From my 22 years applying and recruiting maybe I can help some by highlighting a few very common error lines to avoid in resumes, others very widely used but that dont add any value and are all followed by some positive impact lines to replace with.
❌1 “I'm absolutely convinced I’m a great fit for the role” or any of its variants: “ I” 'm convinced I can do this” “I’m convinced I have the right skills for this job”
⏩ Well good for you you are convinced you can do it! Thing is you have to convince the recruiter**** Realize this type of line is only a statement to yourself, you are not demonstrating anything to the recruiter👍
✅As I always like to stress, the #1 element you must have in any resume or cover letter is SHOWCASING YOUR BEST PAST ACHIEVEMENTS PROPER TO THE ROLE. Do not label yourself, only prove your worth. At the most, after demonstrating your skills, a great transition line could be:
- “I hope that through these concrete examples, you can sense my optimal fit for this role. In this case, I’d love to have the opportunity to further expand on the value I can bring to your team through an interview with you”
❌2 “Please give me a chance, I can do this!”, “I’ll do anything!” Any supplicatory lines are a BIg no-no.
⏩Companies look for the best candidate and they need proof of their skills to determine that not someone that only promises he can do it.. It also shows desperation. if you will do anything for a paycheck, its very likely you will not like it and leave in a few months and the company will have to spend more time and money finding someone else.
❌3 Self adjectivization/labeling: I’m a serious, effective, analytical, self-starter, reliable, bla bla customer service agent, sales person etc
⏩Similar to error#1, the point is to convince your recruiter and self labeling doesnt prove ANYTHING. Try avoiding it altogether but if you feel the need to mention something about your skill set ( often in the first paragraph of a CL) be sure to follow through with a, DEMONSTRATION of your characteristics through, again and again, CONCRETE PAST ACHIEVEMENTS. Else its just cheap talk!!
✅Great junction lines between all the wonderful things you say about yourself and the achievement examples:
- “Now, I know we can all say wonderful things about ourselves so allow me to demonstrate to you my skill set through some of my most recent achievements”
- .“I‘m confident you will see these qualities through the following concrete examples:”
In these lines, you are acknowledging its up to the recruiter to see the value you claim to have. You put the burden of proof on yourself while still reflecting a high confidence level.
❌4 Whenever asked about a task: I have no idea - I’ve never done that, I dont know about it.
⏩Nothing worse than not knowing… Many others do know so you will be discarded.
✅ To keep your chances in these situations rather say that you havent done that specific task but you have done something similar and provide your best past performance in that related field Show you have some understanding of the subject.
❌5 “I’m passionate about”
⏩ Nothing wrong with it in itself but my friends, it is so used it becomes almost hollow of meaning and the challenge of any application is to STAND OUT. Imagine your recruiter reading 80 times “I’m passionate about…” and all of a sudden your application saying something different. It will catch the attention very favorably.
✅ So use synonyms or embrace other concepts like:
“ I feel accomplished when..”, “I feel wholesome when.. ” “My drill in life is..”, I use “ My reason for being in life is”
There are many more but for most of us the reading span only goes that far😉
Hope this helps some out there!
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Great tips! I think my resumes/cover letters have gotten a bit stale across constant re-writes and tweaking. I'll have to cross reference with this list to double-check... I have a sneaking suspicion I may be making one or two of these mistakes over the course of my edits.
Also saying something such as "I'm a quick learner" is way overused and implies that although you may be adept at picking up new skills, you may be too inexperienced for the role and will be passed by for others who fit the qualifications and require less training. Best bet is to provide your existing transferable skills and how yours are clearly relevant to the role.
I made the first mistake you mention many times, thanks.