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Job applicants: Leave the jargon at home

8:22 AM, Mar 13, 2014   |    comments
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(CBS NEWS) You may be a "best of breed" go-getter but if you use those goofy terms on your resume, hiring managers are likely to toss your application in the round file.

According to a survey by Career Builder, the average hiring manager looks at each resume for just two minutes, which leads to some snap decisions -- kind of like speed dating. A serious turn-off, it turns out, is jargon. 

"Subjective terms and cliches are seen as negative because they don't convey real information," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. "Don't say you are 'results-driven'; show the employer your actual results."

The job-search site surveyed more than 2,000 hiring managers to find out their most hated resume terms. "Best of breed" topped the list, with 38 percent of respondents saying it was their most despised resume term.

The other terms you should you avoid, along with the percentage of hiring managers calling these terms their pet peeve:

2. Go-getter (27 percent)

3. Think outside 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)

But what if you really are a detail-oriented, strategic thinker? Then speak clearly. Here are terms employers do want to see on your resume. And be sure to provide details that show how you embody these qualities in the workplace:

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)

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.


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