Great Resumes Fast » Resume Writing Tips » The 7 Most Overused Words That Kill Your Resume

Words are the name of the game when it comes to resumes, and you need to be strategic in your choice of them. So how do you know which words to choose and which ones to omit? Here is a brief list of some of the most overused words on resumes. Avoid them when possible, and choose some more creative alternatives.

Accomplished. Yes, we all know every job seeker is accomplished, otherwise you would be fired from every job you’ve ever had if you had never accomplished anything. Instead try: Peak Performer

Results-Driven. We all know that everyone’s professional resume starts out with Results-driven (Insert your job title here). The only problem is, in the job search game you don’t want to sound like everyone else. You want to stand out from the crowd. Instead try: Performance-Driven.

Successful. This is another overused word. We all want to communicate how successful we’ve been so that a prospective employer will think highly of us. But let’s look at some alternative wording versus just coming out and saying, “Hey there, I’m a success.” Instead try: Best in Class, Award-Winning, or Top-Performer.

Skillful or Skilled. These are so boring. Seriously I hate to see resumes with these words on them. I cannot even tell you how incredibly dull these words are, and I am sure you can come up with something much more creative for your resume. If you can’t think of anything, try my recommendations. Or, if you don’t like them, consult a thesaurus. Instead try: Talented, Sharp, or Resourceful.

Problem-Solver. Let me just say that this is a given. We are ALL problem solvers. If you are human, you are a problem solver; it is just a part of human nature. Does it really need to be said on your resume? I think not. Instead try: Troubleshooter, Forward-Thinking, or Visionary Leader.

And last but not least, Dedicated and Dependable. Again I have to say boring, boring, boring. Spice up your resume with something creative. Instead try: High-Potential, Quality-Driven, and Dynamic.

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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!


  1. […] Kill Your Resume Filed Under: Uncategorized by Steve — Leave a comment Feb 21, 2010 The 7 Most Overused Words That Kill Your Resume. Comments RSS […]

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