29 annoying words and phrases on your résumé that make hiring managers cringe

Geeky nervous businessman looking at camera on white backgroundWhile many large companies use automated résumé-screener software to cut down the initial pool of job applicants, loading your résumé with meaningless buzzwords is not the smartest way to get noticed.

“Nearly everyone is guilty of using buzzwords from time to time, but professionals are evaluated increasingly on their ability to communicate,” says Paul McDonald, senior executive director for professional-placement firm Robert Half.

Some of the major problems with using buzzwords, according to Mary Lorenz, a corporate-communications manager at CareerBuilder, are that they have become so overused that they’ve lost all meaning, and they don’t differentiate the job seeker from other candidates because they’re so generic.

Other, less jargony words and terms should be avoided when they serve little purpose to the hiring manager. All these words do is waste their time and, as a result, you lose out on the few precious seconds a recruiter spends scanning your résumé.

Instead, Lorenz says job seekers should speak in terms of accomplishments and show rather than tell.

“Avoiding overused terms can help job seekers convey their message and stand out from the crowd,” McDonald says.

Here’s what you should avoid:

1. ‘Leadership’

According to LinkedIn, “leadership” was the top buzzword on its user’s profiles. And if the word doesn’t help you stand out on your LinkedIn profile, you can bet it won’t make your résumé more eye-catching, either.

Rather than saying you have excellent leadership skills, you’d do better to highlight specific examples of when you demonstrated these skills and what kind of results you saw.

2. ‘Exceptional communicator’

Tina Nicolai, who has read more than 40,000 résumés since founding her company Résumé Writers’ Ink, previously told Business Insider that skills like being an “exceptional communicator” are “baseline expectations in today’s market.” Stating that you are really great at communication isn’t, in fact, saying very much.

3. ‘Best of breed’

When CareerBuilder surveyed more than 2,200 hiring managers, it found “best of breed” to be the most irritating term to be seen on a résumé.

The phrase offers little meaning and doesn’t help differentiate candidates. “Employers want to know what makes the job seekers unique, and how they will add value to the specific organization for which they’re applying,” Lorenz says.

4. ‘Phone’

Career coach Eli Amdur tells Business Insider that there is no reason to put the word “phone” in front of the actual number: “It’s pretty silly. They know it’s your phone number.”

The same rule applies to email.

5. ‘Results-driven’

“Instead of simply saying that you’re results-driven, write about what you did to actually drive results — and what those results were,” Lorenz suggests.

6. ‘Seasoned’

“Not only does this word conjure up images of curly fries,” says Rita Friedman, a Philadelphia-based career coach, but “it is well-recognized as a code word for ‘much, much older.'”

7. ‘Highly qualified’

McDonald says using terms like “highly qualified” or “extensive experience” won’t make you seem better suited for the job — in fact, it could have the opposite effect. Instead, he suggests you focus on the skills, accomplishments, and credentials you bring to the role.

8. ‘Responsible for’

Superfluous words like “responsible for,” “oversight of,” and “duties included” unnecessarily complicate and hide your experience, says Alyssa Gelbard, founder and president of Résumé Strategists.

“Be direct, concise, and use active verbs to describe your accomplishments,” she suggests.

Instead of writing, “Responsible for training interns …,” simply write, “Train interns …”

9. ‘NYSE’

Vicky Oliver, author of “Power Sales Words” and “301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions,” says you should spell out any acronyms first and put the initials in parentheses. For example, “NYSE” would read “New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).”

“For starters, acronyms are capitalized, and all caps are harder to read than upper and lower case,” she says. “It’s also really difficult to wade through a piece of paper that resembles alphabet soup.”

10. ‘References available by request’

This outdated phrase will unnecessarily show your age, Gelbard says: “If you progress through the interviewing process, you will be asked for personal and professional references.”

11. ‘Ambitious’

“Of course you would never say you’re ‘lazy’ either, but calling yourself ambitious doesn’t make any sense on a résumé,” Friedman says.

“It can imply that you’re targeting this job now, but will quickly be looking to move up in the company because you won’t be satisfied in the role, leaving the employer stuck with doing a new job search in the very near future.”

12. ‘Team player’

“Who doesn’t want to be a team player? If you’re not a team player, you’re probably not going to get the job,” McDonald says.

But using this term isn’t going to make you stand out from other candidates. “Instead, use an example of how you saved a company time, money, and resources on a team project or in collaboration with others.”

13. ‘Microsoft Word’

Yes, you and everyone else.

It’s assumed that you have a basic proficiency in Microsoft Office, Gelbard says. Unless you have expert proficiency, there’s no need to include it on your résumé.

14. ‘Interfaced’

“Words like this make you sound like an automaton,” Oliver says. “Most recruiters would rather meet with a human being. Keep your verbs simple and streamlined.”

15. ‘Hard worker’

It’s true that a company is less likely to consider you if you haven’t worked hard or don’t come across as someone who will put in what it takes to get the job done, but that doesn’t mean writing “hard worker” will convince hiring managers of your efforts.

“Give concrete examples of how you’ve gone the extra mile, rather than using a non-memorable cliché,” McDonald suggests.

16. ‘Hard’

Speaking of the word “hard,” using it to describe your work tasks can also have a negative effect.

ZipRecruiter hosts a database of more than 3,000,000 résumés, which small businesses, individual employers, and recruiters looking for candidates can rate on a scale of one to five stars (one being the lowest, five the highest). After ZipRecruiter analyzed these résumés and their ratings, it found a correlation between certain keywords and low ratings.

The word “hard” was found to a strong correlation with one-star reviews, with up to a 79% greater likelihood of receiving the lowest rating. It’s likely the word gives employers the impression that you’re put off by hard work.

17. ‘Punctual’

Being punctual is great, but it’s also pretty basic to holding down a job. Don’t waste the space on your résumé.

Read the full article from Business Insider by clicking here.

 

7 signs you’re a leader people want to follow

It’s not always easy to gauge how you’re doing as a boss.

Your reports aren’t always likely to tell you how you’re undermining their performance — or even what you’re doing well that they’d like to see more of.

The best solution to this problem is probably to ask for direct feedback. But where to start?

We’ve rounded up seven signs, based on research and expert opinion, that you’re doing a great job of rallying and motivating your team. Ask yourself how much each trait or behavior describes you, and consider asking your employees the same.

You’re generally positive

Research from 2015 suggests that happy people make more effective leaders.

That’s largely because they’re more likely to display transformational leadership, which means they’re especially good at inspiring and motivating their team and stimulating them intellectually.

Interestingly, according to the research, positivity was an even better predictor of leadership effectiveness than extroversion — a personality trait we typically associate with successful bosses.

This isn’t to say that you should force yourself to smile and laugh at every team meeting. Instead, it might be more helpful for those in the position of selecting future leaders to be mindful of those candidates’ overall affect.

You’re not afraid of change

Young managers are perceived as more effective than their older counterparts, according to a study of more than 65,000 leaders conducted by leadership development consultancy Zenger/Folkman.

One key reason why? They welcome novelty.

Zenger/Folkman says it’s possible that younger managers’ relative lack of experience means they’re more optimistic about the changes they propose and more willing to be the “champions of change.”

You’re pretty boring

The technical term is “emotional maturity,” which means being emotionally stable, agreeable, and conscientious.

As business psychologist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic writes in The Harvard Business Review, “[T]he best managers in the world tend to be stable rather than excitable, consistent rather than erratic, as well as polite and considerate.”

That might be part of the reason why Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, is so successful. Rather than being emotionally volatile, like Steve Jobs for example, Pichai is reported to be predictable and to stay out of the spotlight.

In other words, Jobs is more the exception than the rule — better to emulate Pichai if you’re hoping to lead your team to greatness.

You demonstrate integrity

Chamorro-Premuzic also suggests that integrity is a key component of leadership effectiveness. Acting in unethical or counterproductive ways will ultimately undermine you and your organization.

In fact, one analysis found that CEOs rated as high-integrity by their employees had a multi-year return of 9.4%, while CEOs rated as low-integrity saw a return of only 1.9%.

Psychologist Travis Bradberry highlights several traps that leaders fall into, which can undermine their integrity.

One such trap is making everything about them — instead, you’ll want to actively solicit questioning and criticism. Another is micromanaging — remember that productivity looks different for leaders and individual employees. Give people a chance to do their jobs well on their own.

Click here to read the full Business Insider article.

 

OPINION: Making Manufacturing Great Again Will Require A Two-Pronged Approach

Employment in manufacturing peaked in the late 1970s at over 19 million. Since then, despite occasional positive bumps, manufacturing employment has shown a long-term secular decline. Today, fewer than 13 million workers are employed in factory jobs. This long-run, large scale decline in employment is largely attributable to automation and the offshoring of jobs to low-wage countries. The workers most affected by these technological and global shifts are unfortunately those with the least skills, whose jobs are most susceptible to these causes of displacement. The Carrier deal that President-elect Trump pushed through prevented fewer than a thousand jobs from being offshored, but as the CEO of United Technologies put it to CNBC, many of these jobs will be automated anyway; hence the benefit to US workers is likely very low. Even a thousand such deals are not the solution to the displacement occurring in manufacturing. The correct response to this predicament is skill upgradation, so that workers can work with these new technologies, as complements rather than substitutes. Beyond that, manufacturing also badly needs an image makeover.

In an interview, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, claimed the lack of skilled workers in the U.S. as the reason for the company doing its actual production in China. While some speculate that the skills gap is more fiction than fact, there is clearly a problem in the manufacturing jobs market. Between 2005 and 2016, employment in manufacturing declined by 14%. There many potential reasons for this decline in employment: slow hiring, a small supply of workers, or turnover from workers quitting or being fired. The charts below, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ JOLTS survey, are fairly revealing. Over the same period of employment decline, the number of job vacancies increased from 303,000 to 346,000 while the number of people hired for jobs declined from 369,000 to 272,000.

job_trends

In addition, as the chart below shows, people were less likely to quit their factory jobs during the recession, but the quit rate is returning to pre-recession levels. Layoffs have fallen and remain low, bringing total separations down as well.

turnover

Today, there are 322,000 vacancies that are unfilled. Clearly, manufacturing jobs exist, and employers are ready to hire, but for some reason workers and firms are not matching up to fill these jobs. What could explain that?

As a recent study in the Journal of Economic Perspectives shows, there has been a global shift towards the value added by high skill workers in manufacturing and a shift away from low and medium skill workers. As manufacturing has become more technologically advanced, the demand for skilled workers to occupy positions has grown, but many companies appear unable to find people with the requisite skills. As per a recent report by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, 70% of companies reported shortages of workers with adequate technology, computer and technical skills, despite their willingness to pay higher than the market wage in their area. As a result, nearly 2 million jobs will go unfilled over the next decade due to this skills gap.

But there is more to the skills gap than just workers who don’t have the basic problem-solving or computing skills that companies want. A significant problem facing companies is also the lack of demand for these jobs amongst workers with skills. Many workers are simply no longer interested in manufacturing jobs, and there appears to be a stigma attached to manufacturing work. A survey on the Public Perception of Manufacturing shows that while most Americans perceive manufacturing as the backbone of a strong domestic economy, few parents want their children to work in this industry, and manufacturing is the last career choice for people between the ages of 19 and 33.

Read this article in full at Forbes.com.

 

45 Ohio Fun Facts

1. Fifty percent of the United States population lives within a 500-mile radius of Columbus, Ohio.

2. Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, was from Wapakoneta, Ohio.

45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio

3. It is illegal to fish for whales on a Sunday in Ohio… not that there’s any place to do that. Well, at least you can fish for them every other day of the week.

4. Thomas A. Edison, the inventor of the incandescent light bulb, the phonograph, and the early motion picture camera, was from Milan.

5. Akron was the first city to use police cars.

6. Ohio has the largest Amish population of any state in the nation.

45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio

7. John Lambert of Ohio City made America’s first automobile in 1891.

8. The first full-time automobile service station opened in 1899 in Ohio.9. Oberlin College, founded in 1833, was the first interracial and coeducational college in the United States.

45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio

9. Oberlin College, founded in 1833, was the first interracial and coeducational college in the United States.
10. Seven United States presidents were born in Ohio: Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William H. Taft, and Warren G. Harding. Must be something in the water.

11. There is an alley dedicated to drummer Dave Grohl in his hometown of Warren, Ohio.45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio

12. The largest drum sticks in the world are in David Grohl Alley, each measuring 23 feet long and weighing a half-ton.
45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio
13. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton.

14. Women are prohibited from wearing patent leather shoes in public in Ohio. The reasoning? So that men can’t see reflections of the women’s underwear in their shoes. Obviously.15. Life Savers candy was invented by Clarence Crane of Garrettsville, Ohio in 1912. They were touted as a “summer candy” since they didn’t melt like chocolate.

15. Life Savers candy was invented by Clarence Crane of Garrettsville, Ohio in 1912. They were touted as a “summer candy” since they didn’t melt like chocolate.

45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio

 

16. Some well-known personalities were born in Ohio. Among them are Steven Spielberg, Paul Newman, Annie Oakley, Arsenio Hall and Clark Gable.

17. It is illegal for more than five women to live in one house in Ohio.

18. The world’s largest horseshoe crab is more than 55 feet long, and lives in Blanchester.

19. Ohio’s state flag is not a rectangle like other flags—it’s a pennant design, and it’s the only state flag in the United States with that design.

20. By state law, no one may be arrested on a Sunday or on the Fourth of July in Ohio, which is totally awesome and definitely not enforced.

21. Roy J. Plunkett of New Carlisle, Ohio invented Teflon in 1938.

45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio

22. You can take tours of a house made entirely of trash, affectionately referred to as ‘House of Trash’ in Philo. Spoiler: It’s actually totally cool.

23. There’s a mysterious rolling sphere in the Marion Cemetery. The 5,200-pound sphere of granite has been revolving on its base since it was placed there in the late 1800s. “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” featured it in 1929. It’s still moving at an average of two inches per year.

24. The first airplane was invented by Dayton natives the Wright Brothers.

25. The Great Serpent Mound, the largest serpent effigy in the world at a half mile long, is on a plateau overlooking Brush Creek Valley in Adams County.

45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio

26. The largest, most comprehensive collection of historical contraceptives in the world is at the Dittrick Museum of Medical History in Cleveland.

45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio

27. The very first mechanical cash register was invented in Dayton.

28. The first concrete street in America, which is still in use today, was poured in 1891 near the Logan County Courthouse in Bellefontaine.

29. If a restaurant wants to serve horse meat in Ohio, they must display a sign that says, “Horse Meat Served Here.” Thank goodness for that.

30. There is a double Futuro House, aka UFO House, in Carlisle.

45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio

31. The first capital city of Ohio wasn’t Columbus—it was Chillicothe, which is now part of the Greater Columbus Metropolitan Area.

32. In 1879, Cleveland became the first city to be lighted by electricity.

33. Akron is the rubber capital of the world.

34. It is unlawful to leave chewing gum in public places in Cleveland.

35. “Hang On Sloopy” is the official state rock song.

36. Ohio is the leading producer of greenhouse and nursery plants.37. The Lake Erie Monster, aka “Bessie,” is a serpent-type monster that lives in Lake Erie, or at least it’s been sighted a lot over the last 100 years. The New York Times even did a story on it in 1931.

37. The Lake Erie Monster, aka “Bessie,” is a serpent-type monster that lives in Lake Erie, or at least it’s been sighted a lot over the last 100 years. The New York Times even did a story on it in 1931.

38. The Glacial Grooves on the north side of Kelleys Island are the largest and most easily accessible great ice sheet grooves in the world. They were created 18,000 years ago by the great ice sheet that covered part of North America.

45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio

39. Dresden is the home of the world’s largest basket. It is located at Basket Village USA.

40. There is an ‘Unofficial Lego Museum’ in Bellaire and it has some of the coolest lego creations known to man.

45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio

41. For many years the patrons of Maid-Rite Sandwich Shop in Greenville have been sticking their gum outside the walls. Three of the building’s four walls are covered in gum, creating the infamous ‘Wall of Gum’.

42. In Dublin there’s a public art installation called ‘Field of Corn (with Osage Orange Trees)’. By the locals it’s called ‘Cornhenge’ and features 109 ears of concrete corn that stand eight feet tall. It’s a tribute and celebration of Sam Frantz, who invented hybrid corn species.

45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio

43. There is a permanent ‘Things Swallowed’ display at the Allen County Museum in Lima that featured things that have been swallowed and retrieved by doctors, including buttons, thumbtacks, bones, coins, dentures and other things swallowed.

44. There is a shrine called the ‘Temple of Tolerance’ in Wapakoneta, that looks like it should be somewhere sacred, but it’s in Jim Bowsher’s backyard. He’s the temple master and gives free tours every day.

45. Ohio holds the record for the world’s largest basket, the Longaberger Company headquarters building in Newark. It’s seven stories high and 180,000 square feet.

45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio