Soft Skills to Avoid in Resume | Resumonk

All this talk about how critical soft skills are for inclusion on your resume and, ultimately, your job search success. Employers even list some of these “soft skills” in their job ads. It’s this unyielding catch-22. The employers want to see that you’re a “team player” and “hard worker”, but yet they don’t want to see that information on your resume!

How are you supposed to convey that you can meet the requirements of the position when some words aren’t supposed to be included in your resume? And how are you supposed to even know what those offending words are? Here’s a list of the top 15 words HR does NOT want to see on your resume:


  1. Best of breed
  2. Go-getter
  3. Think outside of the box
  4. Synergy
  5. Go-to person
  6. Thought leadership
  7. Value add
  8. Team player
  9. Results-driven
  10. Bottom-line
  11. Hard worker
  12. Strategic thinker
  13. Self-motivated
  14. Dynamic
  15. Detail-oriented


The problem with the list is it contains mostly generic soft skills. So what can a job seeker do? You can still give the employer the soft skills they’re looking for, but wait until the interview to show them you’re a great culture match. Focus your resume on showing them you’re a great experience/skills match! Switch it up and focus on keywords, quantifiable achievements, and unique successes.

Also, here’s a list of the BEST alternative words to use on your resume as preferred by HR themselves! Check out this list of the 15 best words to use on your resume on GreatResumesFast.

Published by Jessica Holbrook Hernandez

Jessica Holbrook Hernandez is the President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast. She is a former hiring manager, globally recognized resume expert and published author. You can find out more about Great Resumes Fast at