Does your résumé make this fatal error?
Your résumé is one of your key career marketing tools. It can definitely help you get the interview provided that it’s written effectively.
Unfortunately, most aren’t.
There are many things to consider when creating a standout résumé, cover letter, and LInkedin profile.
One of these things is eliminating words and phrases that don’t add any value and take up valuable space that could be used for something more compelling.
I find résumés are chock full of over-used and often cliché terminology like experienced, results-driven, goal-oriented, passionate, dynamic, self-starter, flexible (to name a few), without providing any actual evidence that supports any of these claims.
By not giving any examples that demonstrate why you are what you claim to be, the words end up being totally meaningless and don’t generate any interest from the reader.
If you want to stand out from the hundreds of other equally qualified candidates and get recruiters and hiring managers to take notice, you need a résumé, cover letter, and Linkedin profile that are clear, to the point, and provide some examples of why you are what you say you are.
This means, you’ll probably have to do a lot of editing OUT of fluff and filler words and phrases and then add in strong impact statements that clearly show your specific and unique value that goes way beyond just making lofty claims.
Now, about those adjectives…..
It’s okay to use adjectives but only if it’s done sparingly and strategically otherwise you’re taking up too much space and you could be perceived as too boastful.
For instance, saying you are a detail-oriented administrative assistant means nothing. You’ve given no proof. You need to explain (briefly) why you detail-oriented.
Truth is, adjectives might make something sound really impressive, but they’re just empty promises when you don’t give any proof.
They don’t tell me anything specific about YOU as a person and why you are different and/or better than the hundreds of other qualified candidates.
If you’re going to use adjectives, you better be prepared to explain WHY.
SHOW ME – don’t tell me.
Provide specific, and verifiable reasons that demonstrate your detail-oriented nature…..or whatever embellishments you are using.
Are you guilty of using these words and phrases?
Beyond adjectives, be careful of what terminology (words, phrases) you use in your résumé. Many of them are cliché and overused.
If you use terms like excellent communicator, team player, passionate, driven, and hard-working, you better show why you are all those things.
Stating what would be considered to be bare minimum requirements (like dependable, hardworking, honest) and what any good candidate should possess, is just stating the obvious – so you’re just taking up valuable space by including them.
Other words I see a lot and that don’t add value are successful and success.
It’s great YOU think you are successful and a success, but how did you contribute that made you successful or a success? Where did you do that? For how long?
Ditto for demonstrated excellence and proven ability. What do you mean by those terms? Without providing any evidence, these are just empty promises.
Key things to keep in mind
Before you use specific words and phrases, you first need to determine a few things:
Where did you demonstrate the qualities that you’re highlighting?
Are they relevant to the position you are applying for?
Are you focusing on your strongest attributes that distinguish you from others and that would benefit the employer?
Remember – SHOW ME, don’t just tell me.
Show what your impact was
The best way to demonstrate your value is to create short and clear impact statements that describe the kind of positive effect your actions had on your employers and stakeholders.
In other words, how did they benefit from your contributions? That’s your value.
For instance, you could state that you “generated $X in new business over X months by…….. (you fill in the details about how you achieved that).
Or maybe you don’t have specific metrics, but you delivered positive results by increasing customer engagement or employee retention.
The point here is to avoid making blanket and vague statements that offer no supporting detail. You need to offer evidence of the contributions you made that resulted in tangible benefits.
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The scary fact is, only about 2% to 3% of résumés actually result in interviews. To boost your chances, you need a résumé that has a higher rate of converting into interviews. Click on the button below and get started on creating a higher-converting résumé.
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Hi! I’m Diana.
I draw from over 15 years recruitment, career/job search coaching, and sales/marketing experience to help all kinds of jobseekers stand out, get noticed, and get hired for their dream job.
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