Sometimes it seems unfair that you have to take your entire being and fit it into a one-page document which is made up of catchy-phrases and carefully worded descriptions. Still, this is the reality of job searching. Your resume must be tight, polished, and refined. And, it must somehow stand out from all the other polished resumes that are stacked on the desk of a recruiter. Finding the right phrase can be difficult, particularly since you still want to fit within a business vernacular. Here are a few overused phrases and some better alternatives.
Take one for the team
“Team player” is a phrase that seems to find its way onto every resume. It is expected in today’s society that everyone be a “team” player on some level, so most people label themselves as such when it comes to resume writing. Unfortunately, the phrase doesn’t mean much particular since everyone uses it. A better phrase is one that provides examples or descriptors of your team role. Talk about leadership and how you were able to utilize the skills of other members in the group to create better outcomes.
Nose to the grindstone
Another overused phrase is something along the lines of “solid work ethic”. Again, apparently everyone in the world is a hard worker, though Solitaire usage across the country suggests otherwise. Again, give more descriptors. Describe how your ethic increased production, raised revenue, or developed new solutions. Companies are looking for people who have advanced themselves and their organization. Simply working hard is nice, but if you did the job exactly the same from day one to the end of your tenure, it doesn’t show a lot of initiative.
Can you hear me now?
“Excellent communication skills” is another overused resume phrase. It vaguely refers to ones ability to write, speak, and communicate concepts with great clarify. Again, talk about documents that were developed, new processes that were rolled out, and enhancements to the organization. Talk about persuasion, critical thinking skills, strategic planning, and charisma. Give examples of your “communication skills” rather than typing them in as a generic blanket statement.
Power or boredom
The resume can be a powerful document, but it can also be a wasteland of cliches and overused phrases. Remember that using business language is fine, but somehow you have to stand out. Be a bit more specific, and your phrases will become more applicable to real-life situations.