8 Words To Never Use On A Resume

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words never use resumeMy friend, Don Goodman, from Resume Wizards recently gave me his personal 18-point checklist for creating a good resume. As I read through it, all the bad resumes I've ever read came flashing back to me.Your resume is the often the first impression an employer has of you. Talk about tough?! That 8 1/2x11 inch document often holds the power to get you in the 'yes' or 'no' pile for an interview. I see dozens of resumes each week from people who are struggling to land the coveted interview.

You'd be amazed at how many people forget this is a document they are writing about themselves. Which means, over-stating your abilities sounds boastful and even worse... desperate. The following are words I've personally seen used on resumes. If you want to come across as the "talented yet humble" professional that you really are, consider eliminating these words from it:

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1. Guru: No, you are not a mystical person from another physical realm. You are a professional who uses their smarts to get results.

2. Emperor: You are also not the head of a foreign country.

3. Star: Well, unless you are in a band that sells out stadiums weekly, you can't claim this one.

4. Awesome: Sorry, but if you are going to put this on your resume, why not add 'wicked' in front of it to really let them know where you are from.

5. Gifted: Really? Who told you that, your mom?

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6. Principled: You need to tell us you have rules and follow them?

7. Unconventional: So you like to break rules and buck management?

8. Evangelist: Got your own church and Sunday TV show? If not, skip this one.


The key to selecting the right words to use on a resume is objectivity.
  • Stick to the facts.
  • Use quantifiable accomplishments to prove your worth.
That way, you don't have to try to over-sell yourself using terms that will only make you look bad.


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