289-6222 Site: Execareers.com

  • Nancy

    The best way to get a job is still good connections and great recommendations.


    Why don’t you talk about what an employer really wants? How about the perfect employee, being someone who is willing to work a job three qualified people would not be able to complete if they were all on speed (faster, faster, faster, but be safe) for min. wage and good luck with insurance. Insurance only has to be offered if certain criteria is met, and the insurance could and most likely will be something that does not cover much for a large monthly payment (taken out before taxes, THANKS) if you work full-time. Incidentally the employer decides what full-time is.Bilingual means a babysitter for unskilled labor. I could go on and on. This is what I noticed in my many different jobs in my
    current life cycle, you lie during your interview, as does your future employer.
    After you get the job you CAN AND PROBABLY WILL STOP (no need) but your employer will continue. I found the employer is a poor liar, don’t care, which eventually will INSULT YOUR INTELLIGENCE. ONE LAST QUESTION, WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO “PRIDE IN YOUR WORK”. Reality check Election day
    a candidate came to my door (I’m unemployed) begging for a job. You just got to love America and its comical ways of evolution. I’M BEYOND BEING DISGUSTED.

  • Clark

    Looks like your all holding out for the mngmnt positions. Jus where the white wingtips and all will be well.

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