By CW Headley – Ladders
Ladders recently reported on the hiring boom being tracked by various career experts. Before you start firing off your resume, be sure to check out a new report from the New College of Humanities.
The institution conducted research comprised of 2,000 recruiters and job seekers in order to determine the phrases that sink a potential candidate’s chances of landing a gig the most. The authors narrowed the list down to a concise 10 items.
Top 10 phrases you don’t want to include on your resume
- “I know how to work hard.”
- “I work well under pressure.”
- “I work independently.”
- “I am effective at solving problems.”
- “I know how to work in a team.”
- “I am proactive.”
- “I am a good communicator.”
- “I’m good at listening.”
- “My writing skills are excellent.”
- “I’m enthusiastic.”
As you can see, cliches are a major detriment during the hiring process. Although more than 59% of recruiters said that they hate coming across grammatical and typographical errors (no matter how small;l), a greater majority said they hate reading hackneyed expressions even more.
When you are writing your resume, you should constantly be thinking, “Is that relevant, and does it position me as a good fit for the job?” The first is to avoid vague buzzwords, like “hardworking”, “motivated”, and “driven”, job reporter, Michael Page writes.
“Regardless of how true these may be, find an original way to represent your goals and motivations. A recruiter or hiring manager may only spend a few moments looking at your resume – so repeating phrases they’ve read a hundred times over will not impress them. Relevance and personality are key.”
To Pages’s point, only 1 out of every 5 employers featured in the analysis said that they have the patience to finish a resume all the way to the end. In fact, an overwhelming majority said that they generally make their decision about an employee roughly 60 seconds into reading one.
The candidates queried confessed to peppering their resumes with “white lies” to catch a recruiter’s attention as early as possible.
These lies include adding years to their previous place of employment, (1 in 12 people), adding responsibilities to past positions (1 in 20), and lying about their hobbies (11%).
The same report identified informal language as another pet peeve of job recruiters. Nicknames and emojis were basically deathblows, with 40% of recruiters confessing that they disregard resumes outright if they spot them.
There also appears to be an important balance to strike between casual and dense language.
“Every word should count. Spend time reviewing and revising, including coming back to it across several days to see if you can prune it more. Give it to others also to check that anyone can read and understand it. Jargon may be needed for technical jobs, for example in listing experience in software systems”, ChangingMinds reports.
“Keep such words to appropriate sections only. Be very careful with jargon and avoid trying to impress with big words. Remember that the first person to filter out the majority of applications may not understand the jargon. Be careful to ensure accurate grammar. Nothing puts a recruiter off faster than weak language ability. Be consistent throughout the document, keeping a constant style, including use of fonts, words, and layout”.