Career Info Daily

6 Words You Should Never Use on Your Resume

Resumes have a very simple task to do. They should tell the HR person (or the HR software scanning your document for matching keywords) whether you meet the minimum qualifications for the position. To achieve that goal, you need to write concise, powerful sentences. Here are 6 words you should never use on your resume.


Are you really an expert? Do you have some kind of certificate or degree to prove it? Using the word “expert” sets you up for challenging follow-up questions, so only use this word if you can, in fact, demonstrate expertise.

Rockstar, Guru, Synergy

These buzzwords started popping up on resumes a few years ago, and recruiters are sick of them. You don’t need to dress up your experience with a lot of linguistics bells and whistles. Buzzwords like this don’t have any real meaning—unless you actually are Mick Jagger, in which case you can call yourself a Rockstar.


It’s typical for resumes to ditch pronouns entirely. Again, the idea is to use as few words as possible to convey the most information. Instead of writing “I managed a team of 10 employees in the call center,” shorted it to, “Managed a 10-person call center team.”

Oh, and don’t talk about yourself in the third person. Some clever resume writers have tried this trick, and it does not work.

References Available Upon Request

This phrase is so overused that it might as well be invisible. Of course, your references will be provided if the recruiter asks. Every job applicant has references of some kind, so wasting a whole line on your resume to state the obvious is a bad move.


Plenty of people have gaps in their resume. However, you should always try to find some other way to describe that period other than “unemployed.” Highlight volunteer work or the new skills you studied during your time of joblessness instead.

Dynamic, Enthusiastic, or Self-Motivated

These are absolutely wonderful personality traits to have. But a personality trait is not a skill or measurable achievement. Wait to show off your sparkling personality in the interview instead. Resumes should be all about facts.

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