10 clichéd and mind-numbing phrases to chop off your resume


Technology is redefining the global business outlook by reshaping the marketing industry. Scores of thousands of websites go up each day – adding to the number of enterprises that need the services of marketing and ad agencies to weather competition. Consequently, marketing agencies are jostling for a slice of the lucrative opportunities in the industry by attracting, hiring and retaining ingenious talent.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that advertising and marketing jobs are anticipated to rise by 9% come 2024. This means that there will be more brand and product promotion jobs in comparison to any other professional occupation. However, this doesn’t mean that securing a job in the industry is bound to get easier given the fierce competition paused by innovative and ingenious marketers in the current job market

Standing above the crowded pool of applicants requires you to sharpen and package your skills professionally. Needless to say, that a proficient resume template is a must. Your CV should sell your skills as a product or an active ingredient that a specific marketing team needs to succeed. It should demonstrate your professionalism and ability to communicate clearly by avoiding the following ten mind-numbing clichés that degenerate the beauty of written communication.

Take note whether you’re guilty of using any of the phrases in your resume and make necessary adjustments.

  1. “Responsible for…”

Telling your potential employer what your responsibilities were in your previous place of work adds little or no value to your professional outlook especially if your former employer is a defunct firm

Present a checklist of accomplishments by noting down the tasks that you saw to completion. Project the impact you made and not the mess you brewed. Talk about what your previous employer couldn’t have achieved without your input.

  1. “Experience in…”

You get caught up in passivity whenever you say that you’ve got experience in a specific field. What if the technology or the strategy that you are talking about is obsolete according to your potential employer? It sounds vague, making it commendable to let facts and figures reflect your experience.

Instead, say something to the effect of having improved online marketing related conversion rates by 40% in a span of 8 months. The feat in this achievement demonstrates your experience.

  1. “Assisted in or with…”

The next generation marketers will be bold and assertive professionals. To join them, you need to come across as a decisive person who believes in his or her abilities. When you say that you assisted with, you paint a picture of a joyrider or a lackluster professional.

Talk about your accomplishments, no matter how trivial, instead. Don’t, therefore, say that you assisted with code optimization and noted that “I optimized codes or keywords to generate dynamic landing pages” instead.

  1. “Proficient in Word, PowerPoint, Excel…”

It’s redundant to state the obvious. Many people include this in the “skills section” of their resume but rarely does it add value since you can’t handle online marketing without basic computing skills.

Cut off this section in entirety unless the agency has specifically asked for its inclusion. Should you feel obliged to include it, talk of advanced computing skills or exceptional abilities such as the ability to type 150 words per minute.

  1. “Ran social media…”

Avoid mentioning that you ran social media platforms in your resume since this is something that even fifth graders do. Social media is not a skill. It’s a tool, and you’re better off mentioning an ingenious way to navigate it as a marketing apparatus and how you’ve used it in the past to accomplish a specific outstanding marketing goal.

  1. “Excellent or strong communication skills…”

It’s advisable to show and not to talk about your communication skills. This is a middle school concept that’s applicable in various realms of life, resume writing included. Double check your grammar. Get rid of fillers and weed out vague statements and punctuation mistakes in your resume and cover letter.

  1. “Self-motivated or self-starter…”

Make your application appear like a piece from of a self-motivated individual without saying so. This is an overused phrase that’s likely to make your CV sound like the last and the next one in a pile of applications. Note an experience that projects your self-motivation and leave the rest to the HR’s imagination.

  1. “Goal-oriented or result-inclined…”

Everyone one likes accomplishments, and it’s a known fact that most people like to talk about goals and results than to put in the work to accomplish them. Avoid the obvious and talk of a specific goal or result that you’ve achieved in the past without talking of your goal-orientation and result-inclination tendencies.

  1. “Marketing ninja or star…”

At a glance, it sounds cute and even creative to give yourself a zealous title. From a professional angle, the titles seem obnoxious and project you as a quark with flimsy personality issues. Let the hiring firm’s HR take note of your rock star or Zeus-like marketing credentials by running a finger down your past achievements.

  1. “Groundbreaking…”

As a marketer, you need to learn that hyperbolic statements build your reputation when you use them creatively in promotional content, but they kill your professional aspirations if they appear in your resume. Avoid adjectives. Be plain, objective and straightforward with each word that appears in your resume to capture the right amount of attention.

If you have any words or phrases that you think are mundane and over-used in resume writing, please let us know in the comments below.