Your Resume And Job Search

The Importance of a Resume in your Job Search

clipboard with white paper with resume written on the top

In today’s job market, your resume is the most important document you have to get your job application in the hands of the hiring manager. If you can’t get your resume past the ATS (Automated Tracking System), it doesn’t matter how much experience or how good your cover letter is. That’s why you need to be strategic and intentional about the words you include in your resume.

Poorly chosen words and clichéd phrases can destroy the interest of the reader. Powerful words, when chosen correctly, can have the opposite effect of motivating and inspiring the reader.

Leave These Phrases Off Your Resume

Job Duties
Transferable Skills
Objective Statement
References Available on Request

Sometimes, your resume could be getting the cold shoulder not because of your skills and experience, but simply due to some phrases that aren’t appealing to employers. Avoid those turn-off phrases and let your true qualifications shine through.

Steer clear of the clichéd buzzwords like “creative,” “innovative,” and the rest, which often sound impressive but don’t really say much. You’ll also want to steer clear of certain phrases that can raise eyebrows in the wrong way.

Here’s a rundown of the top phrases to skip on your resume:

“Job Duties”

Listing your “job duties” might seem like a logical move, but it falls short in showing potential employers how well you perform.

To really make your experience count, consider using “accomplishment statements” to outline your work. Showcasing what you’ve achieved on the job speaks volumes. And remember, numbers are your friends here.

When it comes to your resume, recruiters often emphasize the importance of adding numbers to your experience. This helps them quickly grasp the depth of your expertise without any ambiguity. So, when you’re jazzing up your resume, remember recruiters are all about those numbers. It’s like giving your experience a pop of pizzazz!

For instance, let’s consider a scenario in digital marketing.

Compare the following bullet points:
* Contributed to digital marketing projects that led to increased revenues
This doesn’t convey much information, enhance it by saying
* Engaged in over 20 digital marketing projects resulting in a substantial 250% revenue growth.”
This approach adds substance to your accomplishment.

Numbers are the most easily digestible content on a resume. Recruiters are adept at skimming, but numerical data can make them stop and pay attention.

Highlight aspects related to increased profits/revenues, cost efficiencies, time saved, etc.  Give it a whirl and you’ll soon realize you can sprinkle numbers onto any resume point.

“Transferable Skills”

When a hiring manager spots “transferable skills,” it can sometimes send the message “I may not be a perfect fit, but…” For a more effective approach, go with “skills” or “skill set,” or even “experience summary”. This puts the focus on what you bring to the table, without highlighting any gaps.

“Objective Statement”

The traditional “objective statement” used to take center stage on resumes, telling employers what you’re on the lookout for. But in today’s job scene, you need something that jumps out and grabs attention.

Consider replacing the old objective statement with an “experience summary.” This packs in 6-8 key skills tailored to the role you’re vying for. This shift ensures that employers notice your potential in a matter of seconds.

“References Available Upon Request”

It’s pretty much a given that employers will want references before making a decision. So, including the “references available upon request” line just eats up space and shows your resume might be stuck in yesteryears.

Modern job seekers need sharp resumes to stand out. Steer clear of buzzwords and phrases that say nada or might hint at a negative. This move will keep your resume in the running amidst the fierce competition.

Today’s hiring game is fierce with more applicants than necessary for each role. Don’t let off-putting phrases be the reason your resume doesn’t get a second look!

Go to my home page to grab my resume checklist if you don’t already have it.


P.S.  If you want individualized help with your resume, simply send me an email to fran.careercoach at

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top