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Terms To Avoid On Your Resume

In today''s tough job market you want to stand out.  Your resume is often the first and only impression an HR professional may get, so you pack it full of adjectives and catch phrases you think they want to see - right? 

Think again.

According to the Wall Street Journal Digital Network, the stand-by descriptors "motivated," "team player," and "innovative" are some of the most over used terms in LinkedIn profiles.  Not exactly a way to make you stand out from the throng of other job seekers on the market.

The simple fact is that some adjectives give the wrong impression.  You may write "extensive experience" thinking the next person to read your resume will take that as knowledgeable and committed but this may trigger thoughts like "old," "set in their ways," or, most importantly in this economy, "expensive."

Then, of course, there are clichés.  You''re a "people person" who is "goal oriented" and has a "strong work ethic."  It sounds like the perfect employee but it looks like every other resume that the hiring professional has read that day.  Instead of using vague descriptions, try to describe specific accomplishments that demonstrate these traits.

There are also cases where a term or phrase simply does not belong in a resume.  A description of your physical characteristics, for example, will not get you an interview.  Your political, spiritual, and other personal views may elicit conscious or subconscious reactions that could harm your chances.

Here are some more terms/phrases to avoid:

Words that make you sound old, expensive, or inflexible
•Seasoned, over 30 years of experience, Jack-of-all-trades, technologically challenged

Words that are hollow descriptors or clichés
•Fantastic, splendid, amazing, phenomenal, awesome, cool, spectacular, team player, innovative, any type of exceptional skills, self-starter, quick learner

Words that are attached to strong emotions
•Hate, love, joy, happiness, despise, abhor, pleasure

Words that describe you physically
•Hot, attractive, bombshell, gorgeous, beautiful, all-natural

Words that describe your political or spiritual views
•Liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican, monotheistic, polytheistic, atheist, agnostic

Words that describe your ailments (which may detract from your job performance)
•Healthy, strong immune system, flu magnet, terminally ill, food allergies

Resume readers want to know specifics related to your expertise and accomplishments and how they''ll affect their bottom line.  So, your resume needs to tell them:
1. What is your skill set and what makes you more valuable than other candidates?
2. What can you do that will make their company money?
3. Did you do anything innovative that made a difference?
4. How did you improve customer relations or repeat patronage?
5. How did you make money by improving productivity or operational efficiency?


Written by Erin Edwards, Casino Careers Recruitment Team Member .  Source material from Yahoo Finances, Wall Street Journal, and Focus.