It’s very likely that you’ve had an interview in which the recruiter has asked you something about your résumé that they didn’t fully understand. Have you ever asked yourself why?  If you have, the answer was likely that your résumé includes empty words, that is, terms which offer little about you or your experience.

Everyone wants to make their résumé as attractive as possible and we often use words that we think make our candidacy more relevant for the recruiter. But the truth is that this practice can work against you. To give you an idea, words such as “ability to communicate”, “responsible” or “fast learning” should not be used unless you provide concrete examples why they make you different from the rest of the candidates who may have also included them in their résumé.

To avoid using empty words, we suggest you re-read your résumé and think if the terms used to explain your experience clearly state what you want the recruiter to know. Don’t expect them to draw conclusions when reading your résumé. For example, if you mention “the wide variety of projects in which you have participated”, specify what those projects were and include a brief explanation of each one. By doing this, the recruiter will believe what you’re saying in your résumé.

Listing skills on résumés is also common practice. This strategy is flawed unless, of course, you provide proof of the skills you say you have. It’s not the same to say, “I am a proactive, dynamic and decisive person”, qualities that many students and workers claim to have, than, for example, “I consider myself a proactive person, willing to go above and beyond the requirements in the workplace… I try to resolve potential problems in a creative way like, for example, when… ”.

Always remember that your résumé must be coherent and have solid arguments: it shows that, behind the words, there is someone prepared to take on the job.

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