Top 9 Words to NEVER Use in Your Resume

#career #Job Hunting #Your Resume

Camilla Marais

Researching buzzwords can be a great way to jazz up your resume, as these terms are trendy and eye-catching. However, as recruiters across the country go through thousands of resumes a day, many begin to notice terms that are off-putting and unattractive. These words can leave a bad taste in a recruiter’s mouth, and create a negative impression on you as a professional. To best avoid this situation, here are 9 words that should never be included in your resume.


It is best to avoid using this term unless you are describing the subject you got your PhD in. If not, expect to be drilled with intensive and detailed questions regarding your area of ‘expertise’.


Besides making yourself sound like a meal, the connotation this word holds is ‘old person’. If you are an older applicant, try spinning that in terms of your experience.

‘References Available Upon Request’

Very, very few companies will seriously interview a candidate with no available references. Be sure to speak to a few potential references before any interview to ensure that they have your back.


As cute and convenient as these abbreviations can be, they can be confusing to recruiters. For example, if you reference The New York Times as NYT, not everyone will understand your acronym and your experience will be devalued.

‘Fluent in Microsoft Office’

It is 2017; almost everyone who owns a computer is fluent in Microsoft Office. Avoid listing this on your resume, as it should be an assumed skill of any job applicant.

Casual language

While you might want your personality to shine through your resume, avoiding slang is key to maintaining a professional impression.

Personal Pronouns & Speaking in 3rd person

As recruiters know that your resume is your resume. Referencing yourself within your own resume is confusing and unnecessary, so focus on simply listing the necessary information.


Every skill listed on your resume should be something you are competent in on a professional level; essentially, if you listed it, you should be able to perform said task immediately upon hire. That being said, if you ‘dabbled’ in Spanish in high school, do not list Spanish as a skill on your resume.


While this word itself is not necessarily problematic, the connotations it holds are juvenile. ‘Superstar’, ‘popstar’, or any kind of ‘star’ should be limited to more casual conversation and kept off your resume.

Looking for more tips and tricks to enhance your resume? Check our our Ezzely blog on creating a memorable resume!

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