Since we were kids, we were always encouraged to play well with others. We were told to put the team first and get along with our teammates. There has always been a huge emphasis on this in the work world, as well.
You see job ads all the time that are looking to add a new “team member.” Companies want to hire people who put the team first. They want people who will be a good fit for the team. They want people that fit the company culture.
It makes sense to have a team of team players. In fact, according to a survey by National Association of Colleges and Employers, 78% of employers seek candidates who demonstrate strong teamwork.
Knowing this, it makes sense for candidates to emphasize their experience and ability to be a team player, right? Actually, no. New research suggests emphasizing being a team player can decrease your hireability by 50.8%!
Why Stating You Are a Team Player Can Hurt Your Chances of Getting Hired
The issue is not actually the fact you are a good team player and can thrive in a team environment. The issue is with how focusing too much on being a team player in your resume can make you look passive and make you appear to be a weaker candidate.
“We saw that if you are a team player, if you’ve collaborated with teams or if you’ve worked with teams, it’s good to mention it once,” Kushal Chakrabarti said on mic.com. “But if you mention it more than two or three times, they make the resume sound really weak.”
Words That Convey You Are a Team Player
The phrase “team player” is so overused today that it has become generic and lost its meaning. Many recruiters and hiring companies don’t like to see it on resumes.
Avoid using too many words or phrases that communicate you are a team player. Common words to use sparingly include:
- Team first
Rather than just say you are a team player, use your experience, skills, and qualifications to show how you are a team player. Answer “How am I a team player?” in your resume.
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