It is very easy to be an experienced professional, and sound inexperienced, by using an outdated resume vocabulary. Your choice of words can even reveal subtle things about you, such as your age, gender, and personality.
These resume editing tips focus on making sure you drop certain words the next time you want to do a resume makeover.
Important resume tip: You may see this type of blog post frequently. Trends in resume vocabulary and style change every year. So, it is important to keep up with changes for your next career move.
Over the years, the “objective statement” has become a useless portion of the resume. In recent years, it has been replaced with a “Summary Statement”. I’m sorry to break it to you. But companies no longer care about what your objective is. Instead, they want you to summarize your skills and explain why you are a fit for the position.
Real estate is priceless on a resume. Shorter and to-the-point is always better for your resume vocabulary. Phrases like “responsible for” take up space, and also bore the heck out of resumes. You were obviously responsible for something. You had a job. Get to the point and focus on resume keywords.
See “responsible for” and consider this the same kind of resume editing tip. Your resume vocabulary should be strong on focus, and weak on small talk. Hiring managers have very little time to read, so it is best to keep it brief and detailed.
In addition, the phrase “worked on” is too vague. To use an analogy, you can easily say, “I worked on Wall Street”. The reality may be that you mopped up the trading floor.
Employers know how to sniff out people who were simply exposed to a work environment. “Worked on” is in the resume vocabulary of people who hide the details of reality.
This resume editing tip is for the painfully shy, who do not like to brag. Some cultures appreciate and reward this behavior, and it is great to be a humble, team player.
But, the last thing you should do is undersell yourself with this resume vocabulary. Instead of talking about assisting, shift and use the resume vocabulary for those who love collaborating.
You collaborated with a team to succeed. Writing that you assisted a team, makes it sound like you were in charge of ordering pizzas on lunch break.
Adverbs must go
An adverb, by definition, modifies or qualifies a verb, adjective, or group of words. For that reason, they can come across as comical and wasted space on a resume. Make your resume vocabulary about quantifiable verbs, such as “executed”, “operated”, and “coordinated”. No one cares if you did such things softly, gently, unwittingly, intentionally, etc.
Example of how adverbs look funny in a resume vocabulary:
- Good: “Executed user flows & testing for various design solutions”
- Bad: “Safely executed user flows & testing for various design solutions”
Follow this important resume tip and your resume will be stronger, more powerful, and easier to read! If you are interested in a career change or updating your resume vocabulary, check out our executive-level resume service at Find My Profession.