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Hiring Managers Rank Best and Worst Words to Use in a Resume in New CareerBuilder Survey

CHICAGO, March 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- One in six (17 percent) hiring managers spend 30 seconds or less, on average, reviewing resumes, according to a new CareerBuilder survey. A majority (68 percent) spend less than two minutes. With so little time to capture interest, even a candidate's word choice can make a difference. The nationwide sample of employers identified which commonly-used resume terms are overused or cliche and which are strong additions.

The national survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from November 6 to December 2, 2013, and included a representative sample of 2,201 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes.

"Hiring managers prefer strong action words that define specific experience, skills and accomplishments," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. "Subjective terms and cliches are seen as negative because they don't convey real information. For instance, don't say you are 'results-driven'; show the employer your actual results."

The Worst Resume Terms
The following terms are resume turn-offs as selected by respondents:

  1. Best of breed: 38 percent
  2. Go-getter: 27 percent
  3. Think outside of the box: 26 percent
  4. Synergy: 22 percent
  5. Go-to person: 22 percent
  6. Thought leadership: 16 percent
  7. Value add: 16 percent
  8. Results-driven: 16 percent
  9. Team player: 15 percent
  10. Bottom-line: 14 percent
  11. Hard worker: 13 percent
  12. Strategic thinker: 12 percent
  13. Dynamic: 12 percent
  14. Self-motivated: 12 percent
  15. Detail-oriented: 11 percent
  16. Proactively: 11 percent
  17. Track record: 10 percent

The Best Resume Terms
There are, however, several strong verbs and terms candidates can use to help describe their experience. The following are terms employers would like to see on a resume:

  1. Achieved: 52 percent
  2. Improved: 48 percent
  3. Trained/Mentored: 47 percent
  4. Managed: 44 percent
  5. Created: 43 percent
  6. Resolved: 40 percent
  7. Volunteered: 35 percent
  8. Influenced: 29 percent
  9. Increased/Decreased: 28 percent
  10. Ideas: 27 percent
  11. Negotiated: 25 percent
  12. Launched: 24 percent
  13. Revenue/Profits: 23 percent
  14. Under budget: 16 percent
  15. Won: 13 percent

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,201 hiring managers and human resource professionals between November 6 and December 2, 2013 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 2,201, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/-2.09 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About CareerBuilder®
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract great talent. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors and 1 million jobs. CareerBuilder works with the world's top employers, providing everything from labor market intelligence to talent management software and other recruitment solutions.  Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.

Media Contact
Ryan Hunt
773-527-6923
[email protected]
http://www.twitter.com/CareerBuilderPR

 

SOURCE CareerBuilder

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