Kill those boring phrases in your resume!

By highonlife

The 2009 job market is very different from job markets of the past. If you haven't job-hunted in a while, the changes in the landscape can throw you for a loop.
One of the biggest changes is the shift in what constitutes a strong resume. Years ago, we could dig into the Resume Boilerplate grab-bag and pull out a phrase to fill out a sentence or bullet point on our resume. Everybody used the same boilerplate phrases, so we knew we couldn't go wrong choosing one of them -- or many -- to throw into your resume.

Things have changed. Stodgy boilerplate phrases in your resume today mark you as uncreative and "vocabulary challenged." You can make your resume more compelling and human-sounding by rooting out and replacing the boring corporate-speak phrases that litter it, and replacing them with human language -- things that people like you or I would actually say.

Here are the worst 10 boilerplate phrases -- the ones to seek out and destroy in your resume as soon as possible:

Results-oriented professional
Cross-functional teams
More than [x] years of progressively responsible experience
Superior (or excellent) communication skills
Strong work ethic
Met or exceeded expectations
Proven track record of success
Works well with all levels of staff
Team player
Bottom-line orientation
You can do better. What about adding a human voice to your resume? Here's an example:

"I'm a Marketing Researcher who's driven by curiosity about why people buy what they do. At XYZ Industries, I used consumer surveys and online-forum analysis to uncover the reasons why consumers chose our competitors over us; our sales grew twenty percent over the next six months as a result. I'm equally at home on sales calls or analyzing data in seclusion, and up to speed on traditional and new-millennium research tools and approaches. I'm fanatical about understanding our marketplace better every day, week and month -- and have helped my employers' brands grow dramatically as a result."

You don't have to write resumes that sound like robots wrote them. A human-voiced resume is the new black -- try it!

Liz Ryan is a 25-year HR veteran, former Fortune 500 VP and an internationally recognized expert on careers and the new millennium workplace. Contact Liz at liz@asklizryan.com or join the Ask Liz Ryan online community at www.asklizryan/group.
The opinions expressed in this column are solely the author's.

By highonlife• 13 years 1 month ago.
highonlife

i agree. i threw out of balance when i read such a perfectly crafted resume, just to find out that it was someone elses! great point, thanks.

By gtim• 13 years 1 month ago.
gtim

yeah... great article, Bayt.com has sent me that also.

By anonymous• 13 years 1 month ago.
anonymous

ýes i agree,

By shoeaddict• 13 years 1 month ago.
shoeaddict

have you ever been doubtful of a person's CV?

if it too perfect means he is hiding something.

By highonlife• 13 years 1 month ago.
highonlife

My ex-colleague actually stole someone else's resume and passed it off as hers. She even got the job, but needless to say she had to throw her job outta the window, 'when the truth came to light'!

embarrassing- not just for the person, but even you who's a friend!

By highonlife• 13 years 1 month ago.
highonlife

and thats when i realised, that people actually READ every word on your resume..atleast some people do. and there's no chance you want to take. So, now as an added measure I have cut out the word 'honour' right outta my CV.

By wonderingearthlinginqatar• 13 years 1 month ago.
wonderingearthlinginqatar

Did you? Really?

Hey cool!

I'd find it very intersting and challenging and would get you on a short-list really!

Glitterfy.com - Glitter Graphics

By Formatted Soul• 13 years 1 month ago.
Formatted Soul

An impressive CV will do magic... but you should really know what is written on the CV and not a copy paste stuff..

Spellin mistakes...wrong dates etc are all a Big NO...thats shows how careless the person is...

By highonlife• 13 years 1 month ago.
highonlife

hey by the way, i think you need real luck to get hired as MD did, cos when i applied for my first job here in Doha, i think the boss rejected my application in his head before he even got through to the end of the CV.

I had spelt 'honour' as 'honur'!! so much for typing skills:)

By highonlife• 13 years 1 month ago.
highonlife

thats right, almost always the printed versions of the copy make it through to the big bosses which is why it's so important that we make an impression. it's much easier to spot mistakes while you're reading something out of paper than it is to read it on a computer screen. in fact i think writing a little bit more to enhance your CV shouldnt do harm at all, if done correctly...

By Victory_278692• 13 years 1 month ago.
Victory_278692

HR managers. To clear initial stage is to get short listed first. Strong CV's provide weightage.

Obviously, final selection, interviews and appointment rest with 'Boss'....

I agree with MD to get the BEST is not possible in Qatar, we have to compromise with quality and standards.

Y the hell, BEST will stay in Qatar (pun intended)

Peace

By Formatted Soul• 13 years 1 month ago.
Formatted Soul

How many big bosses listen to them? Probably the HR people listen to them and what happens is they short list and only the very good ones reaches to the decesion Maker.... most of them receive it by hard copy...

I dont think its very practical...

By highonlife• 13 years 1 month ago.
highonlife

thanks for sharing your views guys! an assortment of opinions, i can see...and i guess all of us are correct in a way. we could do away witht he usual phrases no doubt but if we try getting too informal, we'll just land on our face for sure!

By highonlife• 13 years 1 month ago.
highonlife

but we could try the informal tone a little bit while explaining the job profile. it might just help you write better. in fact i think it might be a good idea to write all we want first, and then eliminate what we think is unnecessary ! that way, we get in what we want in the CV, and it's also precise! ....

By highonlife• 13 years 1 month ago.
highonlife

that's great MagicDragon!...

See, i told you, we dont need any experts to tell us what to do! we're only as good as we want us to be!

By GodFather.• 13 years 1 month ago.
GodFather.

Good but is it practical.. I mean the whole Idea of using phrases is to shorten the CV. if you are going to list you life experience then I don't think will spend too much time..

Like MD.. wrote ..just get to the point. Short and straight..:)

-----------------

HE WHO DARES WINS

By Arien• 13 years 1 month ago.
Arien

Absolutely right, thanks for sharing

______________________________________________

- Listen to Many...Speak to a Few -

By lusitano• 13 years 1 month ago.
lusitano

Great article, thanks!

Human voice is certainly more appealing and if transpires sincerity, it sure beats the copy paste usual boilerplate phrases!

By anonymous• 13 years 1 month ago.
anonymous

When I applied for a job I replied to an advertisement in the Gulf Times: "If you want the best, you have no choice." I was hired.

By highonlife• 13 years 1 month ago.
highonlife

But i do agree with a couple of things in teh article. we tend to overuse certain words, especially 'the strong work ethics' and 'superior or excellent communications skills'. I guess it's just a matter of how well you know your job and how interested you are in it to write from your heart. We dont need expert advice on that, do we!?

By highonlife• 13 years 1 month ago.
highonlife

that's what crossed my mind when i first read it! we tend to believe whatever the so-called experts say...

thanks for pointing that out!

By Victory_278692• 13 years 1 month ago.
Victory_278692

interesting article!

personal views...through these phrases, one describe the incumbents potential and strength in their respective fields. A human approach for describing personality appears very informal.

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