Job Zone

5 Resume Mistakes that Will Cost You the Job

In a saturated market filled with thousands of people aiming for your job, one of the many ways job hunters try to get noticed are through buzzwords, but multiple interviews with recruiters around the word now state that buzzwords can actually hurt your chances of getting a place within their companies.

Avoid these buzzwords and mistakes:

1- Hardworking Team Player

In a resume or CV, you have a short time to introduce yourself and grab the recruiters’ attention, 6 seconds to be exact. Recruiters want to understand how you can be an asset to their working environment and words such as hardworking, team player, problem solver and think outside the box are too vague and over used by many job applicants.

Be direct as possible by explaining what makes you a team player/hard worker or give examples when you used this ability to help a company you worked for. Use words that focus on the industry you are in or are trying to get into such as creative (advertising), diligent (finance) and approachable (customer service.)

2- Creatively Innovative

As mentioned earlier, creative is a word that can and should be used in resumes but avoid using it to describe yourself. Just as with hardworking or hard worker, it is better to state in examples how are you creative and in what situations have you been able to show off this trait.

“I am a creative/innovative person” will give recruiters the choice to simply move onto the next candidate and resume. It has been over-used and most resumes do not include ways in which the person has shown this trait to help the company or job they worked in. Instead, try “I work to produce and implement new strategies and ideas” and continue from there.

3- Communication Skills

Rating your communication skills, stating that you are an exceptional communicator is a matter of opinion and also an unwritten requirement for any job in today’s world. Most jobs require strong communication skills as a basic necessity, along with being able to work and communicate effectively with others. This goes without saying, and writing it down will only take up space you could have used for more important items.

4- Microsoft Word as a skill

Adding Microsoft word or “’References available by request” only serve to make you seem old and behind the times. All companies expect all workers to have a basic knowledge of an application that has been around since the start of the internet, and know that job applicants will give them references when asked.

Being behind the times now can cause you that nice new job you have your hopes on, so update your resume with other skills that are important for the job you are looking for like WordPress or Adobe Suite proficiency.

5- Do not miss action words

Use action words, or words that show what you have done in positive ways. use words such as implement, achieved, improved, trained, managed, created, resolved, and increased/decreased are all great words that show off the work you have done.

The main point of a resume is show the recruiter the ways you can benefit their company. Do this by explaining your work and what you have done to improve your current or previous company, and by clarifying your work clearly for them to understand how you helped in specific ways. An example is “Worked with company to improve X campaign by ___.”


Another tip is to avoid talking about yourself too much using pronouns such as I, Me, and Myself. Recruiters know that you are trying to sell yourself, but no one wants to hear someone always mentioning themselves. Avoid “I” and skip to the action word or verb such as the example above.

Got any tips for us and your fellow job hunters? Let us know and we might add it to the article.

Think Marketing

Knowledge Hub Specialized in Publishing Insights and Analytics Developed for Digital Marketing, Public Relations and Communications Experts.