More weak (and pesky) resume words

by K B , updated on December 12, 2010

Avoid these weak resume words

I really loved this post by the Avid Careerist, Donna Svei. She writes on one of those pesky weak resume words: “utilize.” As Donna says, we never “utilize” the word “utilize” when we speak, so why should we “utilize” it on a resume?

Good point. We use this language when we are trying to sound impressive on our resumes, we don’t know what we should put, or where we reflect the cloudy language we often find in position descriptions.

One application I wrote a few months ago asked that the candidate have “high level legal experience.” The role was for a lawyer. We had to check with the panel convener about what this meant. “High level” meant running a case, from the first meeting with a client, to making final recommendations.” So now we know and I’m glad we checked.

Like Donna I have a few resume pests of my own.


“agreed outcomes”


“in order to”


“responsible for”




Have a look at this post on action words for resumes, if you are in any way confused.

Read Donna’s full post here


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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Chef Shane July 11, 2010 at 11:18 pm

Love it.
I used to be responsible for actioning and facilitating agreed outcomes and liasing with guests. (Cooking and talking with guests)
Also addressing associates behaviours and pro-actively developing specialised team member skill-sets whilst determining workplace priorities and optimising productivity (Supervising and training line cooks).
I do think that HR tend to be a little more guilty of this than job-seekers though, don’t you?
Most staff can explain their job, but few could quote their job description.
I think that these CV flaws are in response to the law of supply and demand.

Karalyn July 12, 2010 at 1:12 am

A position description is an agreed job outcome! 🙂

Karen F. July 12, 2010 at 8:14 am

I want to add all forms of fast-paced (and I do mean all the different ways they are misspelled lol) and hard working to this list…not to mention any big resume words you can’t even spell or remember what they mean (such as engendered, beleaguer and ameliorate).

Chef Shane, have to agree with you…I guess the more resumes floating out there that are not right to begin with become the templates of more well-meaning job seekers who are just trying to stay ahead of the game.

Karen, The Resume Chick (on Google or Twitter for questions, comments and violent reactions)

Cv templates July 13, 2010 at 11:53 pm

This is what says, some time words should gives a different meaning.

kristinsjohnson November 2, 2010 at 10:06 pm

RT @InterviewIQ: #resumes Read about these weak and pesky resume words

InterviewIQ November 2, 2010 at 9:50 pm

#resumes Read about these weak and pesky resume words

J_Bulwer December 19, 2010 at 5:38 am

RT @InterviewIQ: #resumes Read about these weak and pesky resume words

InterviewIQ December 19, 2010 at 5:15 am

#resumes Read about these weak and pesky resume words

adilsyed December 19, 2010 at 1:37 pm

RT @InterviewIQ: #resumes Read about these weak and pesky resume words

@kennyrecruiter February 3, 2013 at 10:10 am

Avoid these weak #resume words from @InterviewIQ #cv #recruitment #hr #jobs #hcm #interview #candidates

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