6 words that make your resume suck

I’ve used a few bad words in my life. S$it, you probably have too. But when the wrong words appear on your resume, it sucks.

These sucky words are not of the four-letter variety. These words are common. They are accepted. They litter the average resume with buzzword badness. Hiring managers can identify sucky words in seconds, leaving your resume work worthless.

So how do you write a wicked resume without the suck? How do you turn the wrong words into right? To help you land the job interview, here’s how to spin the 6 sucky resume words into skills that sizzle.
1. Responsible For

My lips pucker and make sour sucking noises when I read “Responsible For” on a resume. Of course you’re responsible for something. But how many? How long? Who? What? When? Rather than waste the hiring manager’s time reading a vague list of responsibilities, be specific and use quantitative figures to back up your cited skills and accomplishments.

Employers

want the numerical facts. Write percentages, dollar amounts, and numbers to best explain your accomplishments. Be specific to get the point across quickly. Prove you have the goods to get hired.

BAD

Responsible for writing user guides on deadline.

GOOD

Wrote six user guides for 15,000 users two weeks before deadline.

BAD

Responsible for production costs.

GOOD

Reduced production costs by 15 percent over three months.

The resume that avoids vague “responsibilities” and sticks to facts detailing figures, growth, reduced costs, number of people managed, budget size, sales, and revenue earned gets the job interview.
2. Experienced

Are you experienced? Sexy. Rather than cite Jimi Hendrix on your resume, pleeease just say what your experience entails. Saying you’re experienced at something and giving the facts on that experience are two very different approaches.

BAD

Experience programming in PHP.

GOOD

Programmed an online shopping cart for a Fortune 500 company in PHP.

Hiring managers want to know what experience, skills, and qualifications you offer. Do tell them without saying, “I am experienced.”
3. Excellent written communication skills

Yes, I realize this isn’t a single word but rather a phrase. This phrase must die. It’s on most resumes. Is it on yours?

BAD

I have excellent written communication skills.

GOOD

Wrote jargon-free online help documentation and reduced customer support calls by 50 percent.

If you’ve got writing skills, do say what you write and how you communicate. Are you writing email campaigns, marketing materials, or user documentation? Are you word smithing legal contracts, business plans, or proposing proposals? However you wrap your words, be sure to give the details.
4. Team Player

Are we playing baseball here? Unless you want to be benched with the other unemployed “team players” then get some hard facts behind your job pitch.

BAD

Team player working well in large and small groups.

GOOD

Worked with clients, software developers, technical writers, and interface designers to deliver financial reporting software three months before deadline.

If you want to hit a home run then do explicitly say what teams you play on and qualify the teams’ achievements.
5. Detail Oriented

What does detail oriented mean? Give the specifics to the details with which you are oriented. Please, orient your reader to the details.

BAD

Detail oriented public relations professional.

GOOD



6 words that make your resume suck