5 Phrases You Never Want to Use in a Resume

© markrubens - Fotolia.com
© markrubens – Fotolia.com

When writing a resume, you want to wow the audience and deliver something suitable for 2015, not a prehistoric artifact. Aside from the format and how you position the various sections within a resume, there are five phrases you need to avoid in order to stay up to date.

  1. Objective: To secure a position…

As a professional resume writer, I haven’t used this statement since 1998. It doesn’t send a clear message of exactly where you want to go. Instead, use the generic title of the position you are seeking.

  1. References available upon request

When I write resumes for my clients, every line on a 1-, 2- or 3-page document counts, and no lines should be wasted. It’s automatically assumed that when called for the interview, you will bring a list of references. Be sure to format this reference sheet using the same design format and font as your resume and cover letter.

  1. Job duties

You clearly portray yourself as obsolete if you list your job’s duties. Why? We are in a performance-driven society. A career influencer, either an executive recruiter, HR professional, or your next boss, is going to hire you for your performance or accomplishments, not for your duties.

  1. Married with children

In North America, and certain other parts of the world, it’s considered inappropriate to include anything relating to your personal life in a resume. It’s equally unacceptable for an interviewer to probe you on your personal life. Carefully review your resume and eliminate anything like your marital status, number of children, date of birth, place of birth, political or religious affiliations, etc.

  1. Transferrable skills

It’s automatically assumed that your transferrable skills will be prominently featured high up on the first page of your resume, making this heading completely redundant. As a professional resume writer, that would be a waste of space I could better use to highlight another compelling story that demonstrates those skills in action.

You only get one kick at the can to impress a career influencer. Make sure to kick yours in the right direction.


Have your resume or CV reviewed by a Certified Resume Writer. 

No obligations!