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Job Hunting 101: What You Should Never Put on a Resume

job hunting 101 phrases in your resume that make hiring managers cringe careers

A good resume is key in landing your dream job. They’re so important that hiring managers would often sort applicants just by the first few lines of their resume. While there are a ton of templates and generators available online, the art of writing a compelling resume lies is more than just word-stuffing a piece of paper. In fact sometimes, it’s more about what you don’t include in your resume.

Read more: Job-hunting Tips for Fresh Graduates

One of the biggest mistakes fresh graduates make is padding their resume with unnecessary details. Remember, it’s not about the length of the resume; it’s about substance. Having a cluttered resume would not increase your chances of getting hired no matter how many applications you send out. To help you write that coherent yet effective resume, here are the most common words and phrases that you should avoid:


I mean c’mon, if you can’t make a presentation using Powerpoint or a document using Word, then you should probably go back to college for a few semesters. Instead of including these blatantly obvious skills, try focusing on more specific–more niche–ones like Python, Stata, Adobe Software, Rich media platforms, etc. Of course, add skills that are relevant to the position you’re applying for.

On that note, please, please do not include skills you really aren’t that familiar with. Lying your way in may land you a job but it will definitely not help you with the actual work. You’ll only be setting yourself up for bigger failure in the future.

Too much information

A huge ‘about me’ section is not necessary for a resume to stand out. You can reserve that information for interviews. Keep in mind that an interviewer would like to know more about you in person rather than just reading it on paper. That also means that being concise is key, that is, keeping your resume within a respectable length–usually just 1-2 pages. Hiring managers don’t have the time to read a huge wall of text. Zero in on important information that will help you land the job.

Pro tip: You may want to remove your awards during high school–unless of course they’re groundbreaking enough to warrant space in your resume.

Annoying words

These words can make the most patient hiring managers cringe and trust me, it’s better to stick to more specific examples of your work ethic and skills rather than to resort to these:

  • Personal pronouns like I, me, my we, our, etc.
  • Problem solver
  • Honest
  • Innovative
  • Creative
  • People person
  • Hard worker
  • Responsible
  • Highly qualified
  • Results-driven
  • Exceptional communicator
  • Leadership


Most of these words are not only cringe-worthy but they’re also hard to substantiate. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot and just stay clear of these words. Better yet, include experiences that actually describe why you’re a problem solver, innovative, creative, etc.

Embarrassing Email Address

We’ve all been there. You created an email address back in highschool and you’ve been sticking with it since. John_theterminator, youandmeforever143, babyghurl, gigglybear–these are just some of the most embarrassing aliases you’ve probably used in your email line. Even if you’re just using a marginally embarrassing email address, consider making a new one for the sake of your job application. It only takes a few minutes!

Consider also doing a social media cleanse. You may want to change your profile picture to something more professional and hide any embarrassing hugot status in the meantime.



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