Word to leave off your resume
May 4, 2010, 10:59am PDT | Length: 00:02:42
Some words, though helpful in day-to-day communications, are completely meaningless when used in your resume. Find out what those words are.
Toni Bowers: Some words you use on a daily basis could seem different if put on your resume. Some will be rendered meaningless while others may do more harm than good. Here's a list.
1. Awesome, amazing, phenomenal, cool, spectacular, etc. (I would personally like to see the word amazing purged from the vernacular. It's used to describe everything from a person to a great experience to a cup of coffee. It's time to let it go.)
Not only do words like those make you sound like a teenage girl, they're subjective, meaning that they're your interpretation of an IT project or skill. Unless the interviewer can see that for himself, it's not really going to mean much to him anyway.
2. Liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican, monotheistic, polytheistic, atheist, etc. I'm not telling you to deny your views or beliefs, but the resume is not the place to state them. When people are vetting resumes, they're not above throwing out those that represent people with beliefs different from theirs.
3. Healthy, chronically ill, diabetic, or any mention of a physical condition at all. This kind of information is illegal for prospective employers to ask about, so why volunteer it?
4. Assist, Contribute, and Support. There is not a hiring manager alive who would be able to discern from your resume exactly what you mean when you say you "supported" an initiative or "contributed" to a project.
Contributing to a project could mean anything from writing the project plan to just opening the door for a project manager when his hands were full with a box of donuts. If you use these words, follow up with your specific responsibilities.
And last, the word "Successfully." Do I have to tell you how many interpretations there are for this word? When you say you "successfully" completed a tech implementation, do you mean you came in at budget in the time allotted with few post-implementation issues?
Or maybe your idea of successful was that you got through the project in your lifetime without killing any of your co-workers in the process. Be specific about success, and use metrics to qualify it.