10 Brand-Diluting Phrases That Can Ruin Your Executive Resume

by Meg Guiseppi on June 4, 2010

When reviewing potential clients’ executive resumes and career biographies, I notice a lot of the same over-used, boring phrases that were outdated 10 years ago. These c-level and senior-level executives often tell me they wrote their own resumes, and looked at resume samples online or those of their colleagues to help them.

They fell into the trap of boilerplating their documents to be the same as everyone else’s. And they took shortcuts when writing them.

Keep in mind that real people (recruiters, employers, and other hiring professionals) will be reading your documents, or the online profiles you create using them – people who probably review many of them on any given day.

Which ones are more likely to capture and hold their attention? Those that look and read the same, or those that vibrantly showcase the candidate’s unique combination of good-fit characteristics?

Use words and phrases that differentiate you and precisely distinguish your unique promise of value from others competing for the same jobs. What differentiates you is what makes you valuable.

Defining your executive brand will give you the ammunition you need and facilitate the writing process. Start with my 10 Steps to an Authentic, Magnetic Personal Brand.

Workplace and job search networking expert Liz Ryan listed what she considers to be the 10 worst offenders:

  • Results-oriented professional
  • Cross-functional teams
  • More than [x] years of progressively responsible experience
  • Superior (or excellent) communication skills
  • Strong work ethic
  • Met or exceeded expectations
  • Proven track record of success
  • Works well with all levels of staff
  • Team player
  • Bottom-line orientation

After all, with years of experience and hard work improving business operations, building productive teams, and driving profitability, what senior-level executive isn’t all of those things in Liz’s list? They’re pretty much a given, to have gotten where you are today.

Space is limited in career marketing documents and online profiles. Why waste precious real estate with ineffectual fillers?

Once you define what best describes you, consult a thesaurus to nail the exact words to use in your resume, biography, online profiles, and other career marketing communications. Then back them up with monetized, brand-reinforcing examples.

Related posts:

How to Write An Irresistible C-level Executive Brand Resume in 10 Steps

How to Write a C-level Executive Career Brand Biography

VisualCV: The Social Media Executive Resume

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