The 5 Most Overused Words in Resume Writing:
“Manage.” Did you know that 92% of resumes include the word “manage”? Sometimes more than once? That is like saying “manage” over and over again. Try that. It begins to sounds like “jmeh, jmeh, jmeh,” doesn’t it?
Using this word also puts you at serious risk of typos, since half the time “manage” leaves your fingertips as “mange.”
Besides, managing isn’t cool any more. Don’t manage, lead. Always lead.
“Lead.” Nope. Vastly overused. Replace with fresher synonyms such as guide, pilot, escort, go in front, or boldly go where no man has gone before.
“Technical.” Ever notice how the word “computerized” sounds painfully quaint? After all, everything is computerized now, from your microwave to that $900 voice-controlled heated jacket your CEO will soon be wearing. Well, in the time it’s taken you to read this far, the word “technical,” along with “technology” and “cloud,” will have become a useless relic.
Anyway, the synonym “methodological” is so much more impressive.
“Tool(s).” Oh come on, do you bring a handyman’s kit to work or what? Use a more appropriate and unique term such as “contrivance” or “contraption.” “Gizmo” is dynamic and vigorous, if a bit informal.
“Of.” That’s right, “of” is one of the most-used words in the English language, so it must be a cliche! And it’s just weird. Of, of, of. It sounds like a grunt.
What kind of resume advice is this?
Of course, everything I’ve written above is tongue-in-cheek, including the 92% figure (did you know 92% of all statistics are made up on the spot?). Well, it’s true that you really do need to watch out for typing “mange.” But go ahead and use these words in your resume.
If I have a serious point here, maybe it’s that reading articles that say “Never use these words” can be paralyzing. Sure, “team player” is trite and doesn’t say a whole lot, and “successfully” is just a claim until you back it up with specifics. But if someone tells you not to use the word “strategic” because lots of other people do – seriously?! Use it anyway.
Yes, do look for fresh ways to communicate your experience and skills. Try out different words and phrases, perhaps even using a thesaurus. Above all, be specific about what you’ve accomplished, offer facts and evidence, and don’t take the easy way out by overloading your resume with adjectives like “motivated” and “results-driven.” Along with avoiding the “shouldn’t haves,” make sure includes the must-haves.
And don’t believe everything you read. Especially around April Fool’s Day.