Getting Hired 101: 5 Things You Should Never Put On Your Resume

Gen is a Bay Area native that works as a Talent Development Manager in San Francisco. If you can't find her, she's probably crafting, cooking, taking pictures, or stretching in her studio apartment. She will always take two scoops of ice cream and renown chefs are her celebrity. See more of Gen's extracurriculars at


Resumes are an aptitude test to see how much you can brag about yourself on one sheet of paper…at least that’s what it can feel like. So when you have five bullet points to describe a job that you worked 60 hours a week at last year, how do you capture a recruiter’s attention without boring them to death? According to, nothing seems more shallow than a boring or bland cliche on your resume that reflects badly on you.

Avoid these cliches like the plague and you’ll seem like a 20something wiser beyond your years.


Don’t put “Phone” before your phone number

As this Business Insider article points out, recruiters know what a phone number looks like. Seeing you label something that is clearly a phone number is redundant and comes off as silly. The same rule goes for email.


Stop saying “creative,” “outside the box,” “innovative,” etc.

If you’re so creative why don’t you think of another adjective? Recruiters have heard those words too much.


Show, not tell, the words “detailed,” “hard-working,” “team player” and “proactive”

Recruiters will think “prove it.” Always show (and prove) rather than tell. Forbes collected a few words that would counter these and they are all win-first language. Next time you’re refreshing your resume, start each bullet point with “achieved,” “improved,” “created,” or “launched.”


Avoid listing things that are basic needs to keep a job today

Not only do recruiters expect you to know how to use Microsoft Word but you are wasting space on your resume that should be dedicated to wins. Avoid the unnecessary and make sure everything on your resume will be original and effective. That will keep you from disappearing into the pool of applicants.


Don’t call yourself an expert

Show off but be humble. Highlight your wins but never call yourself an expert. Has anyone really become an expert in anything? If you call yourself one on your resume, it screams that you can’t or won’t want to learn more.