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Resume Clichés: What To Avoid And Why

Resume Clichés: What To Avoid And Why


Awhile back, a LinkedIn question asked about the ten most common (and least appreciated) resume clichés. Among the candidates were: results driven, detail oriented and team player.

Related: Resume Mistakes: The 5 Worst Resume Sins

When I write a resume, I’m less concerned with cliché words than cliché information. The words “team player” are perfectly fine to use – if your achievements and skills back them up. The examples in your resume should show what you’ve achieved as part of a team and should make you stand out from other candidates with similar claims.

Compare these two descriptions using the cliché “strategic thinker”:

  • Strategic thinker: Able to come up with new approaches to serve the needs of customers.
  • Strategic thinker: Redirected business resources into products with larger payback, driving an additional $150,000 in annual sales.

The details in the second bullet prove the candidate does indeed think strategically. Those details change “strategic thinker” from a cliché into a very valuable skill.

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

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Robin Schlinger Robin Schlinger is the founder of Robin’s Resumes which provides excellent services to those who value the best in resumes and career marketing documentation.