Resumania™: Employers Want Clear Content, Not Big Words

By Robert Half on February 10, 2014 at 8:00am

When writing your resume and cover letter, your goal should not be to send hiring managers running for a dictionary. Your main objective, of course, is to show that you warrant a job interview because you have the right skills and abilities. While showcasing your writing skills is important, you can skip the flowery verbiage and fancy five-dollar words.

Excessive formality and unnecessarily complicated sentences won’t likely impress employers. In fact, the “look-how-smart-I-am" approach often backfires. Time-strapped hiring managers typically seek clear, concise and well-organized information that is written in plain English.

These wordy job applicants left employers scratching their heads:

“QUALIFICATIONS: I am not pedantic but embrace any occasion to nurture my edification and I champion the prodigious accolades of verisimilitude expertise your client desires.”

If you say so.

“SKILLS: Able to remedy posterity and proficiency to the desired cumulus within the work arena. Once expounding upon these various constitutional elements, affinity is achieved, and I sequester the cultivation essential for yielded efficiencies.”

Does this resume come with a secret decoder ring?

COVER LETTER: “Your judgment is based upon a synthesis of your firm’s needs and your personal assessment of my abilities. Do not become intimidated with a predetermined, discrete necessity for quantitative reasoning when you search for the essential determinant.”

We’d consider your request if we understood it.

COVER LETTER: “Yes, I am different. This difference might be perceived as positive, negative or a vital and dynamic synergism melding good and bad but still unfolding a certain validity to my application.”

About that second sentence …

“EXPERIENCE: The extremely intricate structures that lend themselves to cultural production are in their nature forever changing, morphing, pushing and pulling themselves in a field of energy.”

OK, but when are you going to tell us about your work experience?

COVER LETTER: “Abilities that purport to be intellectually defined are really only palimpsests ready to change course with the latest ephemeral trend.”

We’ll have to take your word for it.

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