By Kevin Donlin
Seven Deadly Words
To succeed in today's job market, your resume and cover letter
must be concise and easy to read. Sounds obvious, right?
But you'd be surprised how often a resume or cover letter are
ruined when the author utilizes a superabundance of polysyllabic
terminology (uses too many big words).
Here are seven of the most commonly used "big words" that I see
every day in resumes sent to me by clients. Warning! Using these
words may cause severe drowsiness ... and get your resume tossed in
· Implementation - My all-time least favorite word. It's a
favorite of senators and others who make their living by not
speaking clearly. Try saying "roll-out" or "set-up" instead.
· Utilization - Have you ever heard anyone use this word in a
conversation, ever? Neither have I. Never "utilize" what you can
· Impact (used as a verb) - Wisdom teeth are impacted. And I
suppose meteorites can "impact" the moon. But in your resume and
cover letter, use the verb "affect."
· Impactful (allegedly an adjective) - "Illiterate" is the
image this word conveys. Say "high-impact" (better) or "effective"
· Facilitate - Don't "facilitate" a meeting; "help lead" or
"conduct" it instead.
· Deliverables - I'm pretty sure this term refers to
"products" or "finished goods." But I could be wrong.
· Interface - I think it was Isaac Asimov who said: "When I'm
interfacing with a woman, I'm kissing her, by God." This word can
be the kiss of death to clarity. Instead of "interfacing" with
people, "work" with them.
In short, don't hide behind your vocabulary. Just be informative
Write as you would speak to your manager. Then read your resume and
cover letter aloud. If you find yourself gasping for breath halfway
through a sentence, stop. Break it into two or three shorter
sentences. Then read it again until it flows smoothly.
When you've finished, call your best friend and read your writing
over the phone. If it's 100 percent clear by phone,
congratulations! Your resume and cover letter are now easier to
read than 98 percent of what's out there in the job market.
Best of luck to you!