Eliminate 4 Over-Used Resume Phrases

Over-Used Resume PhrasesLook at most any resume and there are likely to be similarities. Not just in layout, but in the words used.

There is nothing more important for job seekers when looking for a job than to ensure that their resume makes them stand out from the crowd – for the right reasons. That means their resume needs to send a message that communicates their best qualities and how they differ from all the other candidates.

Unfortunately, too many job seekers, especially those just starting out, utilize resume templates which perpetuate the same collection of information resulting in cookie-cutter resumes that don’t differentiate one job seeker from another.

For job seekers who are about to create (or update) their resume, here are four over-used phrases that most recruiters would be happy not to see on another resume.


The main problem with resume objectives is that they serve no useful purpose. When employers are looking to fill vacancies, their goal is to find the best candidate to fill the opening. This means they want to know in a nutshell what work experience and unique skills job seekers have to offer.

Writing a headline better serves this purpose, plus it makes job seekers stand out from the usual crowd because other candidates are still in the dark ages using worn out, generic job objectives.

Excellent 'Anything' Skills

Got great organization skills? Or perhaps it’s people skills? Maybe communication skills are top on the list. Whatever skills a candidate has creating a laundry list outlining them only adds to the commonality of a resume. Job seekers need to avoid writing they have any kind of "excellent skills" on their resume because excellent "anything" skills is too subjective a concept to communicate value.

Instead candidates should take the time to creatively describe their past experience in such a way as to illustrate exactly what skills they bring to the table. And if that includes written communication skills, there better be no typos on the resume.

Think Outside the Box

Talk about an over-used phrase. It’s about as bad as "push the envelope". Each of these phrases is meant to illustrate creativity and ability to think beyond current boundaries. However, they have been so overused as to virtually render them useless.

If in fact a job seeker’s creativity is one of her primary skill sets, she can demonstrate this by using creative words and phrases on her resume as well as during the interview. To do this candidates should develop sentences that describe how they have solved a problem, developed a process, designed a new product or some other creative endeavor.

References Available on Request

Last, but definitely not least, including this final statement on a resume is not only old-school, it’s a waste of space. And here’s why: if references are not available, neither is the job. Every candidate should know by now that they will need to provide professional references if they expect to land a position. Why state the obvious?

The whole idea is that it’s important to create a resume that highlights a job seeker’s talents and sets her apart from the crowd. And while there are a lot of ways to do this, one sure-fire method is to avoid including over-used words and phrases on a resume.