Resume Tips: Words to avoid using in your resume.

One of the most common questions I get asked by job applicants are on the topic of what words to avoid when crafting a resume. Most people know they need to utilize strong adjective within their resume, but many are unsure if there are specific words to avoid.

Here are a few rules of the road to ensure that you are crafting a high quality, yet accessible resume:

  1. It’s easy for applicants to utilize internal jargon when applying for jobs. It’s best to avoid internal acronyms when it all possible. Be sure to not include internal names for software or hardware platforms. Try to update to more generalized verbiage so employers outside of your organization know what you are referring too.


  1. Many people utilize business lingo (aka MBA words) to try to impress the hiring manager. It is best to use clear and concise language within in your resume. Here are a few words to avoid:
  2. Bottom-line
  3. Ecosystem
  4. High-level
  5. Synergistic
  6. Value Add


  1. Try to avoid self-promotional language. The resume is the best place to showcase your skill sets, but there is a fine line being confident and cocky. Some words are superfluous and will turn off the hiring manager. For example, saying you’re a “proactive employee” is a given, every employer expects you take on projects and tasks in a non-reactionary manner. Here are some words to avoid that are considered self-promotion:


  1. Go-getter
  2. Go-to-person
  3. Strategic thinker
  4. Best of breed
  5. Think outside the box
  6. Results-driven
  7. Detail-oriented

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