Most of us don’t love updating our resume. And although we know we should update it regularly, we often ignore that advice while we’re happily, or even unhappily employed. When it comes time to make that resume refresh, it can be difficult to find the balance between being honest and turning your resume into a jargon-filled, lame sounding regurgitation of your career highlights reel.

5 Words to Get Toss Out of Your Resume

It all comes down to your word choices. Most candidates land on weak wording, never realizing that with a little bit of tweaking, their resume could make a bigger impact – landing a better job or earning a higher salary.

1. Assisted

Helped is the same as assisted, so don’t try that one either. Your role may have been to assist the project manager or help the team get results, but take a hot second and define what you actually did. If your job was to make sure products met quality standards, then say that and define how you went about that task. You don’t want to look like you were the project sidekick.

2. Responsible for

This phrase conveys just about zero information about your value to an employer. You could have been responsible for an absolute failure of a project, so you don’t want to leave it open-ended. Highlight your wins in the role or accomplishments – otherwise, you will sound lame.

3. Strong Communication Skills

Stop telling recruiters you’re a great communicator. Just communicate well in every single interaction with them. Some candidates make the mistake of phoning early screening calls in, and they forget that every interaction in the process tells your story. And on your resume, update accomplishments that showcase your communication skills – like conference presentations or published articles.

4. Self-Starter

If you’re an adult trying to get a job, you should be a self-starter. You should also be motivated – that should be a given. Those are meaningless words that are sadly overused. Outline your work on your resume in a way that proves you run with requirements without needing to be micromanaged.

5. Goal or Results Oriented

When your resume highlights the times you have met or exceeded goals, it will show how goal or results oriented you are. Keep in mind just because you’re oriented towards goals or results doesn’t actually mean you can achieve them. Your resume should show recruiters who you are instead of just telling them who you think you are.

Stand Out From All the Other Candidates

If you want to make it to the interview, your resume needs to stand out among all the other candidates who are throwing out meaningless words like rockstar, ninja, and highly motivated. Your resume shouldn’t be lame. It should actually outline your performance, achievements, and accomplishments – no jargon or ninja slang required.

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Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.
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