Top Words to Avoid on Your Resume

While you are choosing the best words to include on your resume, there are also words you should completely avoid. You don’t want to make a wrong impression on the medium that determines if you are going to make the interview list or not. However, most of the words to avoid on your resume are basically those that should be replaced by more promoting resume action words and examples.

Here is a list of top words to avoid on your resume

Team player

This phrase is very common on resumes as everyone claims to be a team player. The problem is: there are no means to establish this as the truth. Consider highlighting a few times you collaborated with others to achieve a success using resume action words like mentored, collaborated, cooperated, etc. This will present you better than launching an unverifiable claim.


Employers know that workforce is aimed at achieving results. Whether they are good or bad; they are all results. Consider replacing this phrase with evidence of how you achieved successful results at work. You might mention how you measured the success during the work campaign to show that your strategy was rewarding.


Some of us would want to argue that this should be one of the words to include on your resume, but it’s not. The word is not specific. Consider using action words that are more précised to make your point clear. “Interact” or “collaborate” or “cooperate” are better words to choose if you are explaining your interaction with other departments.

Best of Breed

This phrase has become too common and doesn’t mean anything to the hiring managers now. Also, ‘best of breed’ doesn’t make you sound like a candidate for employment, but more like a phrase that should remain useful in farms.

Think Outside of the Box

This is another phrase that hiring managers are tired of seeing on resumes. Consider highlighting a time you demonstrated creative thinking in place of this phrase. There are no means to ascertain if you’re creative or copied the phrase from somewhere for hype. Conceptualize, developed, and created are all resume action words you can use to replace the “think outside of the box” phrase. They definitely sound more reasonable and realistic.


This is another cliché and empty word. You should delete this word if you are using it to say you initiate projects. Consider using an example of a time you initiated a project. That will present you better and give more insight about your personality than presenting an arguable conclusion.

Dynamic/ Self-motivated

Anyone can claim they are self-motivated or dynamic in their resume but there’s no way to determine if it’s true. Instead of using any of these words, you can prove it with examples throughout your resume. Let the hiring manager arrive at the conclusion that you are dynamic or self-motivated, not from your words. Mention a project that you developed. Give examples from your past work experiences, if you volunteered to do a project in the past, list them.

Be specific in your choice of words, stick with action words to elucidate your energy and include power words. Focus on the job skills and also use values or figures while mentioning profits or projects. Good luck!

Jay Raol

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