Government Resume Phrases to Keep away from – Say THIS, not THAT


As an govt, I’m certain you’ve had a resume or two come throughout your desk crammed with cliches and overused buzz phrases. After we hear the identical govt resume phrases and claims time and again, we start to tune them out, and all of the resumes mix collectively.

There are occasions in life after we wish to observe the gang and occasions in life after we wish to STAND OUT, rise above, and place ourselves as distinctive people. (Like whenever you’re preventing with a whole bunch of different certified job candidates for less than ONE coveted management place).

To actually stand out with a memorable govt resume, you wish to ditch the cliched phrases, overused buzzwords, and weak language.

Understand that buzzwords are completely different from key phrases. Key phrases that actively describe important {qualifications} needs to be left in to assist your resume show clear alignment with the goal job.  Simply remember to add supporting proof to again key phrases up.


Phrases to Keep away from on Your Government Resume  


  1. Overused catchphrases that hiring managers and recruiters see day after day.

As soon as they’ve heard the identical factor a whole bunch of occasions from a whole bunch of candidates, the phrases lose all which means and really feel inauthentic and redundant. (Which actually received’t enable you to stand out amongst a sea of rivals).

Depart these widespread phrases off your resume (Don’t say this…):

  • Superior communication abilities
  • Sturdy work ethic
  • Exceeded expectations
  • Confirmed observe file of success

Whereas these phrases might describe YOU, they will additionally very simply describe nearly everybody who’s making use of for the job. As an alternative of falling again on previous favourites, present proof! Slightly than inform what you’re good at, how will you present what you’re good at?

Be particular and supply examples (Say this…):

Slightly than say you’ve got superior communication abilities, present how the ability helped you obtain nice issues for the group. Are you a robust presenter who delivers common enterprise stories to the board or known as upon to share thought management at conferences? Do you interact workers via common communication touchpoints? What did these communications techniques obtain? That’s the data you wish to share.

As an alternative of claiming you exceeded expectations, share how and provides concrete examples of success. Maybe you directed the implementation of a nationwide working technique, which was projected to avoid wasting the corporate $500K. Nicely, perhaps your management promoted a heightened tradition of steady enchancment that decreased inefficiencies properly past preliminary objectives, producing $1.2M in annual price financial savings. Now that’s an instance of exceeding expectations!

To face out from the gang, govt resumes want metrics!



  1. Weak verbs.

Use robust language in your govt resume. Keep away from repetitive widespread verbs akin to managed, helped, managed, supported, managed (you see the damaging sample right here?). You’ve got restricted area to show your self, so make each phrase depend. Leverage high-action language to implement your high-level skills.

Swap out weak verbs (Don’t say this, say that…):

  • “Liable for” – to: oversaw, spearheaded, launched
  • “Organized” –to: executed, monitored, established
  • “Assisted”- strive: facilitated, collaborated, or partnered with
  • “Managed” – to: championed, directed, drove

Searching for extra inspiration? Listed below are 60 govt resume motion phrases to think about.


  1. Fluff and fillers that aren’t pulling their weight.

Be ruthless together with your enhancing to make sure you don’t have any redundant content material or pointless data. Begin robust to seize consideration and provides resume readers solely the great things! Don’t say issues that received’t add worth to the reader, say issues that show alignment!

  • Neglect the profession goal assertion. Contemplate a branding assertion or brief and succinct Abstract that defines your differentiators.
  • Present solely related job expertise inside the final 10 – 15 years. Solely share earlier historical past if required or extraordinarily associated.
  • Get rid of “references upon request” (it’s pointless – employers know they will ask).
  • Guarantee each element pertains to THIS job – some accomplishments and expertise can be extra related than others.
  • Skip the fundamentals and focus in your higher-level abilities and accomplishments. Don’t default to sharing duties; emphasize management impacts and outcomes.
  • Read the job description fastidiously and curate resume statements primarily based on the {qualifications} and outcomes for every particular function.


Substitute overused phrases with particular examples that show how you place these abilities to work to attain nice issues! Use concrete metrics that solely it’s important to set your self aside and rise above the competitors. When studying your govt resume, pause on every level and ask your self:

  • “So what?”. Why does this level matter? Does it show particular abilities?
  • Is that this level distinctive to me, or is that this one thing anybody might share?
  • Am I utilizing energetic language that aligns with my profession degree?
  • Can I strengthen this content material with extra specifics or metrics (suppose: what number of, how a lot, how usually?).
  • Does this assertion matter to THIS viewers?


In the event you discovered this useful, take a look at 22 Resume Suggestions for 2022. Go to me on-line to study extra about my govt resume writing companies for prime professionals throughout North America.


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