It’s enough to make you scream.  You spend hours putting together your resume, days even.  You select each word carefully.  You buy expensive, heavier stock paper for a pleasant tactile feel you hope impresses the hiring manager.

And then Career Builders tells you one in six hiring managers spend 30 seconds or less reviewing your hard work.  You get a two-minute once-over at best. 

“The majority of hiring managers spend very little time reading each resume, sometimes 30-seconds or less,” says Ryan Hunt, Senior Career Advisor at Career Builder.  “What that means is that every word counts on your resume.  You have to focus on you skill and accomplishments rather than puffing yourself up with clichés.”

7 secrets your resume reveals about you!

So Career Builder asked more than 2-thousand hiring manager what worked and didn’t work to get noticed with a resume.  Word choices applicants make turned out to be high on the list.

“Anywhere on your resume, avoid broad, cliché words,” advices Hunt.

Career Builder compiled the following list of words that you should and shouldn’t use.

The Worst Resume Terms based on hiring manager responses:


1.     Best of breed

2.     Go getter

3.     Think outside the box

4.     Synergy

5.     Go-to person

6.     Thought Leadership

7.     Value add

8.     Results driven

9.     Team Player

10.   Bottom Line

The Best Resume Terms:

  1. Achieved
  2. Trained
  3. Mentored
  4. Managed
  5. Created
  6. Resolved
  7. Volunteered
  8. Influenced
  9. Ideas
  10. Negotiated