How to Write a Proactive Resume


Start up, Flat logo Design Vector Illustration Web Concept of NeSo, you’re ready to write a resume. You sit down and think about what it is that makes you stand out against hundreds of other candidates. Well, if the phrases “go-getter,” “hard worker,” or “self-motivated” come to mind, you may want to rethink what you’re writing. According to Business Insider, a CareerBuilder survey listed those commonly used phrases as being in the top fourteen things to NOT put on your resume. That’s right. Avoid these phrases. But, why? Well, think about it from the perspective of a hiring manager.

As a hiring manager, you have hundreds of resumes to go through for a select few positions. Your purpose is to evaluate who is the potential best fit for your company. Would you want someone who put vague qualifications? How can you prove that you’re a “go-getter?” What metrics back up that you are “self-motivated?” Define “hard worker.” These are not rhetorical questions. Companies are concerned with how you will help their business grow. Instead of vague characteristics, what concrete deliverables can you offer? If you’re a “go-getter” what projects or ideas have you “launched?” What deals have you “negotiated” to show that you are “self-motivated?” Perhaps you can speak to the “training or mentoring” you’ve facilitated to show that you are a “hard worker.”

According to the same survey, words like “launched,” “negotiated,” and “training/mentoring” are among the top fourteen words that hiring managers respond to in a resume. What makes these words different from the others? You can prove it. “Launched,” “negotiated,” and “training/mentoring” should have projects, deals, or ideas attached to them that you can speak to more fully in your interview. Again, step into the shoes of a hiring manager. Would you rather have someone who is a “go-getter” or someone who “launched” an annual charity project?

Remember, your resume is like the teaser on the back of a novel. It should make the hiring manager want to know more. The quantifiable aspects are important, but not ALL the information should be included on your resume. So, definitely include that you launched an annual charity project, even include that it’s been running for however long, but save the details of the project for your interview.

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