Every marketer knows a key to success is differentiation. It’s what makes a product or a person special – and hopefully desirable.
Few places does this play out more than on resumes. Professionals at all experience levels strain and struggle to differentiate themselves, and not always with the intended results.
Harris Poll, on behalf of CareerBuilder, recently canvassed 2,201 hiring managers and HR people across an array of industries and company sizes.
The question: What are the biggest resume turnoffs?
- Best of breed: 38%
- Go-getter: 27%
- Think outside of the box: 26%
- Synergy: 22%
- Go-to person: 22%
- Thought leadership: 16%
- Value added: 16%
These Words Get You Noticed
As for what folks thought was the most effective terms used on the resumes, here are some of those:
- Achieved: 52%
- Improved: 48%
- Trained/mentored: 47%
- Managed: 44%
- Created: 43%
- Resolved: 40%
- Volunteered: 35%
The difference seems to be the first list is simply over-hyped descriptions, while the second is more a set of specific accomplishments.
But even though “thought leadership” and “synergy” may be grating to some, it doesn’t mean you should never use them.
Suzanne Lucas, the Evil HR Lady and a columnist for Inc.com, suggests that it could be worth it to “stop and realize your own biases and maybe vow to spend a bit more time looking at resumes.
After all, it’s not about what the resume says (unless you’re hiring professional resume writers); it’s about what the person can do for you.