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Here’s a helpful article from The Career Rocketeer written by Jessica Holbrook Hernandez:

In reviewing resumes, I often come across terms that are overused and don’t provide a lot of value to your document. Here are some examples:

Great communication skills
This tends to be a throwaway term because few people even recognize (much less acknowledge) their poor communication skills. I always cringe a little when I see this included in a resume that also contains improper sentence structure or awkward verbiage. Generally, unless you’re applying for a position for which excellent communication skills are imperative, those abilities should shine through in the quality of your resume—without your having to spell them out.

Attention to detail
This is another term that many people use to describe themselves. Of course, it’s all right to claim on your resume that you’re detail-oriented, but if you do include this term, you’d better make sure there are absolutely no spelling, punctuation, grammatical, or sentence structure errors in your document!

Experienced or seasoned
Spelling out your years of experience on your resume is good. However, describing yourself as either “experienced” or “seasoned” can come off as a euphemism for “old”. Your title and accomplishments should speak to your professional achievements; there’s no need to age yourself with adjectives like these.

Work well independently
Not only is it difficult for many people to ascertain whether they truly work well on their own, but sometimes this phrase can be interpreted as “not interested in being a team player”. By using your resume to highlight projects that you led or completed independently, you can make the same point without wasting space with this description of yourself.

The terms above are frequently used on resumes, often by candidates who really don’t even possess them. Instead of using these throwaway terms to describe yourself, attempt to outline specific accomplishments that you could only have achieved through your communication skills, experience, attention to detail—or whatever your strengths may be.

Here are four tips for accessible resumes from a great article posted over at Great Resumes Fast. Read the full article here.

1. Include the appropriate industry keywords

Although the hiring manager will certainly understand the specific programming languages and software you’ve used, the HR screener may very well just be matching up keywords.

2. Talk about the end result

Did you create a Web site that saved your company $50,000 a year in outsourced expenses?  Did you administer a company network that successfully protected confidential information for 5,000 customers?  Did you supervise an IT department responsible for every single piece of computer equipment in a 500-employee company?  Regardless of how you went about it, results make sense to just about everyone.

3. Include a technology skills section

If you are applying for a “worker bee” sort of technology job, such as Web developer, you will want to be very specific about the different types of development programs in which you’ve been trained or certified. If your career has progressed to an executive level, such as chief technology officer, you will want to focus more on your success stories.

4. Strike a balance

The key to a readable IT resume is to strike a balance between identifying overall results and achievements, while providing enough specifics for your document to appeal to both an HR screener and a technology hiring manager.

by Jessica Holbrook Hernandez


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