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Eliminate them, and you’ll come off as a better, more substantial candidate—and your resume won’t smack of that same generic, mind-numbing quality found on everyone else’s.Every word—yes, every word—on that page should be working hard to highlight your talents and skills. So grab a red pen, and banish these words from your resume for good.It should articulate your unique value and problem-solving abilities so convincingly that the reader cannot help but invite you for an interview.Your resumé is your most important piece of promotional material, and yet most people bury their skills and value so deep inside that it requires an archaeologist to sift through it to discover why and how you would serve the inquiring organization.

Your resumé markets you to potential employers and collaborators.

I am the principal search architect at Ladders, where we have reviewed thousands of resumes and fixed hundreds of the very issues we describe below.

I am sharing some of these simple “secrets” with you, the job seeker, so that you can ensure your information is out there and available to be searched.

But sharing that you “Created five customized weekly reports to analyze repeat client sales activity”—now that gives the reader a better idea of where exactly this so-called experience lies, with some actual results attached.

You’ve worked hard to establish a distinguished career. But all of the effort could be undone by something as seemingly insignificant as the dates on your resume.

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It is, in other words, very much like dating: You want to look your best when you are meeting potential mates at a mixer, catch someone’s attention, encourage him or her to engage you in conversation, and give a sense of your sparkling personality. I don’t care that you “seek a challenging work environment where you can utilize your critical thinking and analysis skills.” This is all about me, and how you can make my life easier. Every bullet point should aim to clearly tell me, the decision-maker: Because the purpose of every job is to solve problems, it is vital for you to plainly articulate what problems you have solved and how you did so. Some people may hesitate to list their awards to avoid being seen as boastful. Unlike a CV, your resumé should be compact and to-the-point. But the most important thing to remember when preparing your resumé is to use the space—roughly 2-3 pages, depending upon where you are in your career—wisely. Her new book on networking strategies for scientists and engineers will be published by Wiley in 2014.

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