These 7 Resume Cliches Make Recruiters Want to Scream - Undergrad Success
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These 7 Resume Cliches Make Recruiters Want to Scream

These 7 Resume Cliches Make Recruiters Want to Scream
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To a recruiter, chances are your resume looks, feels and sounds just like every other resume.

Why? Because almost resume written contains these seven cliches that make recruiters want to scream! Take a look, and then see how many of these need to be removed from your resume…

Detail Oriented

I’m not sure when we all started putting “detail oriented” in every single resume. But it must stop. Not only is this rarely true (as evidenced by the many typos in the resume, your cover letter and LinkedIn profile), this phrase does nothing to separate you from the competition. (By the way… same goes for “Results Oriented”)

Team Player

Don’t misunderstand this one. In today’s job market, every employer is looking for a collaborative team member who works and plays well with others. The trouble here, again, is that everyone says it… and few prove it.


Your use of adjectives is killing your credibility. Sure, it may make you sound more “dynamic” on paper… just like everyone else is “dynamic”. Truth is: you might as well use the words “ninja” or “guru”.


Funny thing about people saying they are “motivated” – those who are truly motivated don’t feel the need to say it out loud. Just like being “a hard-worker” or “possessing an amazing work ethic.” We know it… and we judge you accordingly.

Proven Track Record

According to whom? Based on what? This statement is so broad – so pointless – that all the rest of your resume could be great… and the recruiter is still going to think is that you ran out of ways to sell yourself.

Excellent Oral and Written Communication Skills

Yes, this is the number one soft skill. Yes, employers complain all the time about entry-level talent failing far too often in this critical area. The reality is, however, that in about 3 seconds the recruiter is going to make their own determination about the quality of your communication skills. If you pass that test, they’ll test you again on a Skype interview, or with a follow-up email. If you don’t pass that test (lack of confidence, poor professionalism, typos, inconsistent messaging, redundancy, etc.) the recruiter now knows your resume is less than sincere… and you are not a top tier candidate.


At some point, “passionate” became the biggest buzzword of the decade. Here’s the thing: in about 2 minutes, recruiters can tell from your social media profiles whether you are passionate about your career… or are just looking for a job. When they see no mention of your work – your professional passion – in your online presence, they know you’re just saying what you think you need to say to get the interview. Fail!

Solution: Delete. And, for the sake of your career: start saying positive, constructive things about your career choice on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

These are the top ten resume clichés, but there are many more. Do your job search a favor: go through every line and bullet on your resume and ask yourself:

“Am I saying it… or am I proving it?”

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YouTern enables young talent to become highly employable by connecting them to high-impact internships and mentors – and through contemporary career advice found on their blog, The Savvy Intern

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