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What Words Will Hurt My Resume?

Updated: Apr 22

Your resume is the single most important tool that you need when applying for jobs. In today's cut throat environment, everyone's resume should be expected to be sharp, detailed, and chock full of relevant information.

However, in eagerness to provide all the information to your future employers, some applicants overload their resumes with all the keywords imaginable. While keywords are good, using the correct ones is crucial to your success while the opposite will spell doom for your resume.

Phoenix AZ local resume professionals

What does this mean? This means that by using the correct keywords, your resume will be more interesting and will stand out from the others, while using the wrong keywords is a sure gate pass for your resume to the paper shredder in no time. When in doubt what keywords to use and not use in your resume, consult a professional resume writing service.

The significance of the applicant tracking system:

An applicant tracking system is a software that large companies use to filter and track applicants and potential fits. The system works this way: companies feed certain keywords to the system that needs to be present in the applicants' resume. The system now filters all the entries and will return a list only of resumes that contain the keywords specified.

For instance, an employer wants to hire an engineer in Phoenix AZ, she would input the words "Engineer" and "Phoenix AZ" in the system. The system will list down the resumes that contain those three keywords, no less.

So, the system is a significant factor when constructing ones resume. Resume construction is one skill that you will need so that your resume will appear for the position that you really want. Inversely, by putting the wrong keywords on your resume, you will have a hard time securing a job interview, all because your resume is always getting filtered out. A expert resume writing service understands the ins and outs of these systems so it’s also recommended to hire their services.

Phoenix AZ local resume professionals

Here are some keywords you need to avoid in your resume:


What does helped even mean? It's a pretentious keyword that's only used by those who want to appear as risk avoiding. Instead, try words and phrases like "prevented" and "identified threats" in your resume.


Another hollow keyword is aggressive. While some companies like to use the word aggressive, adding it to your resume adds no value at all. Instead of sounding energetic and eager, you end up sounding too strong and not a team player. Instead, try using words like "initiated", "spearheaded", and "led".


A keyword used to death, responsible is one of the keywords that can be seen in each and every resume. Instead of using the word responsible, use words like "tracked", "updated", and "headed" to show your sense of responsibility.


In this day and age, it goes without saying that all employees should be results driven. Using this keyword in your resume may be seen as overemphasizing the obvious, because, maybe, you’ve run out of words to describe yourself. Instead, try using words like “achieved” and “accomplished”.


Another keyword that’s overused by everyone in the industry is detail-oriented. Everyone is detail oriented. Stating the obvious is just going to spell doom for your resume. It means that you’ve run out of things to say. Instead of this word, it would be better to use words like “edited”, “corrected”, “reconstructed”, and “polished” in your resume.


You’re applying for a job. All employees should be hardworking. Remember to always show, never tell. Instead of using this word, it’s better to narrate experiences of how your hard work has pulled the company through. Words like “accomplished” and “won” are sure winners.


In work, all employees are met by problems. If an employee couldn’t solve problems, they probably wouldn’t be hired in the first place. Use terms like “solved”, “unlocked”, “cracked”, and “discovered” to show off your detective prowess.

If writing resumes is not your forte, you might be better off hiring an expert professional resume writing service. If you need immediate help, Do My Resume.NET can help.

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