9 Words to Dump from Your Resume And the Hot 9 to Include

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Think of the hundreds of resumes that cross an HR manager’s desk every week. It’s truly a mountain of paperwork they’d rather bypass. With the job market being what it is, applicants and recent grads are cranking out resumes using the same accepted industry standard formats. Nothing wrong with that. But there are subtle ways to make your resume stand out from the rest.  

 
One way is to be word wise. That means dumping the standard weak-weasel words and “amping” your resume with power words. Words that will catch a recruiter’s or HR manager’s eye.  Words that will stop a keyword scanning program and shift your resume into the “take a second look” category. But first, the words that need dumping. They include:


  1. Strong
  2. Exceptional
  3. Good
  4. Excellent
  5. Outstanding
  6. Effective
  7. Driven
  8. Motivated
  9. Seasoned


These are self-aggrandizing words that your references may use to describe you. But if you use them, it sounds like you’re patting yourself on the back. They simply lack objectivity. They’re qualitative and can’t easily be linked to quantitative appraisals of your accomplishments.

 
It’s much better to use the hot 9 words that can be connected to specific areas of your performance on the job. These will catch a recruiter’s or HR manager’s eye. They’ll also be flagged by keyword programs, giving your resume a “second read.”  They include:


  1. Reduced
  2. Improved
  3. Developed
  4. Researched
  5. Created
  6. Increased
  7. Accomplished
  8. Won
  9. Under budget


When using these keywords, try to link them with specific facts and figures. This adds credibility to the words and will draw the attention of recruiters, HR managers and most recently, applicant tracking software. 

 
It’s an unfortunate fact of life that most companies now use some type of applicant tracking software. This software looks for keywords that match specific job requirements. Some companies digitize the hundreds of resumes they receive on a daily basis, store them in a database, search for candidates using keywords, then create interview call lists. The bottom line: If your resume lacks the right combination of job-specific keywords, it will end up in digital limbo, never to be seen again until a programmer purges the file. I know, it’s brutal and impersonal, but such is the world we live in. 

 
Here are some suggestions on the types of keywords to include in your resume. They should be job, task and industry specific:

  • Job Titles
  • Product Names
  • Technical Terms
  • Industry Jargon
  • Software/Hardware Packages
  • Job-specific Buzzwords
  • Degrees or Certifications
  • University or College Names
  • Company Names
  • Service Types
  • Professional Organizations


Creating an effective resume that will get noticed these days takes a bit of work. Much more than just listing your accomplishments. If you have any suggestions, be sure to include them in the comments section.


 

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  • Leslie T.
    Leslie T.

    Very helpful

  • Andrea H.
    Andrea H.

    Thank you. This is very helpful.

  • Linda Hendricks
    Linda Hendricks
    Thank you for the great insight as it has been quite a while since I have done a resume.
  • Kallita M. Phipps
    Kallita M. Phipps
    Great tips.  I really appreciate them!  Thanks!
  • Della Buckley
    Della Buckley
    Great insight.
  •  Michelle Massie
    Michelle Massie
    Brilliant article. Thank you.
  • Jim Steele
    Jim Steele
    This is excellent information
  • Farris Outland
    Farris Outland
    Thank you for the information. I am in the process of changing my resume in the next ten minutes. Thanks again.
  •  Teri Carter
    Teri Carter
    I found your tips for building a resume' very helpful and enlightening.
  • Leonard Nez
    Leonard Nez
    I am a construction worker.(sheet metal installer) We have to have a resume to apply to jobs like everyone else, but the outlines you give doesn't really work for us tradesmen. Reason is we don't reduce, research, win, or create anything. Maybe you can come up with something for us blue collar workers. We don't sit at a desk and contemplate anything. We have to DO with our hands. But like all employers, they want a fancy worded resume. Nothing fancy about construction work. Just dirty hard work.
  • Gregory Gilkey
    Gregory Gilkey
    good to refresh with new improved terms. no to old formats
  • MARCIA DAVIS
    MARCIA DAVIS
    Thanks for the hints.  I have heard most of them, but I particularly liked having all the information in one article.
  • DIANE MCGOWAN
    DIANE MCGOWAN
    This is exactly what I needed . I already imputed these words into my resume, but now I have more words to expand on. this is fantastic!
  • Richard Mannella
    Richard Mannella
    Helpful.
  • VICTORIA LANK
    VICTORIA LANK
    What if the job description you're responding to includes these words? A lot of times I use words like "excellent" from job descriptions in my "summary of qualifications" section.
  • Robert Nolan
    Robert Nolan
    Keywords are a great help
  • JO-ANN KRIETZBERG
    JO-ANN KRIETZBERG
    Excellent advice
  • CATHY CAMERON
    CATHY CAMERON
    thank you,
  • Grace Wynter
    Grace Wynter
    I believe the question is how do you get past a system that reads resumes versus a human who supposedly does not have the time to go through all the resumes. What makes so many of the same job description showup in one's e-email looking for the same job. Somehow find a way to let the manager and the robotic way of looking for a candidate be on the same page.
  • Kim Looney
    Kim Looney
    This should be very helpful beings how I am doing a complete career change. Any ideas how to get my foot in the door for HR.
  • Darrell Tarpkin
    Darrell Tarpkin
    very informative and helpful
  • Janice Williams
    Janice Williams
    great information!!!
  • GREGORY JAMES
    GREGORY JAMES
    THANK YOU VERY MUCH. THIS WAS VERY HELPFIL AND EYE OPENING FOR ME. I KIND OF UNDERSTAND NOW. I WISH I NEW THE A LONG TIME AGO. I FEEL A LOT BETTER NOW. THANKS SOOOO MUCH.  GREGORY
  •  Ankush Sehgal
    Ankush Sehgal
    Need to creat resume for gulf.... having exp.. for sales & customer service....
  • Derek  Bolding
    Derek  Bolding
    The article is very informative and very helpful in preparing your resume so that it gets second look.

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