By Charles Purdy, Monster Senior Editorwww.monster.com
1. â€œJob Dutiesâ€
Heather Huhman, career expert and founder of content marketing and digital PR consultancy Come Recommended, says the term â€œjob dutiesâ€ is not convincing on a resume.
â€œList job duties under each position at your own risk,â€ she says. â€œInstead, focus on your accomplishments. Ideally, you should be able to use the S-A-R method: Situation, Action, Results. Include up to three bullets per position, and as [few] as one.â€
Keep in mind that your job duties are something that happened to you, not something you achieved -- and your resume should tell a story of achievement.
2. "Related Coursework"
"Unless you're applying for your very first internship, remove your related coursework," Huhman says. All your relevant education definitely belongs on your resume, but a separate section for "related coursework" isn't necessary. Your resume needs a laser-sharp focus. If you're struggling to show how a class is relevant to the job you're applying for, consider removing it.
3. â€œProven Abilityâ€
HR manager Jen Strobel views this phrase as just resume filler. â€œThe ability was proven by whom? How is the ability proven? How does this ability compare to those which are not proven?â€ she asks.
So use your resume to prove your ability by giving specific examples of your career achievements.
4. "Married with Children"
Delmar Johnson, an HR professional with 20 years of experience and founder of HR services firm HR Brain for Hire, says personal information doesnâ€™t belong on a resume. "That's great you have a family and you're proud [of it]," she says. "[But] your goal is to reflect a level of professionalism that demonstrates your knowledge, your skills and abilities that are applicable to the job to which you are applying."
5. "Transferable Skills"
When executive recruiter and career counselor Bruce Hurwitz sees these words, he takes them to mean â€œI'm not qualified, but do me a favor.â€ He says the terms â€œskillsâ€ or â€œskill setâ€ are fine to use, but the word "transferable" has negative connotations.
And this is a great example of why itâ€™s important to show, not tell. Donâ€™t tell a recruiter that you have transferable skills. Show how the skills you have are relevant to the job.
Cousin to the term â€œhard worker,â€ this is something anyone can say about himself. And as Stacey Hawley, career specialist and founder of career consultancy Credo, points out, that youâ€™ll work toward results â€œis assumed.â€ Thereâ€™s no need to use your resume to tell people things they already know.
7. â€œUtilized My Skillsâ€
â€œWho else's skills would we be using?â€ Hawley asks.
Stuffy, overly formal language on resumes is out. Itâ€™s wiser nowadays to use direct language. Beware of boilerplate phrases that have lost their meaning and that can be replaced with expressive words that say something specific about you.
8. â€œHad _____â€
Career and etiquette expert Sandra Lamb is a proponent of using strong language on resumes. â€œâ€™Hadâ€™ is an anemic and colorless verb that gives the reader the impression youâ€™re submitting a job description,â€ says Lamb, author of How to Write It. â€œDon't use this to start a bulleted item on your resume; youâ€™ll be better-served by a strong, active verb.â€
For example, you might say â€œManaged three peopleâ€ instead of â€œHad three direct reports.â€
9. Wacky Email Addresses (and Twitter Handles!)
Recruiting and career expert Abby Kohut of AbsolutelyAbby.com says that inappropriate email addresses like â€œ[email protected]
â€ or â€œ[email protected]
â€ can send a resume to the bottom of the pile, if not the trash. â€œItâ€™s not so much the email address as it is [the job seekerâ€™s] judgment that Iâ€™m concerned about,â€ she says.
And the same goes for Twitter: More and more recruiters are researching candidates on social sites, so make sure you have a professional-sounding Twitter handle as well.