Six Things to Nix From Your Résumé

Young woman hiding behind her resume
Image via iStock.

Updating your résumé when applying for new jobs can be quite daunting, but it can really make or break an employer’s first impression of you. Career experts tell Gili Malinsky of CNBC what to scrap from your résumé if you want to make it past the first stage of the interview process.  

1. Adjectives, i.e., “really” or “very”  

Résumés should be concise. These words are considered “empty,” Harvard career advisor Gorick Ng tells CNBC. They don’t add any flavor to what you’re trying to describe.  

2. Vague Titles 

Intern, manager, or assistant don’t really give employers a clear picture of what your position entails. The more specific, the better.

3. Self-Assessments 

Let your résumé speak for yourself. If you work well with others, don’t state that but instead prove it by listing your experience working in teams.

4. Company-Specific Jargon 

Acronyms or abbreviations used specifically in your company will be confusing to employers. They don’t have the insight into the language your company uses.

5. Trendy Words 

Trendy words like ninja can come off as unprofessional and obfuscate the message you’re trying to convey in your resume. It’s best to just keep it straightforward.

6. ‘References Available upon Request’ 

This is already implied. It takes up unnecessary space on your résumé.  

Another tip that Ng gave CNBC is to read your résumé out loud and ask yourself if it’s something a stranger would understand.  

Read more about how to make your résumé stand out to employers on CNBC.  

Here are 11 more things you should avoid putting on your resume.


Montgomery County Community College, the sponsor of MONTCO.Today’s Career Corner offers more than 100 associate’s degree and certificate programs at the college’s Blue Bell, Pottstown, The Culinary Arts Institute in Lansdale campuses, and online.

Funded by Montgomery County, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and student tuition, Montgomery County Community college offers a high-quality, affordable, accessible education that leads to relevant, rewarding transfer and career opportunities.

Take advantage of all the college has to offer — from challenging educational and professional development opportunities to stimulating activities and cultural programs. Its doors are always open.

Learn more about the College’s degrees and programs or plan an in-person visit to get a firsthand look at the college’s state-of-the-art facilities and friendly campus life. 

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