Comments about ‘Want a job? Avoid putting these words on your resume’

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Published: Friday, March 21 2014 9:55 a.m. MDT

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george of the jungle
goshen, UT

So, airigant, egotistical, vain and lazy. That is a Leo. I know I am one.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Also avoid convicted, incarcerated, unemployed, damaged, illegal and embezzled.

mrtmaag
Sandy, UT

Especially don't misspell words on your resume. Airigant? (Arrogant) I love it when I am reading a resume with someone trying to look smart by using big words and they misspell them.

Tom in CA
Vallejo, CA

mrtmaag -

No truer words spoken.

Stormwalker
Cleveland , OH

Stephen Covey said everyone has the same job description: "Make the boss happy."

As a resume coach I teach "products have features, people buy benefits." Your resume is part of a campaign to "sell" your time, talent, skills, and knowledge. It must paint a picture of the benefit you'll bring. In other words, your training and experience are your features, show what you accomplished in the past to describe the benefit you bring to the new position.

The worst thing on most resumes? The "Objective." It focuses on you and what you want and is wasted space. As an interviewer I am turned off by buzz-word-stew like "seeking a challenging position with growth where I can use my skill to contribute and advance."

Instead, give me a powerful summary that shows, in three or four lines, your greatest strengths and skills and experience. Your resume will get less than 10 seconds of before I either reject it or put it in the "maybe" pile. Use that 10 seconds to convince me to read the rest of it so I can see what you offer and I call you for the interview.

Cougsndawgs
West Point , UT

I am also befuddled when I look at a resume or application and the job seeker actually gives me excuses for, or negative feedback about why they aren't with a previous employer. I don't even look further after I see that. Never, ever talk negatively or offer reasons or excuses about negative experiences with a previous employer on a resume, or worse, in an interview.

gittalopctbi
Glendale, AZ

@Hutterite LOL!

@Stormwalker "buzz-word-stew" I love that phrase, I'm keeping it for future use. And good advice.

Good article.

Denverite
Centennial, CO

There are two major problems here that serious job seekers need to know about so they can work around:

1) The brainless HR people who paid big $ for their automated resume searcher so they could reduce the already very small amount of useful work they were doing don't search for "achieved", "improved", etc. If they did, the number of resumes that would pop up would make their empty skulls explode. Instead, they actually search on useful terms like "Microsoft Office", "Oracle", "Java", etc.

Thus, your brilliantly crafted "achievement" resume stays in their manure pile--especially at very large companies.

So in addition to all your accomplishments, be sure to include as many technologies, programming languages, etc. in that resume as you can--to improve your chances of getting out of the pile and into human hands who might actually read your achievements.

2) The HR people saying "don't put an objective at the top of your resume" never tell college English teachers and career advisers, "Stop telling students to write objectives at the top of their resume!" Thus, the worthless cycle continues, as the students never learn that their A-grade resume is useless for actually getting a job.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

I once read a job application where the applicant actually used profanity trying to tell us how good of a job he would do for us.

RBB
Sandy, UT

As an employer I will say - Do not put an objective at the top of your resume unless 1) it is actually says something and 2) is for the job you are applying for. Reading - I want to work at a company that provides me the opportunity to grow and be productive does not set you apart. Hopefully that is everyone's objective. Even more important - DO NOT put an objective that is not consistent with the job you are looking for. "I am looking to be a legal secretary" does not help if you are applying to be the receptionist in a dentist's office. Translated it says "I will will be quitting this job as soon as I get a call back from a law firm." Two thirds of the resumes I get that actually identify the job they want are not consistent with the job they are applying for. And the resume goes straight to the recycle bin.

If you will not take the time to think through what your resume says when looking for a job, how can I trust you to take care of my company and my customers.

TOO
Sanpete, UT

It seems like many of you know what to look for on a resume.

I have been applying to facilities all over the state, and I have never had an "expert" critique my resume. Because of this, I don't know if it's great, good, or garbage.
I've always been told to put an "objective". I don't know where a good place would be to have someone look at my resume so I could know which stuff to add, take away, or how to organize it better.

Any suggestions from you fine people would be appreciated.

On the other hand
Riverdale, MD

@TOO, LDS Employment Services will do that for you. What field are you looking for work in?

Stormwalker
Cleveland , OH

@gittalopctbi -- Thanks!!

@Denverite - Totally agree about the automated screening programs. They knock out good candidates who didn't clear a thresh hold on industry jargon, and advance poor candidates who happened to meet the buzz-word metric. I also teach people to be specific, use industry-specific terminology, and to show achievements with hard numbers as much possible.

@RBB - Good advice, good observation.

@The Rock - I have to admit, I probably would have interviewed the person, just out of curiosity. But then, I consider skillful and creative cussing (as opposed to casual profanity) to be a dying artform, so don't go by me.

Casey See
FLOWER MOUND, TX

Try something new. For business or technology jobs, instead of a cover letter, attach a power point presentation showing how you would perform the job being described in the job description or after an initial phone screen interview follow up. Be sure to use colors that match the colors of the company your are applying to, include a watermark picture from the company's website and place the company logo at the top right or left of the Powerpoint. Be sure to place your name, page number, and date at the bottom of each page.

This shows three things. One that you understand the job and what is needed to be done. Two that you know how to create presentations, and three you can talk the talk of business and technology.

I have been using this process for the last three jobs that I have had. All of the hiring managers and where used, the executive search firms, have commented how it set me apart from all of the other candidates.

My resume is multiple pages, but the first page has my skills listed on the left and major accomplishments on the right.

Stormwalker
Cleveland , OH

@TOO

Creating a good resume is very difficult: sell something (yourself) and present yourself in an honest-but-flattering way.

A cookie-cutter approach wont work. You need a basic format, but should adjust your resume for every job application. I should fit the description as much a possible. This requires time and attention to detail.

The exact format depends on what you have done and what you are looking for. Seeking the same job at a new company is different from a major career change, and that is different from moving to a new field but using a lot of skills you already have.

Be careful of resume writing services - it might look good, but you don't learn anything.

See if you can find some (free) seminars offered by career centers that include somebody looking at your resume and offering advice.

See if somebody in your church or social circle who does hiring will look at it.

Listen to their feedback, then create a resume from scratch. Don't use a template, too hard to change and adjust as needed.

I wish I could help more, but I am in Cleveland.

wer
South Jordan, UT

Without knowing at least one significant person in the organization (or, at least, something significant about him/her)and keen insight into what the company does, how it operates, and who the key players are, a resume will be a lone voice in the wilderness.

TOO
Sanpete, UT

Thank you Stormwalker. That helps a lot.

On the other hand--I am in nursing.

Stormwalker
Cleveland , OH

TOO

A nurse? Get help with your resume. Something is knocking you out of consideration. Get it fixed.

If you are a new nurse try nursing homes and large hospitals with entry-level programs. Don't be picky. You'll work long hours, nights, weekends. Experience counts.

If you are new look at transferable skills from your past - customer service skills can be highlighted. Accurate cash handling can transfer to accountability over medications. Problem solving in any field counts.

Ask friends if you can see their resume, see what they are doing that you need to change.

If you have a lot of experience, in nursing or otherwise, don't go back more than ten years. Showing 20 or 30 years on your resume can age you out in the screening process - there is a vast difference between "new" and a year experience, a similar gulf between a year and five years. But after that it matters less and less, a decade seems to be the cut-off.

Finally: You are now in sales, selling you. Network. Everyone is a potential contact or referral to a job. Always look professional. Have copies of your resume or a business card handy.

Good luck!

TOO
Sanpete, UT

Stomwalker,

Thank you. Currently I work at a hospital in northern Utah, but I need to progress further for educational purposes. That's why I'm looking toward another facility that will give me the opportunity. In the current one, I am not yet experienced, but other hospitals will offer to my same experience level, it is just competitive.

Thank you for your advice.

dawgdeelux
saratoga springs, UT

As a department manager at an engineering firm I can tell you how I review resumes'
1. The name of the companies you worked at that have some relevance to the job you are applying for.
2. What did you do there and what did you do it with.
3. Dollar figures, $1.00 projects or $10,000,000.00 projects?
4. Veteran?
5. School and Degree?

Your perceived goals don't matter. Team player will be determined after you join our team. Motivated, forward thinker, goal oriented.... all are buzz words I just don't have time to read.
If the first page of your resume passes the first 5 questions and you have a valid phone number on the first page you may get a call.

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