As a Toronto recruitment agency, we read through our fair share of resumes. One tip we stress time and time again is that if you want your resume to stand out from the pile, it has to be unique. You need to include information that will capture the attention of hiring managers and recruiters. But you will struggle to get callbacks for job interviews if your resume is too similar to the rest of the candidates.

A common mistake candidates make on their resumes is word choice and selection. Many candidates fall into the trap of using overused words and phrases. Are you guilty of it? If you are, a resume overhaul can help you choose better alternatives.

Toronto Recruitment Agency shares overused resume phrases


Below are some overused resume phrases you should seriously think about removing from your resume.

Excellent communication skills

This is one of the most common skills people list on their resumes. Yes, communication skills are important for the vast majority of jobs but there is a better alternative to this overused phrase. There are other ways to say “communicate.” Talk about how you communicate and what tools you use to connect with others.

A team player

While you are trying to say that you work well in a team-based environment, being more specific will help you say more about your abilities. Rather than saying you are a team player, give an example – “led a group of marketing associates to coordinate the annual content calendar.”

Self-starter/highly motivated/driven

Saying you are motivated doesn’t actually say much at all. But when you back it up with key accomplishments, motivation is implied. For example, rather than saying you are highly motivated, you could talk about any awards or recognition you received. Speak about additional responsibilities you took on in your role.


Again, rather than saying you are passionate about your career and are enthusiastic about a new opportunity, let your resume convey this for you. List things that show you are passionate about your area of expertise. For example, if you have a passion for writing, talk about the associations you are part of, the blog you run, and how you advocate for your profession.

There is always more than one way to say something. Make sure you are not saying the same things on your resume as everyone else.

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IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm supporting clients across the country. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Executive Search / Board & C-Suite, Technology, Media, Digital & Marketing, Accounting & Finance, Financial Services & Insurance, Cannabis, Startup, Data Science, Consumer, eCommerce & Retail, Operations & HR, Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Engineering, Legal & Professional Services, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, Non-Profit & Sustainability, and Sales. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Elizabeth Vixner Sales Recruiter

Elizabeth Vixner

Elizabeth is a Sales Recruiter with IQ PARTNERS as well as our sales division SalesForce Search. She specializes in connecting with and identifying top sales talent in a variety of industries. She is passionate about developing strong relationships with clients and candidates, bringing together great companies and great sales professionals.

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