3 Examples of Overused Summary Phrases on Resumes

What's wrong with these resume Summary phrases? Excellent communication skills. Outstanding organizational abilities. Goal-oriented individual.

Nothing's wrong with them except they're worn out. They're used in the Summary sections of so many resumes that employers don't take them seriously. So what should you do if one of these examples of overused phrases is true for you but you don't want to bore your reader? Write something better!

Before you put something on your resume, ask yourself:

  • Is it news to the reader?
  • Is it a grabber?

If it’s what everyone else says, it’s NOT news and it WON’T grab. Make your point as concretely as possible. Use facts to make it sound real and to say that you’re unlike any other candidate for the job.

Examples of What to Say Instead of Overused Summary Phrases

So, if those old overused Summary phrases aren't good, what should you say? Here are some ideas.

Instead of “Excellent written and verbal communication skills,” write a Summary statement that says how those skills will be used when you get your new job. For example, if you're objective is to get a job as a teacher, you might write something like this:

  • Skilled at explaining subject matter to students from a wide range of learning styles and cultural backgrounds.

Instead of “Outstanding organizational abilities,” write something that paints the picture of you organizing something. For example, if you are an event planner you might say:

  • Skilled at planning and organizing events from small business luncheons to corporate trade shows.

Instead of “Goal-oriented professional,” say something like this to make the employer want to hire you as a salesperson (if you are a salesperson):

  • Never missed a sales quota in the last five years.

Now that sounds like the kind of salesperson I’d want on my team!

More Help With Resume Summary Statements

For help coming up with unique statements for YOUR resume, take a look at these posts.

Then browse my Resume Examples to see what other job seekers have written.