Prove it to me!

By One2One Resumes

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Over-used phrases and clichés in a résumé, I see them day in and day out. Recruiters see them even more often — the ‘done to death’ clichés that make their eyes glaze over. Buzzwords that jobseekers somehow seem to think will magically ring the employers’ bells. A little like a police officer who hears the cries of “but, I’m innocent” all the time, recruiters are yawning at words like these:

  • Team player
  • Results driven
  • Fire in the belly
  • Excellent leadership skills
  • Great organisational skills
  • Work well autonomously
  • Self-starter
  • Ability to prioritise
  • Customer focused

… I could go on and on, but I think you get the drift.

Do you know what employers actually do when they read these statements? Apart from rolling their eyes in exasperation, they say “so what”, “don’t you all” and “really, where is the proof”.

It’s not the words themselves that are the problem: it is that they have no value. Comments like these in résumés are empty. They have no meaning. No credibility.

These words and statements might be perfectly true, and may well be strong selling points for you, but unless you give them context you won’t be taken seriously.

If you’re going to sprout about it, then proudly provide the details.

Try to think of these words and how they have been applied in your career. If you consider yourself to be good at multi-tasking, start looking at your positions – where have you done this, what were the tasks, can you measure your success?

Look at the examples below:


Time Management

Acknowledged by management for ability to manage high volume workloads across several projects with no sacrifice to quality.


Customer Service/Sales

Provided a consistently high level of service to customers, introduced companion products and increased sales by 48% within 6 months.


Problem Solver

Implemented a new accounting software program that reduced accounting errors by 89% in the first year.


Attention to Detail

Detected an error in a key-client account which dated back 3 months. Saved the company $7,000 by correcting the problem.



Conducted a survey of courier services and negotiated better rates with existing supplier that reduced costs by 25%.


Communication Skills

Built rapport with customers from diverse cultural backgrounds, diagnosed technical problems and explained technical information in a manner that was easily understood.


Can you see how you have given these statements meaning and how credible they sound with a little more detail?

So the next time you’re tempted to include these sorts of qualities and skills in your résumé, make sure you have a story to back them up.


© Michelle Lopez, Owner/Career Consultant

One2One Resumes ABN 84 356 535 910/002

P: +61 08 9274 1257

E: [email protected]



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