Leader, problem solver, team player and high performer. Have you included these words on your resume? Don’t.
Almost every resume client comes to me with these keywords on their resume, and every employer ignores them. Why? Because they’ve become so common they no longer have any meaning.
Show AND Tell
If you are a leader, show it. If you solve problems, provided examples. If you are a team player, give proof. If you are a high performer, back it up.
The Power of Examples
Here’s one strategy I’ve used because I believe it shows my client in action.
1st sentence: Challenge presented by the job.
2nd (and 3rd if needed) sentence: Action taken in response to the challenge.
3rd (or 4th) sentence (which can be a clause added to the 2nd or 3rd sentence: leading to x, resulting in x, etc.
Here’s this strategy in action.
Taking B2C website for major sports retailer from conception through to launch. Integrated team of 13 Business Analysts, 7 Java Developers and 12 Quality Assurance resources, resulting in site capable of tracking user experience, business transaction processing, analytics, multiple brands, categories of product, etc.
Leadership in the project is implied–no need to claim to be a leader. You have shown your leadership.
Problem solver is also implied by the brief description of the action taken to resolved the challenge faced. Challenge>Solution=Problem Solver.
Team playing skills are implied by the fact that this person ‘integrated team’ of 32 people. If this person’s work experience demonstrates that he or she has been involved for any length of time in similar projects, team player is essentially obvious.
High performance isn’t addressed specifically in the example above. It’s merely implied. If there are many quality examples like the one above, you build the case that you perform at a high level. If you can’t come up with multiple examples, chances are you aren’t a high performer and shouldn’t claim to be one.
Unfortunately, many resumes treat the person who receives it as someone who is too stupid to think. Maybe that’s the case occasionally, yet it’s always better to assume that the person reading your resume is intelligent and looking for someone who stands out.
It can never be emphasized enough. A good resume shows as it tells. If you are finding it difficult to ‘show,’ turn to a professional that specializes in helping client’s discover their seemingly intangible details.
The truth is much of what you do is so ordinary to you, you don’t think about its significance. Thus you turn to terms to sum it all up, instead of taking the time to identify the actions that prove these qualities. A good resume writer will challenge you until you’ve dug deep enough to provide the information that enables a show AND tell resume.
If results matter to you, then hire a resume writer who isn’t willing to use those 4 keywords that waste resume real estate.