18 Jan Quit Being a Cliché – Skills to Delete From Your Resume or LinkedIn Right Now
If you’re in the market for a new job, you already know the importance of having an updated resume and sparkling LinkedIn profile. Obviously you want to make sure that you have all your most recent experience, new technical skills, and changes in basic information. But what’s a skill and what’s a cliché? We look at a few skills to delete from your resume (and LinkedIn) and replace with something more savvy.
Here are skills to delete from your resume – today:
Good team player. That’s not a skill; that’s a position. You are on a team at work, and you do that well. This doesn’t really say anything, does it? What you probably mean is that you work well with others, that you have both the E.Q. to negotiate relationships and the technical ability to collaborate.
So say that – and give specific examples. Say “helped drive an overhaul of our safety procedures as part of a ten-person team”. Or “personally requested by the CEO to be part of a steering committee on a new sales initiative” — that says that others recognize this talent as well. This one is just as deadly as “good communication skills”.
Ambitious. (Or Energetic. Or Enthusiastic.) What’s wrong with these superhero qualifiers? The same can be said for six year olds. And people who are terribly annoying. They sound ok on their face, but when people use these (often in that little bio paragraph at the top of an extensive resume), they often use them without any context.
You want to soften the edges on these – you need to say, I’m a go-getter, but sane. Like “An effective leader who balances ambition with compassion.” That says, I can be the boss, I can get results, but I’m not a tyrant. That’s far less scary.
Mature. (Or Honest. Or Responsible.) These might seem safer than the set above. The problem is, they shouldn’t come up at all. These are skills to delete from your resume because the fact that you consider them skills is a problem. And worse, it suggests that you acquired these skills at some point – like, maybe someone had to tell you that you had an honesty problem. Delete, delete delete.
Skills to delete from your resume are basically clutter, and distractions.
Tell your future employer about your ability to find new customers, or keep old ones. Inform him or her about your three promotions in two years. Emphasize the size of the team you led, the amount you saved, or the project you designed. But please don’t tell them that you’re a mature team player who is really responsible. You’re better than that.