The Words You Should Remove From Your Résumé

Katie Sweeney

When job searching, don't overlook the importance of the résumé. Sure, your cover letter, LinkedIn profile, and perhaps even Facebook page are significant tools to enhance your credibility, but the résumé is the most crucial tool. It’s your career thus far, packed into one page. While there are countless articles about what should and should not go on your résumé, a recent Forbes piece highlighting three overused résumé phrases (that everyone still insists on using) resonated with us. Here they are—the fluffy descriptions that you should immediately remove from your résumé.

Big-picture thinker or outside-the-box thinker: Forbes believes this phrase “doesn’t feel very special,” and says you're better off listing the times when your outside-the-box idea enhanced the outcome of a project.

Thought leader or inspirational leader: Forbes points out that being a good leader isn’t something people can say of themselves: “The thing about being a leader is that it isn’t really something you can just bestow upon yourself—other people have to vouch for you and, you know, follow you.” This is a valid point that is worth remembering. 

Innovative or visionary: Like the word passionate, innovative and visionary are completely overused. “Calling yourself a visionary or describing your work as innovative just doesn’t leave an impression, and frankly, isn’t that believable,” Forbes says.  

For more tips on perfecting your résumé, check out Knock 'Em Dead: The Ultimate Job Search Guide by Martin Yate.

Hiring managers, what words are you sick of seeing on résumés?

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