Three Overused Words You Should Avoid on Management Resumes
Resumes are meant to engage potential employers, providing a straightforward, but intriguing representation of your management skills. Well-placed keywords are an important part of getting noticed, but overloading management resumes with vague adjectives makes it difficult for employers to weigh your experience and abilities against other candidates. Keep these resume-writing tips in mind, and unlearn the overused phrases preventing you from landing competitive management positions.
1. Effective–Describing yourself as “effective” or “results-driven” only tells hiring managers how you rate your skills; it doesn’t substantiate your claims or demonstrate a reliable track record. You don’t have to completely eliminate these words from your management resumes, but follow them up with a measurable accomplishment, such as sales increases or client retention. A December 2013 “TIME” article suggested starting each year by writing a “greatest hits” list of your achievements from the previous year to keep your management resumes detailed and current.
2. Analytical–According to a 2013 LinkedIn survey, “analytical” is the tenth most overused resume term. Similar descriptors, such as “creative” and “strategic,” are even higher up the list, and they all produce the same result–nothing. Make your management resumes worth remembering with exact examples of how you improved operations by finding inventive or unconventional solutions to company problems. Employers are more likely to take a second look at resumes with verifiable success that’s relatable to their own workflows.
3. Organized–Leadership is only possible through organization, so managerial candidates must prove their ability to direct a team. When you only have a bullet point to elaborate, avoid empty statements about staying on task, and briefly share the specifics of a challenging project you planned and executed to completion. Even when transitioning from support positions, you can tailor examples on your management resumes to the requirements in the job posting, making it easy for employers to imagine you in managerial roles.
Realistically, many companies do use software and recruitment websites to find suitable candidates during the preliminary stages. To make sure your resume isn’t overlooked, replace hollow keywords with relevant descriptions of your roles and responsibilities. Keep keywords short, but specific to the industry. For example, clearly state that you worked in facilities management, back-office operations, or budget administration, rather than generalizing your management experience.
It can be tempting to fill up your resume with overused words because they sound impressive and come to mind quickly when you’re in a resume-writing rut. Employers appreciate it when you pay attention to the job description, but they don’t want to waste time muddling through a stack of management resumes that sound exactly like the job posting. Address how you satisfy each core requirement without restating every detail of the position to keep stale descriptions from eliminating new career opportunities.
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