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Sunday, December 18, 2005
Choose a Word
I tell all prospective clients who contact me for a resume review the key to good resume writing is marketing the job seeker powerfully. Good resume writers write powerful documents that make the job seeker stand out from the crowd and paint a picture of that person’s work history, skills and accomplishments. A great resume “shows”, rather than just “telling”.

Many individuals who contact us have written their own resumes but they are just not working for them. Most are puzzled why they are having such trouble. They have good experience; they spell-checked their resume; and they followed the “rules” they read about in a book on resume writing. No one knows their backgrounds better than they do themselves, right? So what is the problem?

Writing a powerful resume that wins interviews is more than just following the “rules”. It is about strategy and word choice. The only profession I know of that pays more attention to word choice than resume writing is law. Ask any lawyer what difference a word choice can make and you will be amazed at the answer you get. The same is true in powerful, tight writing.

One of the most common word choice mistakes we see in resumes sent to us is overuse of a word. There are so many words and phrases that have been used over and over in resumes until they no longer make sense or have any impact. Some example phrases include “dedicated professional”, “people-person”, “proven track record”, and “proven leadership”. What once were great, powerful phrases are now so overused they have no meaning to resume readers (aka the hiring manager). Resume writers know which words and phrases to avoid and how to choose good ones that are more descriptive without being ho-hum.

Another common mistake is redundancy in words, especially at the beginning of sentences. We recently received a resume for review in which every single bulleted phrase started with “worked on”. Choosing varied language keeps the reader engaged and the resume from being monotonous.

November 2005 / December 2005 /


We specialize in working with professionals in the high tech, engineering, and manufacturing industries to organize, direct, and accomplish their career goals. Our knowledge of technology and our expertise in these rapidly changing industries set us apart from all other career services firms and provides outstanding value to our clients. See how we can help your Career by reading our Blog.
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