No matter your industry or target job, the other job seekers you’re going up against are going to try clever and “original” tricks to showcase their talents. But these moves might not be as clever as they think. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll avoid stumbling into clichés and overused, unimpressive job search tactics.
1. Unnecessarily long words.
When you add unnecessary prefixes and suffixes to your verbs and nouns, your words may get longer. But longer words don’t make a stronger point. Consider a word like “use” or “used.” This word doesn’t gain more power or become more impressive when it’s puffed up into “utilize” or utilization.”
Keep things simple and focus on root words and straightforward expressions. Avoid silly, overpuffed words like “actionalize,” “synergistically,” and “sucessification”.
2. Empty descriptors like “energetic” and “experienced.”
As terrific as these descriptors sound in your own ears, they just don’t belong on a resume. There’s no need to tell your readers and reviewers that you “work hard”, that you’re “willing to go the extra mile,” or that you “have what it takes to get the job done”. Of course you do—everyone does.
These descriptions apply to every candidate in the world. So save yourself some space on the page and strengthen your argument by deleting these phrases and replacing them with others that apply to you and you alone.
3. Assuming “technology” is a slam dunk.
Yes, you “understand computers,” and yes, you’re “technologically savvy.” But this is 2014. And these claims apply to almost every living person around you within a 50-mile radius (even some elementary school students).
So don’t talk about your skill with computers. Instead, talk about your skill with iOS, network management, cybersecurity, app development, ERP implementations, EPIC system certification, XTML, etc. And while you’re getting specific about technology, heed the warning below.
4. Don’t assume that your familiarity with social media makes you an “expert.”
Social media marketing experts are real people with real job titles and real skills, so don’t count yourself among them just because you have a Facebook page and a Twitter account.
And don’t let employers push you in this direction. If you’re an expert in child development, art history, engineering, plant biology, or city planning, don’t let potential employers make you feel inadequate because you don’t spend every waking hour on your social media feeds.
Keep Your Cover Letter Focused & Powerful
Don’t let clichés and weak writing undermine your job search. Stay focused and original with a little help from the writing and formatting tools on LiveCareer.