Job Seeker

10 Resume clichés to keep off yours

By Procom

staffing agency cliche.jpg

Is your resume cliché?

It’s an unfortunate fact that most job seekers fail to make it in for an interview because their resume failed to stand out in an inbox.

Facts also find that an applicant has seven seconds to keep the attention on his or her CV before the phrases recruiters most commonly see have them eye rolling onto the next 249 in the digital pile...

(An average corporate job posting receives about 250 applications—Surprise!)

Procom recruiters share the most cringe worthy resume clichés candidates should keep far away from theirs if they want to snag the screen time and an interview. 


1. Quick learner/go-getter

"Stating you're a quick learner or a go-getter means nothing without context," says Valerie Anderson-Migliore a Technical Recruiter with Procom, "What did you learn, how did you learn, in what time frame, how did it help you achieve success in your work?"Recruiters and hiring managers rely on quantifiable statements, so always ensure to use numbers, percentages and dates. 

REPLACE WITH SOMETHING LIKE: "Achieved X results in previous role in X time frame"


2. Team player

A hiring manager expects you to want to achieve results and get along with co-workers, so it isn't necessary to say so on your CV. But using terms like "competitive environment" demonstrates an ability to produce under a level of pressure and achieve both individual and group goals.

REPLACE WITH SOMETHING LIKE: "Works well in a competitive environment..."


3. People person 

It's nice to know you're not a monster, but it's also an expectation, because no one wants to work with someone who is unapproachable. Instead, Christa Mancino, a Technical Recruiter with Procom advises, "Provide specific examples of your interactions with co-workers or teams you've led."

REPLACE WITH SOMETHING LIKE: "Led a team of X through X and accomplished X."


4. Hard worker

"Be specific," advises Stephanie Oblitas, an Associate Recruiter with Procom. "You need to show how you added value or contributed to the company." 

REPLACE WITH SOMETHING LIKE:  "Took initiative by creating X program, resulting in greater efficiency across all departments and reducing waste by X%"


5. Proven/trustworthy 

Candidates should state their proven abilities and trustworthiness by demonstrating how they can be counted on to achieve their project goals. 

REPLACE WITH SOMETHING LIKE: "Successfully achieved X results in X amount of time."


6. Seasoned/vast knowledge

You're not a piece of chicken, so you aren't seasoned with salt and pepper, but you will give the impression of aging yourself when you use said term. Instead, using a word like "skilled" in conjunction with the industry you work in allows a candidate to describe industry-specific and desired skills that match the job description to his or her experience.

REPLACE WITH SOMETHING LIKE: "Skilled IT professional with 15+ years in X..."


7. References available upon request

Resume real estate is valuable, and recruiters and hiring managers already assume you'll have references. So leave the statement off the CV and fill the space with quantifiable accomplishments. 


8. Responsible for...

What you accomplished in previous roles is much more important that what you were hired to do. So you need to demonstrate your accomplishments with numbers and dates. 

REPLACE WITH SOMETHING LIKE: "Successfully implemented X program, lowering production costs by X% across all locations."


9. Creative 

Creative types really do show instead of tell, so you need to do the same if that's your professional proclamation. It's all about context! 

REPLACE WITH SOMETHING LIKE: "Conceived and executed X social media campaign, leading to X% increase in engagement and X% conversions." 


10. Passionate 

To fully demonstrate how much you love what you do, incorporate details about personal projects related to your line of work. Recruiters at any staffing agency and hiring managers anywhere will also be checking your social media profiles, so if you're sharing industry or job related content, your passion will show!  

REPLACE WITH SOMETHING LIKE:  "Developed X app in my spare time with X downloads...."

The fact of the matter is that resume facts like these do matter when it comes to candidates and contracts. 

by Procom

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