“Can’t” is the first word to avoid on your resume because your resume should show you at your best, outlining your achievements, skills, education and overall fit for the job you want. If you “cannot” travel, work on weekends, handle certain tasks or function in rush situations, do not share that information on your resume or cover letter. That is a conversation for later, perhaps during the interview. If the job posting lists one of your “cannot” items as a requirement of the job (for example, the ability to lift 50 pounds or travel on weekends), do not even apply. If you find yourself evaluating every job on the basis of what you cannot do, perhaps a Certified Job & Career Transition Coach will help turn your perspective around. That is a service I can offer you.
Your resume and cover letter are not the place to make demands for salary, time off or perks. If a job posting asks for salary information, address the topic but respond with a salary range, not a demand for specific dollar amount. It is fine to say you are open to travel, for example, but not that you “want” to have access to a company jet. Those negotiations begin after the company expresses interest in hiring you.
“Only” is an apology word, as in “I only have a bachelor degree, not an MBA.” You should never apologize for your career in your resume or cover letter; that’s why “only” is one of the four words that shouldn’t appear on a resume. Focus what you bring to the table–on the skills and accomplishments that make you a valuable employee—not on what you lack.
On the other hand, if you were the only one of 20 employees selected for an honor at your company, then please, feel free to use “only”!
In this case, “impressive” is standing in for a lot of adjectives (superior, incredible, awesome) that do not tell the recruiter or hiring manager anything of value. Instead of complimenting yourself for being an impressive employee, use the space to explain why and how you were impressive. Did you exceed your sales quota by 25%? Did you lead a multi-million dollar project? Did you turn around relations with an unhappy client? Were you employee of the month? Give the details and let the recruiter or the hiring manager be the one to say, “That sure is impressive!”
If your resume and cover letter contain negatives, demands, apologies and vague adjectives, please contact Robin’s Resumes®. We know how to hunt down the words that should not appear, and we will turn your resume into a positive testimonial to your value.