Talent Development Centre

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The Talent Development Centre includes advice for independent contractors in IT from one of Canada’s top staffing and recruitment agencies. See all posts about buzz words.

Are You Really “Detail-Oriented”?

Are You Really "Detail-Oriented"?There are a number of buzzwords and phrases that show up on resumes and LinkedIn profiles across all industries, whether you’re an IT contractor, a fast food worker or anywhere in between. Perhaps one of the most over used is “detail-oriented”.

Most people do pay attention to detail to some degree, but if everyone does, then is it really a differentiator worth putting in your profile summary? If you truly want to stand out as a detail-oriented person, then you need to demonstrate it in everything you do. Here are a few places you can show that you’re detail-oriented before you even start your project with a client.

The Application

Applying for a job through a job board, recruitment agency or directly through a client is usually a simple process but you’d be surprised at how many candidates miss a field or add the wrong information because they failed to read instructions properly. When a recruiter notices this, they immediately laugh at your “detail-oriented” claim in the first line of your resume.

Your Resume

Speaking of your resume, that may be the easiest way to show you pay no more attention to detail than the average person. Spelling and grammar are obvious must-haves, but consistency is another crucial element. Are you using the same fonts throughout? Do you keep the same format for each of your headers, bullets and body text? Does the tense remain the same as you describe your experience? The unfortunate part of a resume that achieves these points is that people rarely notice, but you stick out like a sore thumb when you don’t consider it.

Social Media

Often when creating social media profiles, we quickly fill out the information to get started and promise ourselves we’ll go back later to enhance it. When this next step gets forgotten, it leaves a blank, non-detailed profile for the world to see. Another area to review, especially LinkedIn, is how often you update it. It’s no secret that recruiters compare resumes and LinkedIn profiles to verify honesty, so they will notice if it’s outdated.

Completing Forms and Contracts

Similar to the job application process, but usually more complex, when contractors are asked to complete forms — contracts, security clearances, client policies — we sometimes see them miss important sections or insert the wrong information. More often than not, it’s because the form wasn’t clear on what it was asking. In these cases, it’s best to ask for clarification than make assumptions. Asking for help and admitting to trouble understanding the form may require some humility, but showing that you’ve read it demonstrates your attention to detail, and it’s better than submitting the wrong information.

The Interview

When detail-oriented people attend a job interview, they’re well prepared at a minimum. This means arriving on time, knowing who they’re meeting with and having a copy of their resume and portfolio available. Those who stand out demonstrate their attention to detail throughout the interview. They take extensive notes and ask good questions, building on what the interviewer has told them and proving they’ve been absorbing every word that’s been said.

The First Day

Finally, your first day on the client site plays an important role on showing that you didn’t just add another cliché to your resume. After all, first impressions will form how a client rates you through the entire project. As with the interview, being organized is a minimum requirement. Truly detailed people will have already done their homework on the project and organization so they’re ready to start immediately. Like the interview, ask questions based on what you learn and dig deep into the layers of the project as you familiarize yourself with it.

The term “detail-oriented” makes regular appearances on resumes, but it’s also in many job descriptions, proving clients do believe it to be important. With everybody claiming to have this trait, your challenge is to prove that you are above average and that needs to begin immediately.

These Buzz Words Need to Stop Appearing in Resumes

Recruiters are Tired of Seeing These Common Terms and Phrases

The Buzz Words Eagle Recruiters Say Need to Stop Appearing in ResumesA few months ago, Frances McCart wrote a post explaining how you may be hurting yourself by using too many buzzwords in your resume or in interviews. She argues that in the same way somebody’s credibility in the office may diminish when they over-use jargon, your resume could lose attention if it’s packed with buzzwords that recruiters see every day. The obvious question that comes next, then, is what are those buzzwords?

To help answer the question, we went out to Eagle’s recruitment team and asked them to list the buzzwords that they’re sick of seeing in IT contractor resumes. While some people said they really don’t mind buzzwords, others noted that they hate these words and phrases:

  • Energetic Self-Starter
  • Guru
  • Results-Oriented
  • Collaborated with SMEs
  • Works Well Under Pressure
  • Team Player
  • Synergy
  • “I can do anything”
  • Dynamic
  • High Performer
  • Well-Seasoned

An interesting observation is that all of these buzzwords, similar to any other clichés you hear in an office, are very vague and generic. Instead, recruiters like quantifiable examples that allow them to truly understand your experience.

Although these results are based on an internal Eagle survey, we’re going to go out on a limb and assume that recruiters from other recruitment agencies will all agree with the above. With that in mind, then, which buzzwords and phrases are you sick of hearing from recruiters?