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The Unspoken Language of Resumes: Decoding the BS

Welcome to the mysterious world of resume language, where words carry hidden meanings and phrases speak louder than you might think. In this blog, we're on a mission to decode the BS that often fills the pages of resumes and expose the real stories behind the clichés.

"Results-oriented professional"

Translation: I get stuff done, and I'm not afraid to brag about it.

Let's kick things off with the classic "results-oriented professional." While it sounds impressive, it often means the candidate is trying to emphasize their ability to achieve tangible outcomes. Read between the lines, and you might find someone who loves setting and surpassing goals, or someone who's adept at turning challenges into success stories.

"Excellent team player"

Translation: I won't steal your lunch from the office fridge.

When you encounter the term "excellent team player," it could mean anything from a collaborative superstar to someone who merely tolerates group work. It's the resume's way of saying, "I won't sabotage group projects," but decoding the real level of enthusiasm requires a bit of detective work and really vetting it out in an interview.


Translation: I can spot a typo from a mile away.

Ah, the detail-oriented candidate, known for catching the small stuff that others might overlook. While it's a valuable skill, beware of those who use it excessively. It might be an indication that they're secretly itching to red pen every document in the office.

"Dynamic and innovative"

Translation: I once suggested changing the coffee brand in the break room.

This dynamic individual is all about fresh ideas and shaking things up. Or are they? The real challenge is discerning whether their innovation involves groundbreaking strategies or simply proposing a switch from regular to decaf.


Translation: I prefer not to be micromanaged.

The self-starter is a lone wolf, ready to take the initiative without constant supervision. While this trait can be invaluable, it's essential to determine whether they thrive independently or if they simply prefer to operate without the watchful eyes of a manager.

Decoding the unspoken language of resumes is a skill every recruiter or employer needs. As you sift through the sea of buzzwords and clichés, remember to read between the lines and dig deeper to uncover the true stories behind the carefully crafted phrases. So, the next time you encounter a resume filled with BS, you'll be armed with the knowledge to decipher the real meaning and make the best hiring decisions for your team.


Katie Dyer

Katie is a Senior Operations Manager at HubSearch. She effectively connects HubSearch's mission and vision to people practices and serves as the strategic business advisor to the CEO and management team.