25 annoying things on your Resume that make hiring managers cringe

While many large companies use automated Resume screener software to cut down the initial pool of job applicants, loading your Resume with meaningless buzzwords is not the smartest way to get noticed.

25 annoying things on your Resume that make hiring managers cringe

Get daily updates directly to your inbox

While many large companies use automated Resume screener software to cut down the initial pool of job applicants, loading your Resume with meaningless buzzwords is not the smartest way to get noticed.

"Nearly everyone is guilty of using buzzwords from time to time, but professionals are evaluated increasingly on their ability to communicate," says Paul McDonald, senior executive director for professional placement firm Robert Half. 

"Avoiding overused terms can help job seekers convey their message and stand out from the crowd," McDonald says. 

Does Your CV or Resume Pass the 30-Second Test? Get More Interviews, Guaranteed. Top Resume Writing Services

Heres what you should avoid:

#1. Best of breed

When CareerBuilder surveyed more than 2,200 hiring managers last year, it found "best of breed" to be the most irritating term to be seen on a RESUME.

"Anyone can say they are best of breed, a go-getter, a hard worker, or a strategic thinker," Lorenz says. "Employers want to know what makes the job seekers unique, and how they will add value to the specific organization for which theyre applying."

#2. Phone

Career coach Eli Amdur tells Business Insider there is no reason to put the word "phone" in front of the actual number.

"Its pretty silly. They know its your phone number." The same rule applies to email.

#3. Results-driven

"Instead of simply saying that youre results-driven, write about what you did to actually drive results — and what those results were," Lorenz suggests.

#4. Responsible for

Superfluous words like "responsible for," "oversight of," and "duties included," unnecessarily complicate and hide your experience says Alyssa Gelbard, founder and president of Résumé Strategists.

"Be direct, concise, and use active verbs to describe your accomplishments," she suggests. Instead of writing, "Responsible for training interns ...," simply write, "Train interns ..."

#5. Highly qualified

McDonald saying using terms like "highly qualified" or "extensive experience" wont make you seem better-suited for the job — in fact, it could have the opposite effect. Instead, he suggests you focus on the skills, accomplishments, and credentials you bring to the role.

#6. Seasoned

"Not only does this word conjure up images of curly fries," says Rita Friedman, a Philadelphia-based career coach, "it is well-recognized as a code word for much, much older."

#7. References available by request

This outdated phrase will unnecessarily show your age, Gelbard says. "If you progress through the interviewing process, you will be asked for personal and professional references."

#8. NYSE

Vicky Oliver, author of "Power Sales Words" and "301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions," says you should spell out any acronyms first and put the initials in parentheses. For example, "NYSE" would read "New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)."

"For starters, acronyms are capitalized, and all caps are harder to read than upper and lower case," she explains. "Its also really difficult to wade through a piece of paper that resembles alphabet soup."

#9. Team player

"Who doesnt want to be a team player? If youre not a team player, youre probably not going to get the job," McDonald says. 

But using this term isnt going to make you stand out from other candidates. "Instead, use an example of how you saved a company time, money, and resources on a team project or in collaboration with others."

#10. Ambitious

"Of course you would never say youre lazy either, but calling yourself ambitious doesnt make any sense on a resume," Friedman says.

"It can imply that youre targeting this job now, but will quickly be looking to move up in the company because you wont be satisfied in the role, leaving the employer stuck with doing a new job search in the very near future."

#11. Microsoft Word

Yeah, you and everyone else.

Its assumed that you have a basic proficiency in Microsoft Office, Gelbard says. Unless you have expert proficiency, theres no need to include it on your RESUME.

#12. Interfaced

"Words like this make you sound like an automaton," Oliver says. "Most recruiters would rather meet with a human being. Keep your verbs simple and streamlined."

#13. Hard worker

Its true that a company is less likely to consider you if you havent worked hard or dont come across as someone who will put in what it takes to get the job done, but that doesnt mean writing "hard worker" will convince hiring managers of your efforts.

"Give concrete examples of how you’ve gone the extra mile, rather than using a non-memorable cliché," McDonald suggests.

#14. Honest

Honesty is one of those things you have to show, not tell, Friedman says.

"Its not as if there are some other candidates out there vying for the job who are describing themselves as duplicitous or dishonest."

#15. Punctual

Being punctual is great, but its also pretty basic to holding down a job. Dont waste the space on your RESUME.

#16. @

Unless its in your email address, avoid casual texting language like @.

"A resume is a formal document and is often the first impression a potential employer has of you," Gelbard stresses. "Business language should be used to reinforce that first impression and text-style or casual words should be avoided."

#17. People person

Clichés like "people person" are impossible to prove, Oliver says, and recruiters have heard these phrases so many times theyre likely to feel their eyes glaze over as soon as they see them.

#18. Hit the ground running

"This one is a pet peeve of mine," McDonald says. "The expression is unnecessary and doesnt add value. A recruiter isnt going to be able to place you if youre not eager to start the job and you arent committed."

#19. I

Avoid using personal pronouns like I, me, my, we, or our, Gelbard says.

"A person reviewing your RESUME knows that youre talking about your skills, experience, and expertise or something related to the company for which you worked, so you dont need to include pronouns."

#20. My objective ...

And while youre at it, dont bother including your career objectives. All they do is send the message that youre more concerned about yourself, writes career and workplace expert J.T. ODonnell.

"When the first thing a recruiter sees on your résumé is what you want from them, theyre turned off," TopResume.com job search expert Amanda Augustine tells ODonnell. 

#20. Successfully

"Its generally assumed that you were successful at whatever you are including on your RESUME," Gelbard says. "There is no need to say that you successfully managed a marketing campaign or successfully led annual budget planning."

#22. Innovative

Subjective words like "creative," "innovative," and "exceptional," are your own opinion and have very little bearing for a recruiter, ODonnell writes. Even worse, these words make you sound cocky.

Augustine tells ODonnell that a good test is to ask yourself if youd say these things when speaking face to face with a recruiter.

#23. Extracurricular activities

Unless these activities are in some way related to the job youre applying for, no one really cares what you do in your spare time when theyre skimming your RESUME.

#24. Address

Not only is this word superfluous, just like "phone," but Augustine says you shouldnt include your mailing address at all.

"Nobody needs to have that on their RESUME anymore," she says. 

"And to be quite honest, its a security concern. Its more about identity theft than anything else," Augustine says.

Another reason not to include your mailing address: You dont want hiring managers trying to contact you in five different places — that just makes more for you to keep track of.

#25. All your grades, ever

Once youre out of school, your grades arent so relevant. (If youre a recent graduate or just finished school then you may want to include them, depending on the job).

But, if youre more than three years out of school, no-one needs to know all your GCSE results.


Does Your CV or Resume Pass the 30-Second Test? Get More Interviews, Guaranteed. Top Resume Writing Services


Rate this blog entry:

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to our top stories.


Report this post

Add blog

What do you think ? Comment below

Jay Lartey on Friday, 18 November 2016 17:16

This is really good to know, i think ill go edit my resume now

This is really good to know, i think ill go edit my resume now

Comments 1

Pure Jobs Blogger
Already Registered? Login Here
Tuesday, 23 July 2024
9 Cheap Ways To Network In A New City
4 Ways To Access The Hidden Job Market

Popular on Pure Jobs

Most popular

It is commonly thought that first impressions in business are the impressions provided by employe...
Sarah Ellis
06 July 2017
Making a little bit of extra money from home need not be difficult. There are plenty of ways to e...
Sarah Ellis
13 June 2017
How does your resume score?
How does your resume score? See how your resume stacks up. Submit now.

Career news, advice and insights -Purejobs


How Long Have You Been Job Searching?


Subscribe To Us And Stay Updated with the latest career advice on pure-jobs.com.

Related post

Follow us:

Advertise with us

Would you like to advertise here? Place your banner or link here.

Subscribe to updates from our blog


However, by continuing to use the site without changing settings, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.