Leave These Words off Your Resume If You Want a Job Offer

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Found a job posting for your dream position? You’re not the only one. If a job posting exists, chances are good that the manager who posted it is drowning in resumes.

You could print your resume on gimmicky paper or load it up with cutting-edge business buzzwords – or you could land the job offer. Here are five words to skip if you want your resume noticed for all the right reasons.


Many job seekers pick “utilized” over “used” because it sounds more impressive. But the extra letters and syllables you don’t need are simply muddling the meaning and wasting precious space on the page. Opt for “used” instead, and specify one concrete accomplishment that resulted: “Used Microsoft Excel to organize and streamline customer database, resulting in 33 percent reduction in customer wait times.”


Never claim to have led a project if you worked with or under others – but don’t sell your contribution short, either. “Collaborated” or “contributed to” imply that your addition to the project was essential – without your help, the work would have collapsed. “Assisted,” by contrast, might mean you fetched the coffee and sharpened the pencils. Give yourself credit where it is due with a stronger, more precise word.

“Responsible for”

If it’s listed on your resume, the hiring manager knows you were responsible for it. These words waste valuable space. To underline the importance of your contribution, be more specific: “led,” “facilitated,” “proposed,” “implemented,” or “contributed to” are all more vivid and precise choices.


Like “responsible for,” “worked” is both vague and already understood. Be as precise here as you are elsewhere in your resume. Did you “calculate,” “write,” “design,” “organize,” “prepare,” “launch,” “maintain,” or “support”? Mention it.

“Anything ending in –ly”

Adverbs – words that describe verbs, often ending in the letters –ly – tend to eat space without adding much to the conversation. Instead of relying on adverbs, use specific verbs and concrete data. “Greatly increased customer base” is not as impressive as “Increased customer base by 40 percent in nine months.”

At Burnett’s Staffing, our recruiters focus on helping promising candidates find jobs that match their expertise and career goals. Contact us today to learn more about our job opportunities in the Dallas- Fort Worth area.

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