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If you’ve applied for a job recently, you’ve probably looked over that 8½ x 11” summary of your career more times than you can count—and tweaked it just as often—in pursuit of the perfect resume. But before you add another bullet point, consider this: It’s not always about what you add in— the best changes you can make may lie in what you take out. The average resume is chock-full of sorely outdated, essentially meaningless phrases that take up valuable space on the page. Eliminate them, and you’ll come off as a better, more substantial candidate—and your resume won’t smack of that same generic, mind-numbing quality found on everyone else’s. Every word—yes, every word—on that page should be working hard to highlight your talents and skills. If it’s not, it shouldn’t be on there. So grab a red pen, and banish these words from your resume for good.
My first few resumes had a statement like this emblazoned top and center: “Career objective: To obtain a position as a [insert job title here] that leverages my skills and experience as well as provides a challenging environment that promotes growth.”
Yawn. This is not only boring, it’s ineffective (and sounds a little juvenile, to boot). The top of your resume is prime real estate, and it needs to grab a hiring manager’s attention with a list of your top accomplishments, not a summary of what you hope to get out of your next position. Experienced You can be “experienced” in something after you’ve done it once—or every day for the past 10 years. So drop this nebulous term and be specific. If, for example, you’re a Client Report Specialist, using a phrase such as “Experienced in developing client reports” is both vague and redundant. But sharing that you “Created five customized weekly reports to analyze repeat client sales activity”—now that gives the reader a better idea of where exactly this so-called experience lies, with some actual results attached. Also eliminate: seasoned, well-versed
it takes more than a list of desirable-sounding qualities to warrant an interview. give your resume a good once-over. If a company wants to hire you. customer-focused Dynamic While resumes are meant to highlight your best attributes. So. why not? When it comes to resumes.” Using a specific example." "I'm Detail-Oriented" . There is a difference between appropriately and accurately describing your work skills and just tooting your own horn. even the most introverted wallflower will claim to be “dynamic” on a piece of paper because.” say “Led project team of 10 to develop a new system for distributing reports that reduced the time for managers to receive reports by 25%. 10 clichés to banish from your interview "I'm Dedicated" "Boring. enthusiastic References Available Upon Request All this phrase really does is take up valuable space. whereas anything too dependent on a list of buzzwords will sound just like everyone else’s cookie-cutter resume. In a crummy job market with a record number of people applying for the same positions. Plus.” “enthusiasm. Also eliminate: people person. the director of professional opportunities at DePauw University. and wait until the interview to show off your “dynamism. "You might as well add loyal and call yourself a golden retriever. Instead of “team player. some personality traits are better left to the hiring manager to decide upon for herself. There’s no need to address the obvious (and doing so might even make you look a little presumptuous!). well. show tangible results and successes.” or “energy. you show what you can actually accomplish. Specific examples pack a punch. But simply labeling yourself with a quality? Not so much. Use the space to give more details about your talents and accomplishments instead. witty profile that shows it. keep the content quantifiable.Team Player If you’ve ever created an online dating profile. Same goes for your resume: It’s much more effective to list activities or accomplishments that portray your good qualities in action than to simply claim to have them." says Steve Lengerud. and make sure every word on that page is working hard for you.” Also eliminate: energetic. you know that you don’t just say that you’re nice and funny—you craft a fun. they will ask you for references—and they will assume that you have them.
"I'm Intense" "No one can stand to spend time with you because 'intense' translates to a lack of understanding about personal space. really? Have you met them?” Your attempt to please the manager or sell yourself to a position you’re unsure of can backfire." Langerud jokes. author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant—TOT.” says Karen Drayer. LLC. References Available Upon Request Human resource managers and career experts agree this comes across as a time-buyer. Beyond being boastful. VP at career social networking hub JobFox."As opposed to what?" chides Kathy Harris." says Langerud. Well.” You don’t have to tell them. director of recruitment at PG Shaw placement services.” “Perfect Fit For this Position” "I'm A Real Problem Solver" “Unless you’re prepared with several examples of finding solutions to save the day. adds that it’s also taking up precious resume space. “Recruiters and hiring managers know that references are available and if they are not . As in "I'm so driven I can't pull the blinders off long enough to see what's going on in the organization. without context the word "dynamic" is an empty platitude.” “Look No Further. Patricia Lenkov. principal with recruiting firm Harris Allied.well there is not much to talk about then is there?” . maybe an eye-roll. "I'm A Perfect Fit For The Team" “Oh. a principal with Agility Executive search. "I'm A People Person Peggy Padalino. says this will get you nothing. says Lynn Taylor. you’re creating far more problems for yourself with this one. See also: “The Ideal Candidate. "Detailavoidant? A total scatterbrain?" "I'm Driven" Langerud says trying to prove your ambition can backfire. “The interviewer will know if you are comfortable with people by the way you conduct yourself in the interview." "I'm Dynamic" "No one else thinks I am so maybe you'll believe it.
Emphasize this last subject. education. Explain A Complex Database To Your Eight-Year-Old Nephew Explaining public relations. Keep your answer to a minute or two at most. ."That's A Great Question!" Just plain condescending. then identify experiences from your past that demonstrate those skills and knowledge. “Does this mean that the other questions the interviewer asks are bad?” ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 10 toughest interview questions answered Why Should I Hire You? The most overlooked question is also the one most candidates are unprepared to answer. Your job is to illustrate why you are the most qualified candidate. list activities you've been doing during any period of unemployment. explaining mortgages. Remember that this is likely to be a warm-up question. know the industry and be well-versed. Do your homework. Tell Me One Thing You Would Change About Your Last Job Beware over sharing or making disparaging comments about former coworkers or supervisors. Cover four topics: early years. But an additional trouble point in answering this query is showing yourself to be someone who can't vocalize their problems as they arise. Don't waste your best points on it. Tell Me About Yourself People tend to meander through their whole resumes and mention personal or irrelevant information in answering--a serious no-no. director of Career Services at Oklahoma State University says. A safe scapegoat? Outdated technology. Why Is There A Gap In Your Work History? Employers understand that people lose their jobs and it's not always easy to find a new one fast. Why didn't you correct the issue at the time? Be prepared with an answer that doesn't criticize a colleague or paint you in an unflattering light. volunteer work or taking care of family members all let the interviewer know that time off was spent productively. Review the job description and qualifications very closely to identify the skills and knowledge that are critical to the position. Freelance projects. and recent career experience. work history. When answering this question. This is often because job applicants don't do their homework on the position. as you might be burning bridges. And keep it clean--no weekend activities should be mentioned. explaining just about anything in terms an eight-year-old can understand shows the interviewer you have solid and adaptable understanding of what it is they do. As Joshua Waddell.
but it's the lesson learned. Clarify the situation succinctly and explain what specific action you took to come to a consensus with the group. . And that's a great thing to show off in an interview. The anecdote should be telling. You may want to explore new technology or methods within your industry to be prepared for. but is ultimately a positive. Describe A Time When Your Team Did Not Agree Questions pertaining to difficulties in the past are a way for employers to anticipate your future behavior by understanding how you behaved in the past and what you learned. not the situation. but also your ability to make risky or controversial moves that succeed. get tweeting. What's The Biggest Risk You've Ever Taken? Some roles require a high degree of tenacity and the ability to pick oneself up after getting knocked down. Have You Ever Had A Supervisor Challenge A Decision? Interviewers are looking for an answer that shows humility--and the ability to take direction.What Would The Person Who Likes You Least In The World Say About You? Highlight an aspect of your personality that could initially seem negative. Then describe the result of that action. An example? Impatience. Providing examples of your willingness to take risks shows both your ability to fail and rebound. Tell Me About A Time When Old Solutions Didn't Work The interviewer is trying to identify how knowledgeable you are in today's work place and what new creative ideas you have to solving problems. Stat. that could land you the job. Twitter-phobes. Used incorrectly this can be bad in a workplace. But stressing timeliness and always driving home deadlines can build your esteem as a leader.
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