Words NOT to use on your resume: Watch Your Words in the Job Search!

When putting together a resume and cover letter, should you use the word “strong” or “aggressive”? Would using the word “ambitious” be a wise choice or a bad move?

Writing a great resume is an ever evolving skill. Styles change and what was “in vogue” five years ago may no longer cut the mustard. You need to make your skills look current, relevant and fresh – and choosing the correct words is half the battle.


Marcus Buckingham (a motivational speaker and best-selling New York Times author) has some great advice. He says, “Emphasise your strengths on your resume, in your cover letters and in your interviews,” which you may think it a pretty basic point!

“It may sound obvious,” he says, “but you’d be surprised how many people simply list everything they’ve ever done. Convey your passion and link your strengths to measurable results. Employers and interviewers love concrete data.”

Looking for work is something that few people enjoy, but it is a necessary part of life. Particularly these days, where competition for roles is so tough. For many job roles, recruiters receive hundreds of applications, often few of which make it to the final round. I was speaking to an HR manager the other day who told me that out of the 100 resumes she received daily for a job role she advertised for, only about 10 were qualified for the job – only 2 or 3 made it to interview stage.

Do not be discouraged.

If you would like some help with your resume, contact me via the form below or the “Work with Alyce” tab on the red bar at the top of this website and I can provide some notes on your resume and help you to edit it and make it “fresh”.

How long have you been looking for work? Please send me message via the comments box below. 


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