50 Worst Resumé Clichés

Resume ClichesUS News and World Report published the 50 most overused phrases job seekers include in their resumés.  Trying to avoid them all seems like a difficult challenge.  However, if you succeed in avoiding them all, your resumé will be undeniably different and that is exactly what catches the eye of the recruiter!  Make the jump to see the full list:

1. Team player

2. Detailed-oriented

3. Proven track record of success

4. Experienced

5. Excellent communication skills

6. Leadership skills

7. Go-to person

8. Managed cross-functional teams

9. Exceptional organizational skills

10. Self-starter

11. Results-oriented professional

12. Bottom-line orientated

13. Works well with customers

14. Strong negotiation skills

15. Goal-oriented

16. People-person

17. Dynamic

18. Innovative

19. Proven ability

20. Top-flight

21. Motivated

22. Bottom-line focused

23. Responsible for

24. Assisted with

25. Skilled problem solver

26. Accustomed to fast-paced environments

27. Strong work ethic

28. Works well with all levels of staff

29. Met (or exceeded) expectations

30. Savvy business professional

31. Strong presentation skills

32. Looking for a challenging opportunity

33. Cutting-edge

34. Multi-tasker

35. Proactive

36. Seasoned professional

37. Perfectionist

38. Highly skilled

39. Functioned as

40. Duties included

41. Actions encompassed

42. Best-in-class

43. Strategic thinker

44. Trustworthy

45. Flexible

46. Works well under pressure

47. Quick learner

48. Partnered with others

49. Results-focused

50. Out-of-the-box thinker

8 Responses to “50 Worst Resumé Clichés”

  1. These 50 special phrases have special meanings just like diamonds mounted on the ring, can be used the different phrases which are giving the same or better meaning but if you mount cz stone in spite of diamond then it is not diamond ring , it is called fake diamonds ring and resume will not be impressive which catches the eyes of the employers.

    • This article is a very good one for students to use when updating their resumes. It helped me a lot because it is good to use your own descriptions of your work experience instead of these cliches. If you were to use one I would suggest to explain why you used them to describe yourself. For example, if you say you are detail-oriented, which many people use, you should explain what you have done in detail to make you detail-oriented. You need to elaborate more on this to make your resume more unique. This is one tip I learned from my instructor when I redid my resume and would like to pass it on to future students.

    • Vicki Derosia

      I wonder if when the US News and World Report published this if they actually talked to employers to see what they wanted to know about perspective employees. Most employers look for most of these words such as; Team player, Excellent communication skills, or detailed-oriented. I have been the employer looking through résumés and I looked for a lot of these key factors in a new hire. Now I am putting a lot of them in my own résumé, they are over used but are also much desired. Anyone that can put these on their résumé honestly, should be proud they have the experience and qualities wanted by employers.

  2. Alisha Godwin

    When you are building your resume, wording everything correctly is the key. Even if you have only worked at a fast food place and you are applying for a job in the medical field, there are still many skills you acquired there. That is what the employer is looking for; for you to find a way to catch their attention, sound unique, and sound professional no matter where you may have worked previously.

  3. I found this blog interesting I’m always looking for ways to have my resume stand out; I dread having to re-create my resume with each job. In the past all of these so called “cliche” descriptions of oneself were acceptable. I wish the article said something about catch phrases that will appeal to a employer. So far I believe at least 5 or more of the catch phrases are on my current resume. I guess it’s time for me to re-vamp yet again.

  4. Shirley Coleman

    After reading this list, I am now totally confused on writing or composing a resume. We have been taught to use these phrases and now you say they are the worst. Why dress it up anyway. Why not tell them you believe you can do the job and do your best. What else do they need to know? Whatever happen to filling out an application and be done?

  5. Elizabeth DeNault

    Hmmm. …. I wish I would have read this article before I submitted my resume to a couple of places. Coming up with a resume I found to be rather difficult and after reading this article I will be taking the time to make quite a few revisions, I will definitely take my time to come up with some other words and phrases that are not so commonly used but will still be professional sounding. I really would like my resume to stand out from the piles of resumes I’m sure employers receive. It’s amazing the number of these phrases that I used on my own resume.

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