Stephen King’s Resume Secret

Stephen Kings Resume SecretWhether you like it or not, you may be using some of the most common resume clichés out there. If this is the case, you may want to scratch them out and revise your resume to your advantage.

Today, I’d like to share seven resume clichés that make recruiters cringe.

If you’ve included any on yours, don't worry – they’re called cliché’s because almost everyone uses them.

They are:

1. "Results-oriented"

2. "Passionate"

3. “Dynamic”

4. "Team Player"

5. "Proven track record"

6. “Excellent communicator”

7. “Extensive experience”

Recruiters don’t like to see these on a resume because they all share an off-putting trait that Stephen King explained best in his excellent book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.

He said: “Show, don’t tell.”

When Stephen King describes a monster, he doesn't tell you how "bad" it is, or how "terrifying" it is, or how it's "big" or "psychopathic."

Instead, he describes its physical appearance, he gives you an accurate narrative of its actions and how other characters in the scene react, and he leaves you to draw your own conclusions.

Why does he write this way?

Because when you read about a monster ripping some helpless man's heart out and stamping on it while everyone around screams and runs away, you know that it's a real monster. You don't need someone to tell you.

Now, this doesn’t imply that you need to fill your resume with artful prose or sound like a best-selling author.

However, any time you're tempted to use one of those seven clichés above (or something similar), see if you can find an alternate wording that lets them draw their own conclusion.

For example:

Instead of saying "I'm a dynamic team player," or “results-oriented and excellent communicator,” perhaps you could say: "Two weeks into project, software developer fell ill. To meet deadline, learned PHP and took over workload in evenings and weekends."

Far more powerful sounding, isn't it?

I hope this helps you.

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Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 80,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.