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The 7 Most Overused Words That Kill Your Resume

Words are the name of the game when it comes to resumes, and you need to be strategic in your choice of them. So how do you know which words to choose and which ones to omit? Here is a brief list of some of the most overused words on resumes. Avoid them when possible, and choose some more creative alternatives.

Accomplished. Yes, we all know every job seeker is accomplished, otherwise you would be fired from every job you’ve ever had if you had never accomplished anything. Instead try: Peak Performer

Results-Driven. We all know that everyone’s professional resume starts out with Results-driven (Insert your job title here). The only problem is, in the job search game you don’t want to sound like everyone else. You want to stand out from the crowd. Instead try: Performance-Driven.

Successful. This is another overused word. We all want to communicate how successful we’ve been so that a prospective employer will think highly of us. But let’s look at some alternative wording versus just coming out and saying, “Hey there, I’m a success.” Instead try: Best in Class, Award-Winning, or Top-Performer.

Skillful or Skilled. These are so boring. Seriously I hate to see resumes with these words on them. I cannot even tell you how incredibly dull these words are, and I am sure you can come up with something much more creative for your resume. If you can’t think of anything, try my recommendations. Or, if you don’t like them, consult a thesaurus. Instead try: Talented, Sharp, or Resourceful.

Problem-Solver. Let me just say that this is a given. We are ALL problem solvers. If you are human, you are a problem solver; it is just a part of human nature. Does it really need to be said on your resume? I think not. Instead try: Troubleshooter, Forward-Thinking, or Visionary Leader.

And last but not least, Dedicated and Dependable. Again I have to say boring, boring, boring. Spice up your resume with something creative. Instead try: High-Potential, Quality-Driven, and Dynamic.

To submit your resume for a free analysis e-mail it to or check out professionally-written resume samples.


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Jessica Holbrook Hernandez

A nationally recognized resume expert, Jessica Holbrook Hernandez is President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast and a former human resources manager and recruiter. Leveraging more than ten years’ experience directing hiring practices for Fortune 500 companies, Jessica's innovative and brand-driven resume development strategies have secured a 99.6% interview-winning success rate for her clients. As a global resume authority and trusted media source, Jessica has been featured and quoted numerous times throughout, The Chicago Tribune,, Local Job Network Radio, International Business Times, and more.
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