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10 Phrases or Words that Will Only Ruin Your Resume

10 phrases, resume, generic phrases, resume ruin, jobs for every juan

If you have been using generic phrases in your resumes, then you’re just like the rest of humanity guilty of this type of resume ruin. The root of the problem can probably be traced back to what we learned in school about writing the English language, and this boils down to what teachers call the KISS Rule – Keep It Short and Simple.

And herein lies the problem because we were taught to use the simplest language possible. Thus, in using simple words and phrases we become drawn into deadwood words, simpleton phrases, empty clichés, annoying jargon, and recycled buzzwords. Because of this generic monotony, HR hiring managers see these terms over and over again, and when they see them in your resume, your chances of getting hired just took a nose dive.

“Salary negotiable”

If your salary is not negotiable, that would be somewhat unusual. This is something that doesn’t need to be mentioned. No replacement is needed either since, if this topic ever comes out, it will be initiated by the interviewer.

“References available by request”

See the above and you’ll get the drift.

“Responsible for ______”

Everyone is responsible for something, even the office janitor. This makes you look like a mechanical employee going through mechanical job chores. It’s not what you did and how you did it that employers are looking for, and why what you did made more money for the company. Getting the drift now?

“Experience working in ______”

It’s the same as in the above. Why not use phrases or words like “Managed a team that led to an annual 4% increase in sales for just the so-and-so product.” Describe achievements in place of experience.

“Problem-solving skills”

Yes, yes, and monkeys also have this skill. The employers need human employees, not monkeys. Just get rid of this and don’t find a replacement for it.


You just described a third of the work force. You need to put something more original and unique, or else you’ll look like a dummy when a spelling or grammatical mistake is found in your resume.


Yet again, you just described a third of the work force. Face it, who doesn’t work hard just to earn money? And what proof do you have that you are a hard worker? It’s a lot more convincing if you describe situations in concrete detail in which your hard work benefited an employer.

“Team player”

Unless you’re a security guard, you’ll always work for a team called a unit or department. If you have relevant success stories as a team player, put them on your resume in concrete detail and how you succeeded as a team.


As mentioned earlier, instead of just saying it, show it.


When you apply your objective is to get the job; you know this and the employers know this, so get rid of this. Replace it instead with a career summary describing your background, achievements, and what you have to offer an employer in monetary terms.

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