You may think your resume is already tip top, but put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter, who looks at hundreds of resumes every day. To them, most look and sound exactly like all the other nondescript resumes in their pile.
If you’re using the same tired phrases as everyone else, you’re not as exciting — or as hireable — as you thought you were.
A recruiter spends an average of six to 10 seconds per resume. Do you really want to waste even one of those precious milliseconds with a single word that doesn’t add to your credibility?
Nix these seven clichés from your resume, and you’ll be well on your way to grabbing the recruiter’s attention — and staying out of the “no thanks” pile, once and for all.
1. Replace Qualitative with QuantitativeYour resume will read like a work of fiction when you use cliché phrases like “seasoned manager” or “influential leader” without an accompanying explanation.
Drop the qualitative description and add years of experience, job-specific technical skills and quantifiable achievements instead. Better yet, add graphs and other visuals to show what you’ve accomplished in previous jobs.
Not many applicants use visuals, but these graphics do more than add aesthetic appeal to your resume — visuals can add an air of credibility to your claims, which helps the recruiter believe you.
2. Cut out “Creative”“Creative” might seem like the perfect word to describe your unique personality. Unfortunately, thousands of other applicants think the same thing; “creative” was the top buzzword for two years in LinkedIn’s annual survey of clichés.
Recruiters have seen this word so much they will completely gloss over whatever comes next.
Instead of telling the recruiter you’re creative, show them evidence of your creativity. Write a compelling cover letter or create a video resume to narrate the highlights of your career. Add interesting (nice-to-know, but not-so-personal) tidbits about yourself, and you’ll have a show-stopping resume and cover letter in one neat little package.
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