Your resume is your first line of attack.  It’s the first thing a hiring manager sees and the only thing they have to decide whether you’re worth an interview.  Don’t just tell them how awesome you are, show  them, and avoid these three vague words/phrases.

Every company wants to hire people who are team players.  Being a true team player means you are
constantly looking for ways to contribute to the profitability of the entire
company, not just your department or the person/people you support.  It’s more about adaptability than it is about
skill; if some unforeseen circumstance left another department short-handed,
how willing would you be to move over temporarily and help out? To what extent
can the company rely on you?  What if the mail room revolted? Would you
distribute the day’s correspondence (and do so with a smile)?  How flexible
are you?  You’re not claiming to be an
expert at the tasks associated with pitching in and helping other people or
departments, but you do possess the willingness and desire to step up should
the circumstances require it. 

Instead of stating
you’re a team player, detail situations in which you demonstrated you are a
team player. 

When a hiring manager posts a job ad that states the ideal
candidate has impeccable attention to
, what it really means is the company doesn’t want to put someone on
payroll who will repeatedly make silly mistakes.  It also means they want to hire an individual
that can identify problems and develop (or at least conceptualize) solutions
that others may have overlooked.  Paying
attention to details isn’t just making sure you’ve crossed your T’s and dotted
your I’s.  Awareness is an essential
component of being attentive to details.

Instead of stating you
pay attention to details, outline a process you implemented that saved the
company/department/person/people you support time and/or money.

When a candidate states they are proactive, the hiring manager is left scratching their heads in
confusion.  You shouldn’t have to have
your hand held.  The expectation of any
employee is that they will actively seek out opportunities or projects they can
contribute to without waiting for someone to bark orders at them.

Instead of stating
that you are proactive, describe a project you were involved in from conception
to completion, and how your role contributed to the outcome of that project.


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