Resume Rework: Avoid "Empty" Words

by Kristen Pavón

Last month, CareerBuilder.com released Jobology: 153 Ways to Improve your Job Search. The colorful, easy-to-read 20-page guide is full of quick tips on all stages of the job search — resumes, cover letters, tools for job searching, networking, interviewing, following up and what to do once you get a job offer.

Here are a few of the “nice-sounding (but empty) words” they say to avoid in your resume:

  • meticulous
  • motivated
  • detail-oriented
  • flexible
  • independent
  • innovative
  • successful
  • team player
  • people person
  • ambitious
  • creative

I’m guilty of using one or more of these words in my resumes and cover letters — I guess they are pretty overused…

Career Builder suggests using keywords from the job description and nouns rather than action verbs (Ex. “communications specialist” or “computer proficiency” over “managed” or “developed”).

Are you guilty of using these words in your applications? What are some alternatives to the words on this list?

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