When The New York Times was in its earliest years, the publication charged by the letter to print anything submitted, coining the term “$10 word.” It’s rumored the verbose Charles Dickens was paid by the word, though that’s more likely because he committed to his novels’ length in advance.
Today, brevity may mean more money for you, if you cut unnecessary words and clichés from your resume. These words are overused, vague, passive and/or outdated, and will make an employer or recruiter think several words of his or her own: “Next,” “ho-hum” or “sigh.”
To stand out among your competitors, get out your red pen and note the phrases and words you can cut from your resume right now:
- Utilize, strategize, optimize, maximize or any other “ize” words
- Proficient in Microsoft Office or the Internet
- Passionate or any form of the word “love”
- Hard-working, driven, dedicated or determined
- Team player
- Helped or assisted
- Handled or worked
- Impactful or effective
- Experienced or seasoned
- Rock star
- Quick learner or “thinks on my feet”
- Innovative or creative
- Cutting-edge or think outside the box
- References available upon request
- Go-to person
After you’ve cut the fluff from your resume, consider updating your resume with these 20 powerful words.
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