Fluff words are those vague, tired clichés that your include on your resume just to fill it out. They do nothing to help you stand out as the best candidate. Considering that the average reviewer or applicant tracking system (ATS) spends less than 10 seconds on an initial resume review, it’s imperative that you nix fluff for specific, relevant and compelling information.
LinkedIn recently released a list of the top 10 overused terms on the profiles of U.S. professionals:
- Extensive experience
- Proven track record
- Team player
- Problem solver
Turn Fluff into Marketable Facts
Your resume is your most important document to advance your career. Turn fluff into highly marketable facts by:
- Replacing character-describing traits with specific content: For instance, instead of saying you are “results-oriented,” include as one of your bullet points the fact that you “exceeded sales quota by 20 percent in an extremely challenging economic climate.” Rather that describe yourself as “innovative,” tell how you “developed a new customer service process that improved customer retention 10 percent in a 12-month period.”
- Using percentages instead of numbers. The same number, such as a “$750,000 sales increase,” may be significant to one employer but minor to another. Also, many companies do not like people giving out private information.
- Detailing only specialized technical strengths: Today’s employers expect all candidates to know basic computing skills and programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. List only those that are highly specialized and applicable to the job. When you describe a technical ability, illustrate this strength by detailing what you have created or done with it.
- Focusing on keywords: Pay attention to the exact language the employer used in the job description and include the same keywords on your resume. This will ensure that it grabs and holds the reader’s attention. Add on your best skills that your competitors may lack.
- Describing outcomes instead of simply listing responsibilities. The shortfall with simply itemizing job responsibilities is that it does not tell an employer how successful you were at executing your ideas. Be sure to clearly demonstrate your actual performance.
Do you need help in perfecting your resume so you see successful results? The recruitment experts at PrideStaff Modesto can help with this and all facets of your job search strategy. We specializing in matching the best candidates with leading employers in California and nationwide. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.