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Avoid These 8 Terms on Your Resume

You never get another opportunity to make a first impression. How many times have we all heard that? And considering your resume acts as your first impression to potential employers, you must present yourself the way you would want when first meeting someone. On average, corporations receive 250 resumes per job opening, with only 4-6 candidates getting the go-ahead to interview.

A first impression (your resume) could mean everything. So, which terms or phrases should you avoid including in your resume?

Hard Worker

Saying you’re a hard worker means nothing. Proving you’re a hard worker means everything. Give specific job responsibilities or examples that showcase how hard you work. Being a hard worker is something that should just be implied. If you aren’t a hard worker, why would anyone want to hire you?

Speaking of things that should be implied…

Microsoft Office

This skill is a given. However, if you do not have experience with Microsoft Office, it’s the 21st century, so get up to speed before applying for any job.

I, He, She

Write a resume in action form, stating what you did, making sure this is not done in the first or third person. For example, instead of saying I, he, she launched 4 products to market, simply write, launched 4 products to market. Writing in the first or third person makes it sound like someone wrote the resume for you.


Every employee should want to see results, so using a term like this is a waste of space. Instead, explain what results you’ve achieved. Sticking with the previous example about bringing products to launch, state the outcome of that. Numbers speak volumes. Use those as often as possible when explaining the results you’ve accomplished.

References Available Upon Request

Don’t write your resume underestimating the person reading it. If a Hiring Manager wants to reach a reference of yours, they will ask. Save space by including something more impactful for whoever’s eyes land on your resume.


If you’re someone applying for the role of an actual rockstar, meaning Jimi Hendrix himself, then it makes sense to use this term. If not, scrap it. The term is used quite a bit in the business world, which can dilute its meaning. In general, catchy terms don’t belong on a resume.

Speaking of catchy terms…


If you are trying to communicate how innovative you are or how hard you work to succeed, say that, and give examples of when you took charge of a project or stepped up during your career.

Team Player

If you aren’t someone who others want to work with, who is going to hire you? If you want to communicate how well you work with others, talk about examples of mentoring or collaborating.

Action words are what make a resume. They are easy to understand and are a compelling way of writing. Use action verbs when describing your skills, responsibilities, and achievements. Some examples of resume-worthy action verbs are as follows:

  • Negotiate
  • Advocate
  • Establish
  • Earn
  • Navigate
  • Manage
  • Coordinate
  • Instruct
  • Facilitate
  • Launch

When including action verbs, have them lead off a bullet point in any list. For example, instead of writing:

  • In charge of forecasting monthly and yearly sales revenue

Change it to:

  • Forecasted monthly and yearly sales revenue

How many times have you submitted a resume for a job? From there, how many interviews did you get? When did your resume hit, and when did it fall flat? Start the conversation on LinkedIn and check out Do You Know When to Turn Down a Job Offer?