Top 10 Words to Avoid Using in Your Resume

The words that you use in your resume can make a big difference in the impression you give to recruiters and hiring managers. At AmTrust, our recruiters see lots of resumes, and one thing a lot of the bad ones have in common is an over reliance on words that have a negative connotation or that simply don't carry much meaning.

Tighten up your language to help make a bigger splash by steering clear of the following top 10 words not to use in a resume.


1. "Can't"

Putting together a resume is all about showcasing your skills and experience. There shouldn't be any instances where you'd need to use negative statements that include the word "can't." Only include what you can do.


2. "Hardworking"

Writing "hardworking" on your resume doesn't do much to convince a potential employer that you are, in fact, hardworking. Once you've been hired for a position, then it will be time to prove how hardworking you really are.


3. "Expert"

Try to stay away from using the word "expert" to describe yourself, especially if you aren't truly an expert in something. Noting your real qualifications, such as degrees, diplomas or certifications, is a much better idea.


4. "Accomplished"

"Accomplished" is an empty word that doesn't denote much unless it's backed up by real, documented experience. Instead of saying that you're accomplished, write down what you have accomplished and let it speak for itself.


5. "Rock star"

Though it can be tempting to get creative with your listed resume skills, words and phrases such as "rock star" sound unprofessional and don't exactly represent any real skills or experience. Unless you're the star of a rock band, it's better to refrain from referring to yourself as one.


6. "Punctual"

Just like being hardworking, it should be a given that you would be punctual if hired for the position you are seeking. Your resume should be about noting what makes you unique and exceptional instead.


7. "Unemployed"

There's no need to draw attention to a period of unemployment, even if you were gaining relevant experience during that time. Your work and experience history is what matters.


8. "Dabbled"

Don't use "dabbled" or similar phrases such as "touched on" or "experimented with" in relation to a job function, piece of software or technology process. You either have experience using it, or you don't. Only write it down if you're truly proficient.


9. "Results-driven"

"Results-driven" is another empty phrase that doesn't convey much about your skills and talents. Instead of using it, try thinking about what you can say to show how you've driven results before.


10. "Successfully"

There should be no need to include the word "successfully" before writing down something you've accomplished. It goes without saying (at least, it should) that you would not include unsuccessful ventures on your resume.

By knowing what words generally not to use in a resume, you'll have a better shot at impressing hiring managers and recruiters. Look over your resume for the words listed here and other negative or hollow words and phrases. A little bit of editing can go a long way, as you'll be forced to show examples of your qualifications and accomplishments instead of relying on buzzwords. In the end, you can be better able to stand out from the crowd and get one step closer to landing that coveted job. Good luck!

This material is for informational purposes only and is not legal or business advice. Neither AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates represents or warrants that the information contained herein is appropriate or suitable for any specific business or legal purpose. Readers seeking resolution of specific questions should consult their business and/or legal advisors.
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