Does your resume claim that you’re creative and motivated?
Does it describe you as having extensive experience, a strong track record and great communication skills? If so, I have bad news for you – your resume contains five of Australia’s most overused professional buzzwords for 2012, according to LinkedIn’s annual buzzwords analysis.
Words to drop from your resume
Australia’s top ten overused professional buzzwords are:
- Creative (this is the most overused buzzword internationally, too; and has been since 2011)
- Extensive experience
- Track record
- Communication skills
- Analytical and
Many recruiters (and employers) spend less than ten seconds deciding whether to read your resume or just to skim the first page and move on two the next application. So to get past the first cull, your resume needs to grab their attention immediately.
The words in the list above won’t grab anyone’s attention. They don’t position you as a dynamic candidate; they don’t paint an immediate picture of what you have to offer; and they don’t add value to your resume by showing how you stand out from the crowd. So if they’re in your resume, I suggest you think seriously about replacing them with powerful verbs and keywords tailored to the job you’re interested in, supported by facts and figures. There is another benefit to using keywords – if your resume is scanned by tracking software, it’s more likely to get past the automated scanning process if it’s keyword-rich. Here’s an example of how to transform your resume from a boring, drab document into a powerful and engaging personal branding statement.
BORING AND DRAB RESUME
- High level communication skills, evidenced by strong track record of success in client engagement.
- Effective salesperson with extensive experience in achieving or exceeding targets across all aspects of the industry.
- Seeking a new role where I can bring my strong sales and marketing skills to support the achievement of organisational goals.
This doesn’t read too badly, but it doesn’t really say much, or sell the applicant as a must-have candidate. The edited version below has more personality, uses industry keywords, replaces tired clichés with powerful verbs and is overall a much stronger positioning statement.
ENGAGING AND POWERFUL RESUME
- Dynamic communicator, with a passion for engaging customers and building long term client relationships to generate repeat business and referrals.
- Top agency salesperson in 2012 – exceeded sales targets by y%; over past 10 years have exceeded annual targets by x% on average, across both sales and leasing sectors of the industry.
- Seeking role with industry leader, where I can apply my passion for sales, my industry knowledge and my strong customer engagement skills to support agency growth and success.
If you were a recruiter, which applicant would you shortlist?