Top Words and Phrases to Leave Off Your Resume

Searching for your next job can be stressful enough, so you want to make sure your resume is working for you, not against you.  Making sure you have a clean, easy to read resume with no spelling or grammatical errors is only the beginning of creating your perfect resume.  In order to make the most of your resume, be sure to leave off the words and phrases below, which will leave more space to highlight your accomplishments and achievements.


1. Clichés and overused buzzwords such as hard-worker, innovative and team player. Hiring managers see these phrases all the time and you want your resume to stand out, not blend in with everyone else.

2. References available upon request. You are wasting valuable space on your resume by including this line. It is taken as a given that everyone applying for a job has professional references that can be provided as needed.

3. Responsibilities include. Generally we don’t care about what you were in charge of, as recruiters we want to know how well you performed your responsibilities and what happened as a result of your efforts.

4. Objective. Unless you have a specific objective to land a job in a specific industry using a specialized skill, leave it off your resume. Instead use this space for more valuable information about your specific skill set.

5. High School. Once you have entered your sophomore year of college, remove all evidence of high school activities and grades from your resume. The one exception would be if you won some sort of outstanding, very selective award that is relevant to your career path.

6. Hobbies and/or interests. A resume is meant to be a professional document to help a potential employee learn about your qualifications, not learn about what you like to do outside of work.

7. Photos or graphics. Simply putting a photo on your resume can be a quick way to ensure it goes straight to the discard pile.


For more tips on crafting the perfect resume, check out some of our other blog posts on resume writing.