By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF chair & freelance aviation journalist/blogger
In those rare hours where I have some time to myself, I do free resume reviews for students and young journalists. I had people help me with this and other things when I started in the business, and I feel an obligation to return the favor.
Professional social media platform LinkedIn recently came out with its list of the top 10 most-used buzz words in members’ profiles during 2011. You can see the list here. But there are words that just drive me (and potential employers) nuts when they come up in a resume. I list them below, and why they drive us crazy.
- Communication skills: If you’re a journalist, this should be a given, so you don’t need to actually spell it out on the resume;
- Objective: I hate this word, because the resume itself tells an employer that your objective is to get a job. Get rid of this word and the chatter that usually follows it and use that valuable resume space to show how you can actually help an employer with your skills;
- Organized/organizational: journalists by their very nature have to be organized, so there’s no need to state the obvious. Instead, highlight things you’ve done that show off your organizational skills;
- Track record: the first thing that pops into my head when I see this is “track and field star?” Instead of saying you have a track record, illustrate it with your body of work;
- Motivated: if you’re looking for a job, it’s obvious that you’re motivated to get hired. Otherwise, why would you send the resume in the first place? Instead, highlight projects and skills that show initiative and/or creative thinking;
- Out-of-the-box/innovative: One, these phrases are way overused. Two, people use bad examples to illustrate this. So show, don’t tell about how your skills are out-of-the-box or innovative; and
- Effective: No one will describe themselves as ineffective, especially on a resume. Again, show, don’t tell, how you and your skills would be effective in the workplace.