Overused Resume Phrases To Delete

Mercer Match Blog Overused Resume Phrases

Stop Using Overused Resume Phrases

Make Every Word Count

There are several overused resume phrases that simply need to go — after all, your resume is the first thing a potential employer will see, choose wisely!

As an applicant, it’s also your first chance to impress them. Try as you might though, some overused resume phrases may scare potential employers away while they secretly roll their eyes at you.

While you might be a great employee when you’re actually on the team, you need to appear smart, witty and current on paper too. Use this guide to learn a few overused resume phrases that simply need to be removed from your current draft.

Hard Worker

Every potential employer under the sun wants people on their team who will put as much effort into their job as they can. Saying that you’ll work hard though is almost like admitting that you know how to be lazy.

As ridiculous as it might seem, managers and people doing the hiring don’t want to see this phrase anymore. It’s implied that you’re going to be a hard worker, so leave this most common of overused resume phrases on the cutting room floor.

Team Player

Like being a hard worker, every employer expects you to be able to work with others like you’ve done it before. If you can’t do that, you’re not going to be a good hire for any employer with more than two people on staff.

Instead of saying that you’re a team player, mention specific instances and past experience where you’ve worked with a team and created positive results. That will mean much more to any modern employer than an empty phrase like team player.

Think Outside the Box

As much as you might actually think outside the box, only people who think inside the box still say it. Obviously every employer wants a candidate that uses creative problem solving, but there are much better ways to express that.

In fact, simply stating creativity and problem solving skills is a better way to go in most cases. Don’t get stuck in the box of people who “think outside the box” unless you want your resume to end up in the trash bin.


Detail-oriented individuals are often very beneficial for employers doing difficult work, as well those hiring people who do technical tasks. If you’re applying for one of these positions though, it’s assumed that you are detail-oriented since it’s pretty much part of the job description.

Talk about what you’ve achieved because of your detail-oriented mindset on your resume instead of using cliché resume phrases.

Track Record

Having a solid track record in your past jobs and experiences is essential for landing a good job. This is especially true for people who are going to be managing teams or dealing with finances for the company they work for.

Just like being detail-oriented though, you need to show proof of success instead of just saying that you’ve got an admirable track record. Even if you do, there’s a good chance a potential employer won’t follow up to find out if it’s true without more specific details.


Results-driven may not be as bad of a cliché as saying you think outside the box, but when it comes to any job in the business world, results are pretty much all that count. While an employer may admire “hard working and giving 110%”, an employee that can’t produce results or isn’t motivated by positive ones isn’t worth hiring.

Prove your successes with detailed information instead of saying you’re motivated by winning if and when you can.

Need More advice?

If you’re still trying to figure out what career is a good match for you, download the Mercer Match app available on the App Store and the Google Play Store to get started. Your profile will be matched to careers and companies where you will thrive. To learn more, visit Mercer Match today!

Leave a Comment