Your Resume's Kiss of Death: One Phrase to Avoid

Published: Oct 31, 2013

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October 31, 2013

One Job Search Destroying Word to Eliminate from Your Resume Today

By Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, Expert Resume Writer

We are all “professionals” in the working world. No need to brag on your resume about being just like every other human. Individuality is the substance of successful resumes in today’s job market.

Unfortunately, I see titles like this on resumes every day:

Administrative Professional
Customer Service Professional
Accounting Professional
Human Resources Professional
Information Technology Professional
Senior Executive Professional (Seriously? What does this even mean?)
Senior Finance Professional
Dedicated ProfessionalWords not to use on resume
Consummate Professional

And the one I love to hate the most...

Accomplished Professional

You can put any industry (or adjective) you want in front of the word professional and people think it makes for a great addition to their resume. Truth is, there isn’t a much more vague statement out there. It is so damaging to your job search to include this statement as a job target, job title, header, branding statement, or within the first line of your career summary—if for no other reason than the fact that a hiring manager isn’t going to log into LinkedIn or Monster and search the words: Customer Service Professional, Accomplished Professional, or Consummate Professional to find you.

When they do a keyword search they’re going to search by job title and for keywords relevant to the opportunity. Instead of using professional, use the job title or position you’re seeking.

For example, instead of Customer Service Professional with 15+ years of experience, just say: Customer Service Manager with 15+ years of experience or Customer Service Representative with 15+ years of experience.

Rather than Senior Executive Professional or Senior Finance Professional, say: Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operations Officer, or Chief Financial Officer.

Using specific position titles has two positive effects. First, it increases your keyword optimization with pesky applicant-tracking software programs; second, it clearly defines for the person reviewing your resume who you are and the position you’re seeking. The last thing you want to do is confuse the hiring manager about what type of role you’re trying to obtain.

About the Author

Jessica Hernandez, is a resume authority for the Job Talk America radio program and multi-published expert author for resume, career, and job search publications. She boasts more than ten years in human resources management and hiring for Fortune 500 companies and utilizes her extensive experience to support job seekers in their quest to move onward and upward in their careers. Find out more at Great Resumes Fast.

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