So Many Experts

I don’t envy job seekers. There are experts at every corner telling them what they thought was a good approach stinks. Just today I read an article by an HR professional going on about phrases on your resume sure to send it to the trash can. She cited phrases like “team player,” “results oriented,” and “proven track record” as resume killers. I couldn’t help but shake my head. I agree phrases like this have almost become cliche’, but “KILLERS???”

First of all, if phrases like this on a resume are the true reason a candidate is not landing an interview I’ll eat my right hand. Avoiding the cliche does help a person stand out, but most job seekers’ troubles aren’t rooted in having these phrases on their resume. It’s more their inability to source job leads through networking, effectively sell their abilities and focus on what skills/abilities they have that are relevant to a potential employer. I guarantee if you are doing those things well, no one is going to put your resume on the bottom of the pile for the reasons this woman suggested.

Part of me is angry over what I read in her article. Yes, it’s new information. Yes, she shares creative ideas on how to say things differently. The trouble is she is simply setting the stage for the new cliche. Big whoop! In my mind I can picture individuals agonizing over and pouring time into reworking their resumes so those words aren’t there. Guess what they’ll find when they are all done? They still don’t have anyone interviewing them. Why? Because they aren’t making valuable connections and laying the proper groundwork. If they were, nitpicking the words on a resume wouldn’t be as necessary. The resume wouldn’t be the primary instigator in landing an interview.

Don’t get me wrong. I am all for having a great resume selling your abilities. If there is language on your resume doing you a disservice, by all means, fix it! Keep things in perspective though. There is no need to be overly dramatic about how an employer is going to weigh each word. If you were trying to hire a person and they had the experience you wanted to see on their resume, would you move them to the bottom of the list for using “team player?” I hope not. Most employers aren’t going to do that either. Invest more of your energy in cultivating the relationships you are building, relationships that can guide you to your next opportunity, and refrain from living a life of seclusion while you bang out yet another version of your resume.

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