4 Phrases That Scream “Under Qualified” You Should Avoid on Your Executive Resume

Great Resumes Fast » Resume Writing Tips » 4 Phrases That Scream “Under Qualified” You Should Avoid on Your Executive Resume

At the executive level, you know a lot is expected of you on the job.  But those high expectations actually begin at the application process.  From the moment you submit your application and executive resume, employers are checking you out to make sure you’re suited for this level.  So if you want to avoid instant rejection, it’s best to sidestep the following phrases that could make a resume look elementary:

“Excellent Organizational Skills”

Most employers expect you to be somewhat organized as a professional.  Either that or you have had an assistant for years who handled organizational needs for you.  This phrase is usually used at the lower professional levels, but even then it is broad and doesn’t explain much.  At your level, there is no need to use this phrase.  Instead, get to the meat of what you’ve organized—and be specific.

“Team Player”

At this stage in your career, you should have evolved beyond being a team player and become a team leader.  Even then, it’s not necessary to use the words, “I’m an excellent team leader”.  Your excellence is better defined by your specific accomplishments as a leader.  So rather than saying you’re a leader, give examples of your key initiatives and how your leadership helped the company excel.

“Managed [X] Employees”

Again, you’re speaking in vague terms when it’s time to be specific.  However, you may be wondering how listing the number of employees you managed is vague.  It’s vague because you did not say what it meant to manage X employees. How did you manage them?  What did they accomplish under your leadership?  How did your management of these employees affect the job as a whole?  Without these specifics, you’ve told the employer nothing about how you can really help them.

“Exceeded Expectations”

Here’s another phrase that is better assumed than said.  Employers expect you to exceed expectations as an executive, so there’s never a need to tell them this is something you do.  Again, your job is to get right to the point by providing examples of how you’ve exceeded expectations throughout your entire career; so get right to it—and be specific.

When writing an executive resume, it’s good to avoid phrases that are too vague or say only what you’re capable of accomplishing rather than provide the specifics of your accomplishments.  By sidestepping these phrases, you’ll find yourself being taken seriously by employers and improving your chances of being called in for the interviewing phase.

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About the author

Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast

Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.

What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.

You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!

I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!


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