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Recruitment 411: Crafting a Gold Medal Résumé

Julie’s communications colleague, Eric Erickson, is currently writing the Recruitment 411 blog. He lives in Atlanta, where he is currently suffering from Olympic Fever.

A quick Google search will turn up hundreds of entries suggesting which words should never be included on your résumé. Experienced, dynamic, team player, and the phrase ‘references available upon request’ turn up on many of these term tables.

Excluding scientific and slang terms, we have more than 250,000 English words to choose from when putting together our curriculum vitæ, so there is really no reason to rely on run-of-the mill words and expressions. So, where does one find fresh phrases and terms. How about the Olympics? As I have been watching them over the past week, I realize there are several terms and phrases related to the games and sports that could spice up a routine résumé.

Here’s my list of words for creating a winning résumé…which ones would you add?

  • Synchronized
  • Balance
  • Torch
  • Ignite
  • Vault
  • Technique
  • Posture
  • Ace
  • Rhythmic
  • Specialist
  • Execution
  • Flexibility
  • Coordination
  • Smash
  • Response Time

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Rita Vaz

If ‘team player’ is taboo, what would you use instead to get the message across? I find your list of words spicy but did not find an alternative. Thanks

Amanda Moskowitz

A great site for finding unique words is http://www.visuwords.com. A colleague shared it with me for a creative writing assignment. Be aware that the site can be addictive; you can spend a lot of time getting lost in the “spider webs.”

On a side note… Yes, I think it’s important to use “fresh” adjectives and phrases when crafting a resume. That being said, I wouldn’t completely eliminate language that is standard to an industry or job position. Many times companies will search for resumes using key terms. Therefore, if your resume includes said words, the more it will appear on hit lists.

I always recommend having a call out box at the top, “Professional Snapshot.” This box highlights projects or responsibilities that match the job your applying for. Use the language and key terms specific to that role (obviously not verbatim). This will do three things:

  • Increase the likelihood that your resume will appear in a company’s search
  • Display to the company that you actually read the job description (you’d be surprise at how many people don’t)
  • Immediately demonstrates that you have the qualifications to do the job

In addition, it will save you time in customizing your entire resume every time you apply. Only the professional snapshot needs to be adjusted. As for the “gold medal” terms, you can certainly incorporate them into your subsequent job descriptions.

Sonja Newcombe

Thanks Amanda , I’m excited about utilizing the web site. I will pass the site on to others. Hmmm i need to be back in college to write a paper… Thanks again.