November 19, 2010 | | Leave a comment Anyone in a position of hiring right now probably looks at hundreds of resumes per week. After a while they all start blending together like one giant, generic, unemployed worker bee. Words like dynamic, experienced, innovative, and self-starter (which sounds like the person comes with an on/off switch they’ve miraculously figured out how to use) are so overused and vague they completely lose any meaning after the reader slogs through about the 10th resume. If the reader of your resume can’t decipher your strengths, you’re toast. So to keep your resume from ending up in the recycling bin here are five of the most anemic resume killing descriptions you should avoid. 1. Works well with others Okay, this just sounds like you play in a sandbox all day. And yes, you could say, “Well, that’s the analogy; that you do play well in the sandbox with the other kids.” But by whose standards? For example, a co-dependent party animal who tries to fix everyone’s else’s problems and a timid introvert who thinks family style dining is overrated could both put “works well with others” on their resumes, but would both be right for the same job? (Probably not.) Describe the experience or trait that makes you easy to work with. For example, don’t just say you were a project manager in your last job, but instead explain what that means. Did you have to resolve personel conflicts? Rearrange employee schedules? Were you well liked? Those are the specifics potential employers want to know. 2. Go-to person As in what? Go to h-e-double-hocky-sticks? Saying you’re a go-to person just impliesâ€¦well, it implies nothing, really, except that you’re probably good at working the fast food counter at the Galleria Food Court. If what you’re trying to say is that you’re a problem solver, then say that. List exactly which problems you solved in your last job and how you did it. Did you offer help, or did others come to you because you’re known for coming up with creative solutions? This is your big opportunity to toot your own horn. Don’t waste it. 3. Cutting-edge This is the worst unmeasurable BS term on the planet. With technology moving faster than the speed of light, companies are always looking for people who have cutting-edge expertise. They want somebody who knows how to fix things before they break. Saying you have cutting-edge knowledge sets the bar pretty high, so by gosh, if they hire you, you’d better have it. Instead of risking any misunderstanding or embarrassment, again, be specific about what you know. List the classes or seminars you’ve taken and when. If an expert in your field mentored you, say that. If you taught, list where, when, and for how long. Give details that set you apart from all the others who supposedly have cutting-edge knowledge. 4. Assisted with I always love it when a women says, “My husband assisted with the birth of our child.” Oh really? Did he grow a uterus and take turns with you during labor? “Assisted with” pretty much means the person who assisted just stood around and watched while everyone else did the work. Why would you want to cop to that on your resume? Instead, explain how you helped a project come to fruition. For example, if you were a research assistant in grad school, don’t talk about “assisting the professor,” list your exact tasks and how it made the professor’s research a huge success. Present yourself as a co-worker rather than a sideline observer. 5. Team Player Unless you’re signing up to play Little League who the heck cares? Team player? I thought I was hiring a bank manager! In the business world “team player” is one of those touchy-feely terms that evolved out of the 1980s when motivational retreats were all the rage in corporate America (back when companies could afford such luxuries). If you’re trying to say you’re willing to compromise to get a job done, then give concrete examples on your resume. Granted, you can’t go into great detail, but if you provide a teaser the reader will probably want to hear more. There are hundreds of resume killer terms floating out there, and unfortunately space prohibits me from listing them all. But suffice it to say using the terms above are sure to decrease your chances of getting an interview. So if you want your resume to stand out please, I beg you, stop describing yourself with such hazy expressions that the reader doesn’t know if you’re applying for a job or going undercover (that is, of course, unless you’re applying to the CIA).