The Words on which we are OD-ing


Someone wrote on Quora (a Willy Wonka Factory of open source Q&A):   What are your least favorite “resume words”?

Oh, man– thank you for giving me the opportunity to vent.  As a recruiter rifling through tomes of resumes, it is my conclusion that if we had to make a drinking game out of every time we heard our least favorite words– those fluff words, those fillers, those damned, insipid weed of words blotting out the view of their substantive counterparts– I and other recruiters would be piss drunk before mid-day.

Where do I even start?  Team player, multitask*, learns quickly/quick learner, great communication skills, responsible for, various, as required, etc.

All soft skills.  While soft skills have never been more important whether you are a software developer or a business development executive, we don’t need the PC crap that tells us NOTHING about how you are different.  Just tells us you are safe, don’t have a voice or know the value of your real voice, and that you are good at becoming a wall-flower.

Now, this is not to say that all soft-skill, fluffy words are created equal on the boredom-dometer– nor bad to have on resume.  Here are examples of the non-quantifiable, intangible self-accolades that are either more forgivable or, even, admirable– a PLUS to have because you instantly hear the jobseeker’s true voice.  You glean something true.

“Been coding and breaking things since I was 9. Love finding out how things work and take a lot of pride in my craft.  Currently loving building web applications, especially with a bigger mission behind them.  Also, I hate the word polyglot but it fits. I’m tech agnostic and have spent a lot of time skilling up in several areas.”

“Love solving the ‘hard’ problems.”

“Generalist’s view all technologies as possible tools to solve problems.  The correct application of technology to solve the problem in the most efficient way possible.”

And my own:
As a recruiter who scorns the proverbial ‘soft skills’ peppered into resumes, I’m breaking my own rule.  Here are the metric-absent factors of why I will always be a successful recruiter:

  • I seek to continue breaking recruiting industry metrics and set precedence for new benchmarks of success.
  • Recruiting is, for me, an artful dance to appeal to the pathos and logic of the ‘wants’ of clients and candidates; my hunting grounds, a playground, treasure-hunting, my opportunity to re-conceptualize the recruiter-candidate relationship dynamic, to combine unsated tenacity/proverbial grinds with strategy and innovation.
  • I thrive on finding that ‘bigfoot’/ ‘purple dinosaur’/ ‘checkered squirrel’ candidate.

You know when you know it’s raw talk.


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