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Think you know exactly what a recruiter wants to see on your resume? Probably not. The down and dirty reality is that most job hunters rely on flowery, subjective language that actually says – and does – little in the way of giving the employer any real substance.

Given that the average recruiter looks at a resume for mere seconds, you’ve extremely limited time to leave your mark! Lucky for you, CareerBuilder released a study not long ago uncovering some of the biggest word flops and the terms that pack the biggest punch. And, because we think you’re so awesome, we’re bringing you the results here, too.

15 resume words to avoid:

  1. Best of breed
  2. Go-getter
  3. Think outside of the box
  4. Synergy
  5. Go-to person
  6. Thought leadership
  7. Value add
  8. Results-driven
  9. Team player
  10. Bottom-line
  11. Hard worker
  12. Strategic thinking
  13. Dynamic
  14. Self-motivated
  15. Detail-oriented

Ok, now’s the time to pause reading, open up that resume and start highlighting all those words you see above. In no time flat, they’ll be gone altogether – just bare with us.

15 high-impact resume words to include:

Now, wondering what to replace those bad, bad resume words with? These 15 resume words are the terms that recruiters and prospective employers really are looking for.

  1. Achieved
  2. Improved
  3. Trained/Mentored
  4. Managed
  5. Created
  6. Resolved
  7. Volunteered
  8. Influenced
  9. Increased/Decreased
  10. Ideas
  11. Negotiated
  12. Launched
  13. Revenue/Profits
  14. Under budget
  15. Won

You might notice some slight patterns in these two lists. According to Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at Career Builder, “Subjective terms and clichés are seen as negative because they don’t convey real information. For instance, don’t say you are ‘results-driven’; show the employer your actual results.”

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