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.
By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group
- The 10000 Words blog tells us 7 Ways to keep journalism alive (without paywalls). And Mark Luckie’s new book, The Digital Journalist’s Handbook, is now available on Amazon.
- Mashable shows how to Post Pics to Twitter, Facebook and MySpace All at Once With yfrog.
- Looking to build your own Web site? SmashingApps.com has 13 Easy And Powerful Website Building Tools To Create Your Free Site.
- Are you a fan of LinkedIn? The Social Bright blog says How to use LinkedIn to promote your blog.
- The Site Sketch blog offers 14 Ways to Increase Your Blog Traffic.
And here’s a gentle reminder. The Digital Journalism Task Force is holding a CoverItLive session — Twitter 101 for Journalists-More than Just What I Ate For Breakfast — tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb. 23, from noon to 1:00 p.m. I hope you can join us!