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Resume Key Words- What to Include and What to Avoid

When it comes time to write your first, or latest, resume, you need to make sure that it is free of some key words that should never be in there. You also need to make sure that it has some key words that let potential employers know about you as a worker.


Avoid These Clichés

It is imperative that your resume does not include any of the following clichés if you want it to stand out from the rest of the pack:

  • I am a team player.
  • I am detail-oriented.
  • I am innovative.
  • I have extensive experience.
  • I have good communication skills.
  • I am highly motivated.


Instead of wasting space on your resume with these phrases, you should get right to your career accomplishments. Put together a list of all the career goals you have achieved at each job you have held. This can include how often you hit quotas as a salesperson or how many people you manage at your current job.

Also, make sure that your resume does not say “references available upon request.” There is no reason to add this to your resume because it takes up valuable space for a phrase that is a known fact throughout the work world. All hiring managers and recruiters will ask candidates for references, so there is no need to add this to a resume.


Utilize Action Words

Make it a point to use action words and phrases in all of your resumes. These will help potential employers take notice of your resume and your experience. When you use action words, they make your statement more compelling and interesting for employers to read. Job seekers can tell or in a compelling manner to make their experience stand out. It is up to you how you want to sell yourself as a job seeker. Some examples of action phrases include the following:

  • “I pioneered a new employee incentive program for all to enjoy.”
  • “I increased the productivity of my division by 20 percent.”
  • “I secured three new clients with $1,500 of monthly revenue.”
  • “I ranked first in sales among the peers at my office.”


If you are in the process of looking for a new position and are preparing to write a resume, reach out to our experienced recruiters today. Our team at Halpin Personnel will help you prepare a keyword rich resume that sells your skills and experience in the best way possible.




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