6 Meaningless Resume Phrases & What to Write Instead

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4. “Assisted”

According to Tannenbaum, a big mistake students often make is underplaying their experience. For example, your resume might say, “Assisted with on-site operations at the Annual Film Festival for Young Talent.” This statement is vague and can make an employer think you played a very small role, even if you took on a lot of responsibility in reality.

Tannenbaum says to ask yourself in what ways you assisted with on-site operations. What roles did you take on, exactly? Improve upon this statement by explaining how you assisted; for example, replace it with, “Verified schedule of events with caterers, AV specialists and set crew to ensure smooth execution of the Annual Film Festival for Young Talent.” This tells a potential employer exactly what you did and can do and doesn’t minimize your role in the organization.

5. “Put Together”

Students often start job descriptions in their resumes with weak action verbs, like “put together,” “worked with” or “changed.” However, according to Tannenbaum, “There is just a better verb you can use, plain and simple.”

Instead of “Put together weekly reports,” opt for “composed.” Delete “Worked with several departments” and write “collaborated” instead. Rather than say, “Changed the organization system for sales records,” try a word like “revamped.” These strong action verbs will show an employer that you can speak professionally and that you’re putting effort into your resume.

6. “Logistics”

According to Vicki Salemi, career coach and author of Big Career in the Big City: Land a Job and Get a Life in New York, students often fill their resumes with empty jargon like “logistics,” “sharing best practices” or “whatnot.” These words may sound impressive and intimidating, but in reality, they’re not telling an employer anything about you and the work you’ve done.

“What is ‘logistics,’ really?” Salemi says. “If you helped plan a corporate event with meeting planners, you can say you worked with budgets and room specs instead of ‘logistics.’”

Technical jargon isn’t as impressive to an employer as specific examples of what your skills are and how you have applied them. Salemi says to use phrases that “pack a punch and have meanings that are action-oriented.” For example, she says to replace something like “shared best practices in knowledge” with “established weekly department meetings to brainstorm.” Swapping out vague phrases for detailed evidence of your abilities will definitely show an employer what you can do!


With these tips from career experts, your resume is sure to be in perfect shape in no time! Express yourself and your experiences clearly, and we’re sure employers will see you as the wonderful and talented collegiette you are. Happy job hunting!

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