What are resume clichés and how should one avoid them? I’ve had a successful 10-year career in sales and marketing and going by what the word means, I am afraid my resume is filled with them.
Resume clichés refer to often repeated words or phrases in a resume that are quite meaningless or do not provide specific information about the person. For example, sentences such as ‘I am actionoriented’, ‘results driven’ and a 'team player’ are found in almost every CV and do not differentiate one person from the other. However, if a person were to give details of the action that led to a great performance, the specific results that were achieved, and the role a person played as a team member, that will be far more meaningful to the employer. So, if your skills and your achievements back these claims, use them. Clichés like ‘team player’ is fine provided your resume answers a few questions such as what expertise you brought in that helped the team and what the team achieved collectively. Clichés in your resume should show what you have achieved as part of a team and make you stand out from other candidates with similar claims. The ideal way to describe yourself as a strategic thinker in your resume should be to say that you came up with a distribution model that channelled business resources into products with larger payback, driving an additional 1.5 m in annual sales and not simply, “I think strategically and can come up with new approaches to serve the needs of customers.” The former provides evidence of thinking strategically, rather than making tall claims, turning a cliché into a valuable skill.
I have been applying online for almost six months, but with zero success. This makes me wonder if I have the right CV to get noticed. Please help so that I can make sure my resume gets tracked right, and I get a response.
The primary purpose of a resume is to get an interview. Companies screen candidates and resumes in mostly two ways. The first is through ATS — applicant tracking systems and all resumes, even the ones received directly by the company are loaded on a computer that conducts a key word search. Companies match the keywords from the job announcements, or stated by the hiring manager, to see whether your resume has them. Only those resumes that have a good keyword match are selected for review by the hiring manager. If a resume cannot be read by the ATS, it is rejected.
The second method used by the hiring managers is to find candidates by searching online resumes for possible matches again using keywords. If the online resume cannot be read by search engines, it will not be selected.
So, avoid putting up a resume in jpg because the ATS can read only text or word files without tables. Most systems cannot read pdf files. As for search engines, they can search a pdf format of an online resume, but not a jpg file.