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At the executive level, you know a lot is expected of you on the job. But those high expectations actually begin at the application process. From the moment you submit your application and executive resume, employers are checking you out to make sure you’re suited for this level. So, if you want to avoid instant rejection, it’s best to sidestep the following phrases that could make a resume look elementary.


Phrases That Scream 'Underqualified' On Your Executive Resume

“Excellent Organizational Skills”

Most employers expect you to be somewhat organized as a professional. Either that or you have had an assistant for years who handled organizational needs for you. This phrase is usually used at the lower professional levels, but, even then, it is broad and doesn’t explain much. At your level, there is no need to use this phrase. Instead, get to the meat of what you’ve organized—and be specific.

“Team Player”

At this stage in your career, you should have evolved beyond being a team player and become a team leader. Even then, it’s not necessary to use the words, “I’m an excellent team leader." Your excellence is better defined by your specific accomplishments as a leader. So, rather than saying you’re a leader, give examples of your key initiatives and how your leadership helped the company excel.

“Managed [X] Employees”

Again, you’re speaking in vague terms when it’s time to be specific. However, you may be wondering how listing the number of employees you managed is vague. It’s vague because you did not say what it meant to manage X employees. How did you manage them? What did they accomplish under your leadership? How did your management of these employees affect the job as a whole? Without these specifics, you’ve told the employer nothing about how you can really help them.

“Exceeded Expectations”

Here’s another phrase that is better assumed than said. Employers expect you to exceed expectations as an executive, so there’s never a need to tell them this is something you do. Again, your job is to get right to the point by providing examples of how you’ve exceeded expectations throughout your entire career; so get right to it—and be specific. When writing an executive resume, it’s good to avoid phrases that are too vague or say only what you’re capable of accomplishing rather than provide the specifics of your accomplishments. By sidestepping these phrases, you’ll find yourself being taken seriously by employers and improving your chances of being called in for the interviewing phase. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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