Category Archives: Resume & Cover Letter

Best and Worst Words Used in a Resume

This is not original from me but I thought it was helpful for students as they write resumes, Source: Career Builder


Hiring Managers Rank Best and Worst Words to Use in a Résumé in New CareerBuilder Survey

CHICAGO – March 13, 2014 – One in six (17 percent) hiring managers spend 30 seconds or less, on average, reviewing résumés, according to a new CareerBuilder survey. A majority (68 percent) spend less than two minutes. With so little time to capture interest, even a candidate’s word choice can make a difference. The nationwide sample of employers identified which commonly-used résumé terms are overused or cliché and which are strong additions.

The national survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from November 6 to December 2, 2013, and included a representative sample of 2,201 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes.

“Hiring managers prefer strong action words that define specific experience, skills and accomplishments,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “Subjective terms and clichés are seen as negative because they don’t convey real information. For instance, don’t say you are ‘results-driven’; show the employer your actual results.”

The Worst Résumé Terms

The following terms are résumé turn-offs as selected by respondents:

1. Best of breed: 38 percent

2. Go-getter: 27 percent

3. Think outside of the box: 26 percent

4. Synergy: 22 percent

5. Go-to person: 22 percent

6. Thought leadership: 16 percent

7. Value add: 16 percent

8. Results-driven: 16 percent

9. Team player: 15 percent

10. Bottom-line: 14 percent

11. Hard worker: 13 percent

12. Strategic thinker: 12 percent

13. Dynamic: 12 percent

14. Self-motivated: 12 percent

15. Detail-oriented: 11 percent

16. Proactively: 11 percent

17. Track record: 10 percent

The Best Résumé Terms

There are, however, several strong verbs and terms candidates can use to help describe their experience. The following are terms employers would like to see on a résumé:

1. Achieved: 52 percent

2. Improved: 48 percent

3. Trained/Mentored: 47 percent

4. Managed: 44 percent

5. Created: 43 percent

6. Resolved: 40 percent

7. Volunteered: 35 percent

8. Influenced: 29 percent

9. Increased/Decreased: 28 percent

10. Ideas: 27 percent

11. Negotiated: 25 percent

12. Launched: 24 percent

13. Revenue/Profits: 23 percent

14. Under budget: 16 percent

15. Won: 13 percent

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,201 hiring managers and human resource professionals between November 6 and December 2, 2013 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 2,201, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/-2.09 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About CareerBuilder®

CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract great talent. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors and 1 million jobs. CareerBuilder works with the world’s top employers, providing everything from labor market intelligence to talent management software and other recruitment solutions. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.

Media Contact

Ryan Hunt

773-527-6923

Ryan.Hunt@careerbuilder.com

http://www.twitter.com/CareerBuilderPR

CareerBuilder Media Contact
For all media inquiries and interview requests, contact:

Jennifer Grasz
(P) 773-527-1164
(E) jennifer.grasz@careerbuilder.com

What Happens to Your Online Application?

Very good article on Applicant Tracking Systems

Additional related thoughts I have.
1. Keep it simple– use very basic formatting in MS Word a pdf file is not often read correctly by the ATS
2. Target your information for the position – generic resumes miss the mark
3. Key words – Use key words that you see from the posting (synonyms are often missed by the software)
4. What and Who – The resume tells the recruiter “What” you can do – the cover letter tells him/her “Who” you are
5. Impersonal response – It is typical to not receive a personalized response upon your application. At best you may receive an automated email confirmation to your application. Applicants should not take this personally
6. Employee referrals – companies have an employee referral program that encourage and allow employees to refer candidates to specific openings. This is a built in vetting process and can add extra weight to a candidate’s application. Typically, employee referrals are reviewed by HR with a reply most often sent to the employee making the referral
7. Network – Network, network, network, find out who you know in the company through LinkedIn, Facebook or online directories. Consider asking your contacts if they know someone at the company and could introduce you
8. Market through the network – always submit your resume through the company ATS but also send your resume and cover letter to your network contacts in the company informing them in detail about the position and when you applied
9. People hire people – ATS assist recruiters to weed out the vast majority of applicants, even some ideally suited and skilled for the position. Invest most your time on finding out who might be responsible to hire for the position, others within the company and introduce yourself