Good and Bad Resume Terms to Look For

Julie Shenkman
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Writing a resume can be a difficult and time consuming task, especially if you have a lot of experience to include on it. When writing a resume, it's important to include terms that would sound appealing to the employer. On the other hand, some terms should be avoided as they might give the wrong impression. By revising a resume from cliché to impressive writing, chances of a call for an interview increase significantly.

As companies receive hundreds of resumes, one of the ways to get noticed is by writing a resume outside of the standard vocabulary. Most of the resumes include terms such as "best of breed," "go-getter," "think outside of the box," "synergy" and "go-to person." These resume terms have become clichés of resume writing, and by using these terms an applicant is demonstrating no creativity. An applicant should focus on the terms that specifically define qualifications and skills offered. It's best that the terms above are avoided and replaced by the terms that present the applicant in a more positive light.

Some terms that should be included in a resume are "achieved," "improved," "trained," "mentored," "volunteered," "managed," "created" and "volunteered." These terms speak of the applicant's experience, accomplishments, creativity and organizational skills. However, if an applicant simply uses these terms without any further explanation, these suggested resume terms don't make a difference. It's important in writing a resume to give as many details as possible about these experiences in order to give the potential employer an idea of the level of the applicant's experience. If a jobseeker provides the employer with details, that applicant gives the potential employer a better impression and makes them curious to find out more.

Besides using appropriate terms that demonstrate the applicant's experience, it's also important to pay attention to how the rest of the resume is written. There should be a logical flow starting from the most recent experience, including details about the most valuable achievements, acquired skills and qualifications. The language should be precise and objective, and it shouldn't contain any filler. An employer should have a clear idea about how this applicant can contribute to the company. It's always a good idea to do research about the potential employer in order to gain insight about its requirements, values and beliefs. A resume should reflect the potential employer's culture and what it expects from its employees.

To give a good impression, a resume should be impressive, original and appropriate. Writing a resume while considering the employer's requirements is already one step up from standard resume writing. A resume can be easily lost among all other similar sounding applicants. Writing a resume with more descriptive terms makes an applicant stand out. As a result, a potential employer is more at ease to schedule an interview.

(Photo courtesy of phaseinphoto at



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