Remove These 25 Words From Your Resume ASAP

man editing resume

When it comes to your resume, you’re probably so concerned about what to include and add that you don’t think about what to remove. However, you most likely have quite a few unnecessary words that can be eliminated to avoid fluff or distraction. Keyword optimization is a very important part of your resume, and your resume won’t be as optimized as it should be if there’s extra or unneeded words

How do you go about removing words from your resume?

First Step: Determine what words DO belong in your resume. If you haven’t already tailored your resume to the position you’re applying for, check out our blog on How To Tailor Your Resume to the Job Description. This is a great place to start because it will ensure you have all the necessary keywords Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) will be looking for in your resume. When it comes to resume optimization, keywords are key. But, it’s also important to make sure you don’t have unnecessary or unprofessional words taking up space and distracting from the point of your resume.

Once you’re sure your resume has all the necessary keywords and skills required, it’s time to determine what can be taken out. Start with the fluff and filler words. A recruiter will take one look at your resume and think you’re trying too hard to market yourself.

Fluff Words To Remove From Your Resume

Certain words are overused in resume writing, meaning recruiters are sick of them and don’t find them at all helpful. They don’t actually tell the hiring manager anything about you as an employee. Some common buzzwords to avoid are:

  • Strategic
  • Passionate
  • Creative
  • Expert
  • Motivated
  • Focused
  • Ninja, Jedi, Rockstar, and any other quirky titles

Weak Action Verbs to Remove From Your Resume

What is an action verb? A term that expresses an action. Action verbs can help paint a vivid picture, but they can also be incredibly overused and vague. What does the term utilized or assisted actually tell you? Nothing. To put it bluntly, recruiters are tired of reading phrases like “responsible for” or “assisted with.” They come across them constantly and they don’t add any real value to your resume. It’s okay to use them sparsely and only when you are describing a job responsibility. However, if you find yourself constantly writing them that’s when it’s time to pump the breaks. A little creativity can go a long way when it comes to resume writing. For example, instead of saying assisted, try facilitated, collaborated, or arranged. Some action verbs to exclude from your resume include:

  • Utilized
  • Assisted
  • Supported
  • Responsible for
  • Organized

Cut Down on the Hyphens

Words like results-oriented and detail-oriented are better explained rather than stated. Show hiring managers your achievements through quantitative data and your responsibilities rather than through a vague phrase that doesn’t show any real value. Employers expect you to pay attention to details and be a self starter anyways, so it doesn’t need to be specifically mentioned.

  • Results-oriented
  • Self-starter
  • Detail-oriented

Other Words That Aren’t Necessary in Your Resume

The following words are overused and generally unhelpful. Leaving them off your resume won’t hurt you and will only help you in the long run.

  • Objective
  • References Available
  • Hard Worker
  • Problem Solver
  • Team Player

Remove Pronouns from Your Resume:

Make sure your resume does not include pronouns. Don’t refer to yourself in the first person, as it is unprofessional. You’ll have an opportunity to introduce yourself in your cover letter.

  • I
  • Me
  • You
  • She
  • He

It’s important to note that your resume should tell a story of your work history. It should show a recruiter your value and clearly showcase your experienced and specific achievements. Any words that take away from this message should be removed.

If you think you need more help with your resume, contact Capstone Resume Services today to schedule a personal resume consultation. Our experienced resume writers will have a conversation with you to learn about your experience in order to effectively showcase it on your professional resume.