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If you’re like most executives, you choose your words carefully when crafting the perfect resume. However, depending on when the last time you updated your resume was, some of the words you think sound good may actually be diminishing your chances of landing an interview. Due to the limited amount of time a recruiter spends looking at a resume, you have to know which words to include. And most importantly, the key to writing an effective resume is knowing which words to avoid. Here are some of the most common words and phrases used that should be avoided.

Team-Player, Passionate, and Detail-Oriented

These words may accurately describe you, but they also describe many others. Since these terms have been so overused in the past, the value has decreased significantly. An executive resume writer may suggest getting rid of these words and replacing them with actual achievements. Shift your wording to show what you’ve done instead of telling about it.

Weak Action Verbs

executive resumeCommon weak action verbs include “managed,” “handled,” “led,” “supported” and many others. Again, these may be true, but they aren’t actionable and can bore the reader. A professional resume writing service can help you be creative with your action verbs, since they’ve seen every weak one imaginable.

Objective Statement

The objective statement is a thing of the past when it comes to resumes and will make you seem as though you aren’t current on the way resumes should be. Most applicants have the same needs and desires when applying for a job, so most objective statements are similar as a result. Instead, an executive resume writer will suggest ditching the objective statement in favor of a professional summary demonstrating your qualifications and experiences briefly.

“References Available Upon Request”

The common assumption recruiters have today is applicants will be able to provide references if asked, so don’t include this on your resume. As with the Objective Statement, this will make you seem out of touch with resumes today.

Outdated Information

At a certain point, a professional resume writing service will tell you experience is more valuable over certifications or education. If you have more than about 5 years of experience, you can likely relocate any mentions of your certifications or education to the end of the resume since employers are more interested in what you’ve accomplished.

* By Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW, BS/HR, a Certified Professional & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, Inc. She has achieved international recognition following nominations and wins of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award. Find Erin at