Some words will land your resume in the trash before you know it.
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With hiring managers flooded with job candidates on a daily basis, it's critical applicants know what to include — and perhaps more importantly, what not to include — in their resume.
Recent research shows that hiring managers spend less than 10 seconds looking at each resume they receive, meaning job seekers need to make sure every word counts. While employers often talk about what they want to see in a resume — prior accomplishments, experience, etc. — there are a number of things they don't want to see. Overhyping themselves, using meaningless words and boasting experience in software programs most everyone has knowledge of are just some of the things seen on resumes that make hiring managers cringe. Here are the words hiring experts say job seekers should avoid using in their resume if they don't want to risk it being sent straight to the trash.
Job seekers wanting to express how much they know about a subject should avoid referring to themselves as an expert on their resume, said Debra Gioeli, director of recruiting for Sharp Decisions.
"No one person knows everything about one topic," Gioeli said. "Even someone that has been working for decades has something new to learn."
Joey Price, CEO of Jumpstart:HR, said job seekers who include on their resume that they are experienced with Microsoft Office set the bar pretty low for themselves.
"Most HR and line managers expect you to already have familiarity with a software suite that has been around since Al Gore created the Internet," Price said. "Dig deeper and share that you have experience with Visio, Project and Access - more specialized software programs that can really pay off for an employer."
Robert Dagnall, president of Resume Guru, said he advises clients to avoid using words like "results-oriented" or "dynamic" because they are meaningless without anything to back them up.
"By themselves, these words don't prove anything," Dagnall said. "Proof of performance — ideally with specific examples and numbers — is the best measure of the value a candidate can offer an employer."
Job seekers that that try and boost their image by trying to tell employers about projects they led or helped with should be more forthcoming about what those projects or tasks resulted in, said career management expert Tom Cairns of the Cairns Blaner Group.
"Words like 'responsible for,' 'administered,' 'managed' and 'assisted' just tell the reader what you did," Cairns said. "What you want to do is tell the reader what you achieved."
Professional resume writer Dawn Rasmussen, of Pathfinder Writing and Career Services, said hiring managers hate seeing resumes that say references are available if needed.
"Don't include "References Available Upon Request" — those words are a turnoff because if the employer asks for references, you are going to give them to the employer," Rasmussen said. "The answer is obvious, so you don't need to state that."
Lauren Milligan, founder and CEO of ResuMAYDAY, said boilerplate clichés like "hardworking," "experienced," "loyal" and "dependable," should be avoided.
"These are overused words that, on a resume, have lost all meaning," Milligan said. "Employers' eyes simply skip over them, which means those words are a waste of space on a document where every word should have a positive impact."
Former human resources executive and current career coach Bettina Seidman said the words that always turn her off when reading a resume are when applicants say they are a "fast learner."
"Either you have the appropriate experience or you don't," Seidman said.
Hiring managers want to see facts and proof of accomplishment, not see subjective words like "outstanding," "exceptional," "highly skilled," "excellent," "top notch" and "creative," said J.T. O'Donnell, founder and CEO of Careerealism.
"Any subjective text is like nails on a chalkboard to recruiters," O'Donnell said. " I advise all those job seekers out there who lead their resumes with an opening paragraph filled with opinion of themselves to eliminate it entirely."
Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.