Career Calling

May 11, 2012

Never Say Team Player on a Resume

Beware of simple rules that don’t pass a logic test.  “Experts” are using the web to give advice that makes no sense.  For example, you can find countless posts that say things like “words you should never use on your resume.”  One of the words (or phrases) commonly cited is team player.  Why is this bad advice?  Let’s test it against a job posting a client recently showed me.

The position being sought is financial analyst.  Here are three lines taken from the posting:

“Demonstrated leadership and project management skills in a team setting, especially in  situations where team members are not direct reports.”

“Demonstrated ability to effectively (and collaboratively) deliver results in cross-functional teams.”

Team player with superior, communication and facilitation skills.”

Does it sound like this employer wants a team player? Who would be more likely to get an interviewer, somebody who listens to the expert or someone who demonstrates she has the skills and qualities the employer is looking for?  Experts give simple-sounding, one-size-fits-all rules that sound good.  Test their “rules” against what you see in job postings and job descriptions. Beware of rules that keeping you from presenting skills and qualities that employers are looking for.


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