40+ Words to Avoid in your Resume

The list of Words to Avoid was compiled from publicly published surveys and reports sourced from professional search organizations, talent acquisition specialists, and HR professionals.  These words are commonly cited as words, phrases, and clichés to avoid.    Typically they are considered overused, and could be construed as negative, vague, awkward or express the obvious.   There is no hard and fast rule on how to handle these words. Review the context for how the words are used and then decide if there are more powerful alternatives.  Refer to the scrollable Power Words list for ideas.    Remember that showing is more powerful than telling.  Rather than say you “think outside the box” or are “results-oriented”, say that you “designed and implemented a digital marketing strategy that increased customer acquisition by 75% in 2 months.”

  • Accomplished   
  • Ambitious
  • Best of Breed
  • Can't
  • Capable
  • Creative
  • Dabbled
  • Duties included
  • Dropped out
  • Dynamic
  • Excelled
  • Experience working in
  • Extensive Experience
  • Funny
  • Go-getter
  • Go-to person
  • Handled
  • Hard Worker
  • Hardworking
  • He
  • Helped
  • Her
  • Highly qualified
  • Him
  • Hit the ground running
  • Hobbies
  • Honest
  • I
  • Innovative    
  • Interfaced
  • Motivated    
  • Objective
  • People person
  • Proactive
  • Problem-solving
  • Punctual
  • References available upon request
  • Responsible for
  • Results-oriented
  • Rockstar
  • Salary negotiable
  • Seasoned
  • Self-motivated
  • She
  • Skillful
  • Stay-at-home
  • Strategic thinker
  • Successfully
  • Synergy
  • Terminated
  • Think outside the box
  • Thought leadership
  • Thru
  • Track Record
  • Unemployed
  • Win-win
  • Won't
  • Worked