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Squawkfox’s guide helps you write better job applications.

She recommends steering away from general terms such as ‘responsible for’ and being more specific. THat’s good advice and likely to help you stand out if your application letter and resume are read by human beings who care about what they are doing.

As an example, she suggest avoiding the word  ‘successful’.

She writes:

Hopefully you only list the successes on your resume. So if everything is a success, then why write the s-word? Stick to showing your success by giving concrete examples of what you’ve done to be successful! Let your skills, qualifications, and achievements speak for you.


  • Successfully sold the product.


  • Increased sales of organic chocolate by 32 percent.

When it comes to your successes, please don’t be shy. Boast your best, sing your praises, and sell your skills.

This, by the way, is in stark contrast CV advice being handed out by some outplacement companies at the present.

I’m not sure advice Squawkfox’s works so well if you’re applying to an organisation using computer technology or low-level juniors to pre-scan large numbers applications: some of the rightly-identified sucky words are likely to be exactly the kind of triggers a computer resume scan or an office junior will be looking for.

On the other hand, speaking for myself, I’d hate to work for an organisation that would treat applicants so inhumanly.

6 Words That Make Your Resume Suck.


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