Sure you’re a hard worker and go getter, but a resume is not a place to use these cringe worthy resume buzzwords.
Resumes are meant to be a one-pager that demonstrates your unique qualifications, accomplishments, individual skill set, and knowledge effectively, so every word counts. It can be difficult to make your resume stand out but adding clichés and fluff are pet peeves for many hiring managers. These meaningless buzzwords can cost you the job if you’re not careful.
“Nearly everyone is guilty of using buzzwords from time to time, but professionals are evaluated increasingly on their ability to communicate,” says Paul McDonald, Senior Executive Director of the international professional placement agency Robert Half. The problem with these buzzwords is they have become so overused, it’s now meaningless fluff. McDonald offers advice to avoid overused terms so job seekers have a better chance of standing out and conveying their message.
Here are the most cringe worthy, hated resume buzzwords according to recruiters.
- Go-getter: This is a generic term that anyone can use. Instead of inserting this buzzword into your resume, show how you’re a go-getter. Give examples of your achievements and how your ambitious, self-starter approach will enhance the company.
- Results-Driven: Adding this buzzword takes up valuable real estate on your resume. Instead of using this term, describe what you did to drive results.
- Highly Qualified: Using terms like ‘highly qualified” or extensive experience, can have the opposite impact of what you’d expect. Instead, McDonald, suggests to focus on what you can bring to the role with your experience and accomplishments.
- Ambitious: Rita Friedman, a Philadelphia-based career coach, explains, “It can imply that you’re targeting this job now, but will quickly be looking to move up in the company because you won’t be satisfied in the role, leaving the employer stuck with doing a new job search in the very near future.” Steer clear of this buzzword.
- Team Player: “Who doesn’t want to be a team player? If you’re not a team player, you’re probably not going to get the job,” McDonald says. Use examples to show how you worked as a team or in collaboration with others to achieve results.
- Hard Worker: Including this word won’t convince the hiring manager you’re the right candidate. “Give concrete examples of how you’ve gone the extra mile, rather than using a non-memorable cliché,” McDonald suggests.
- Honest: This is term that you have to show, not to add to a resume. “It’s not as if there are some other candidates out there vying for the job who are describing themselves as ‘duplicitous’ or ‘dishonest,'” Friedman says.
- People Person: Another term you have to show, instead of tell is “people person.” Because this resume buzzword is used so often, it’s become a meaningless cliché that truly cannot be proved.
- Seasoned: This term is a sneaky way of indicating a much older applicant. Avoid this term at all costs.
As you can tell, there are a variety of meaningless clichés and buzzwords that can hinder a job seeker. Instead of including these cringe worthy terms, describe examples to illustrate your talent, knowledge, and experience.