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6 Words to Remove from Your Resume

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resume in the trash

Summary: When a resume only gets looked at for a few short seconds, you need to ensure that the words you use are powerful verbs that set your accomplishments and achievements out from the rest.

A resume is still a fundamental and required part of turning in an application. Even though you are asked to turn in several additional materials, a resume is one of those that they expect to see. A hiring manger skims resumes quickly looking for key words in the main parts of your resume like the job title, company, and the beginning of each bullet. If they skim your resume and get the feeling that they just read it because you used the same boring words as other applicants, then your resume will be thrown out. Make sure that the first word of each bullet is a word that grabs attention.

There are six overused and cliché words that you should never use on your resume if you want the job.

  1. Utilized – The word “use” works just as well as this flowery word that describes the same thing.
  2. Assisted – Don’t be too humble when listing your achievements that you actually “collaborated” or “contributed to”. Take the credit if it is earned.
  3. Responsible for – Use active and specific verbs instead of this boring word that doesn’t allow you to accurately list your accomplishments. “Proposed and implemented” sounds a lot better.
  4. Worked – In order to paint a picture in the mind of the reader, using the word “worked” won’t cut it. Try “calculated”, “facilitated”, “launched”, or “reduced” to get more precise in your efforts.
  5. Objective – Using this word as a subheading is old-fashioned and bland. It is okay for it to be used as a bullet but if you want to have an explanation section then write a summary statement.
  6. Ly – Adverbs are superfluous and a waste of space when you are trying to be precise and to the point. A powerful verb will make a much bigger impact on the reader.

Read “What Not to Put on Your Resume” for more guidelines on what to avoid doing on your resume.


6 Words to Remove from Your Resume by
Authored by: Amanda Griffin