When was the last time you took a look at your resume, updated it, or edited its content? There is a common misconception that resumes should primarily be updated between jobs or when you are proactively searching for your next career opportunity; however, many professionals would benefit from more frequent glances at their resumes. The best way to keep your resume relevant is to edit it periodically and include any new accomplishments, successful projects, responsibilities or changes in job title. If you wait until you are unemployed and desperately searching for jobs, you may forget to include important details that will set you apart from the other candidates.

In addition to editing content, take the time to eliminate the following overused words and phrases that cause your resume to blend in.


  1. “Responsible for”

Starting out a sentence with “responsible for” is unnecessary wordy and can easily be eliminated. For example, simply switch “Responsible for scheduling client meetings” to “Scheduled client meetings”. You don’t have much space on a resume to make an impression, don’t bore potential employers with this redundant phrase.


  1. “Team player”

Chances are that you have been a member of a team at some point during your career, but saying that you were a “team player” is a generalization that does not help you to differentiate yourself from other candidates. A potential employer wants to know specifics; as a result, you will want to define the roles that you have had in a team and how you contributed to the team’s success.


  1. “References available upon request”

If you make it to the interview round, references may be requested. Until then there’s no need to mention them. Some employers don’t call references at all, so including this line may be a waste of valuable resume real-estate.


  1. “Hardworking”

The word “hardworking” is a completely overused and unnecessary adjective. Employers expect you to describe yourself as hardworking, because the alternative would be to say that you are lazy or just complete the bare minimum to keep your job. Stand out by describing when you have gone above and beyond, as well as the results of your hard work.


  1. “Microsoft Office”

A once impressive skill set is now the norm in today’s job market. Microsoft Office is an expectation, not a stand out skill. An employer reading a resume that highlights Microsoft Office will automatically assume that the candidate’s abilities are limited to basic computer skills.


  1. “Punctual”

Again, this is an expectation of every applicant. Instead of mentioning how punctual you are (you can wow them with your punctuality if you are chosen for an interview), use your resume to describe how you worked efficiently and made the most of your time at work. They don’t care if you were consistently five minutes early for work, they care about the work you did while you were there.



If your resume has been sitting around collecting dust, now is the time to brush it off and eliminate any of these overused words and phrases.